IHBC Yearbook 2013

R E V I E W 31 TRAINING THE ARCHITECTS, LECTURERS AND CRAFTSPEOPLE OF TOMORROW JILL KERRY Jill Kerry BSc DAAS RIBA IHBC is a chartered architect and has worked exclusively in conservation for 20 years. After working in the public sector as a senior conservation architect she now works freelance in the private sector. She also organises the Royal Society of Ulster Architects (RSUA) Conservation Training Course and lectures on traditional building skills. Her article explores the development of the RSUA course, traditional skills training in Northern Ireland and the crucial work of training college lecturers how to teach traditional building skills. As an aspiring %)-year-old architecture student, I naively thought the world was waiting to build one of my revolutionary designs. It was only once I was at university that I realised there was another dimension to architecture – conservation. From the first lecture, as slides lit up the auditorium with images of the Parthenon, the works of Frank Lloyd Wright and Antoni Gaudí, and Norman Foster’s Willis Faber building in Ipswich, I was hooked. Then I discovered Northern Ireland’s own distinctive built heritage, from vernacular thatched cottages to the flat-roofed houses of Philip Bell and Noel Campbell. And with that my career took a di"erent route. For the last #$ years I have worked solely in conservation. In the past few years, there has been an even more unexpected twist, I’m now running the RSUA Certificate in Historic Building Conservation, the RSUA Conservation Training Course and lecturing to further education (FE) lecturers and bursary holders on the repair and maintenance of traditional pre-%&%& buildings. Back in %&&)/&, Queen’s University, Belfast started a diploma in conservation which ran for a couple of years before being taken over by the University of Ulster. By #$$) the University of Ulster had also dropped the course and, following discussions with the RSUA, it was decided that a certificate in historic building conservation would be run on behalf of the RSUA. Laurence Manogue and I ran this course for several years before ill health forced Laurence to stand down. RSUA CONSERVATION TRAINING When the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) announced its accreditation scheme for conservation architects in #$%$ (see Further Information), both the earlier diploma and certificate were recognised as accepted conservation courses. However, my challenge was to condense the %#-day certificate into a basic conservation course providing the #% hours of structured study proposed by the RIBA. We ran our first RSUA Conservation Training Course, as it was called, in the autumn of #$%%, with /0 architects participating. Both the earlier certificate and the present training course were devised using ICOMOS’ principles of conservation. The new course, which is relatively short, is divided into five modules: Cultural Significance (Philosophy, Ethics and Principles); Aesthetic Qualities and Values; Investigation, Materials and Techniques; Social and Financial Issues; and Implementation and Management of Conservation Works. Lecturers from the UK and Ireland address the main issues and seek to give a wide view of what conservation means in the #%st century. By ' December #$%#, a further /$ architects had completed the RSUA Conservation Training Course, which means that there are over #$$ Neil Moore of Kriterion Conservation Architects addresses RSUA Conservation Training Course delegates in 2012