'The best conservation projects require rigour and nerve'

Garden Museum, Lambeth, Dow Jones

Is pastiche always a dirty word? Roger Hunt, author of a new book on designing for old buildings, tackles some prejudices

There is a common misconception that those involved in the world of building conservation are ossifiers; that they are only interested in the past and unwilling to accept or allow change. This is very far from the case. Good new design is embraced by those who understand old buildings. Indeed, on founding the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings in 1877, William Morris set out in its manifesto a philosophy that building works should be clearly readable and of their time. It sought to consider the interests of a building in its future while valuing its past – concepts we now recognise in terms of sustainability and managed change.

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