IHBC Yearbook 2021

36 Y E A R B O O K 2 0 2 1 practice of heritage conservation favours the conservation of the material fabric over the intangible aspects of memory, attachment and activity that make a place. In a country where heritage legislation itself is inconsistent and weak, the rigid and conservative application of those heritage policies that do exist often leaves little room for creativity, making heritage conservation an unpopular choice for most owners. How then can heritage conservation be employed to make the lives of the people it impacts better? HERITAGE SCHOOLS – LOOKING TO THE FUTURE One building type where the importance of both the tangible and the intangible is most obvious is historic schools. Over the years our New Delhi based architectural practice has been associated with the conservation and refurbishment of several prestigious boarding schools in India that date back to the mid19th century. These large estates are communities in themselves and are distinguished not only by their fine architecture and magnificent landscaping, but also by the legacy of the institution, the collective memory of the alumni and their place in contemporary Indian society. Through the use of urban heritage conservation processes for community building we were able to promote the values and identities of each community and sustain its heritage. THE DOON SCHOOL, DEHRADUN Nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas at Dehradun in a sprawling 75-acre campus, The Doon School is an elite public school (that is to say a private school in the tradition of the British public school) which is often referred to as the Eton of India. The main building was built in 1916 as the Imperial Forest Research Institute and it became the home of The Doon School in 1935. Although well maintained, the main building had suffered from incremental changes over the years and from subsequent structural issues. The interior spaces were suffering from a level of obsolescence, becoming incompatible to teaching and learning in the 21st century due to poor acoustics and inflexible layout. Although an unlisted building, its heritage value was obvious to the school’s alumni in particular. Their memories, legacy and the attachment of the community to the building was the main impetus for this project and the restoration was fully funded by alumni The Doon School’s main building at Dehradun after restoration: it was originally built in 1916 as the Imperial Forest Research Institute in the foothills of the Himalayas, but was not listed A classroom at the Doon School before and after conservation and adaptation to suit modern teaching requirements