Conservation Recording

 
Photo credit: Pictorial Photography

Photo credit: Pictorial Photography

 

A building goes through many changes during it's lifetime. It evolves to meet the needs of its occupants at specific moments in time. The building that we see today is the result of those changes. For a building to survive it must adapt to meet the needs of modern day life. Whether the changes are drastic or minor, recording them is invaluable.

I specialise in conservation photography, recording buildings before, during and after restoration. During a project I will visit the site regularly to create a full picture of the works carried out. 

The above images are from an ongoing project documenting the William Cowe & Sons buildings in Berwick upon Tweed. Click here for more information on the 'Cowe's buildings'.

In this instance, due to the historic nature of the buildings and their listed status, the images of the property prior to resoration were of utmost importance. If this 'before' stage had not been documented, a great deal of information would have been lost forever. Areas of specific interest, in addition to being photographed, could be mapped out in detail (see drawing below).

Being present during the restoration allows for a great deal of insight into not only the changes currently taking place, but also those which have occurred in the past. Though demolition can be seen in a negative light, it exposes previously unseen features and subtle undiscovered details. 

The restoration work on the Cowe buildings is now complete as is my recording work. All of my compiled recording and research material will be deposited in Berwick Record Office, making it available for the public to view. To conclude the four year long project I held an exhibition charting the history and rebirth of the properties. Click here for more details.  

As well as recording, interpretation plays a major part in understanding a building's past. Here, architectural historian Dr Adam Menuge examines a chimney breast in the main shop.

As well as recording, interpretation plays a major part in understanding a building's past. Here, architectural historian Dr Adam Menuge examines a chimney breast in the main shop.

These rooms were of particular interest, however owing to their dilapidated state they were lost during the restoration. When paired with photographs, this detailed plan serves to record the finer details of this area of the building.

These rooms were of particular interest, however owing to their dilapidated state they were lost during the restoration. When paired with photographs, this detailed plan serves to record the finer details of this area of the building.

© Cameron Robertson 2019