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Towards an Environmental Revival

How to re-invigorate past principles of climatic design in heritage and traditional architecture.

Towards an Environmental Revival: How to re-invigorate past principles of climatic design in heritage and traditional architecture.

Date: Thursday 6 October

Location: The Garrison Chapel, Chelsea Barracks, London SW1W 8BG

Time: 18:30 UTC+1

Speaker: Henrik Schoenefeldt, Professor for Sustainability in Architectural Heritage, University of Kent.

Tickets: Entry is free. A limited number of tickets are available here.

The design and construction of historic buildings were influenced by past principles of environmental design. In the context of architectural conservation or the revival of traditional building design, these principles tend to only receive marginal consideration.  Research in architectural history is often perceived as an entirely scholarly pursuit with limited practical application. This talk will show how historic research can be used to gain deep insights into past environmental principles, and that these insights can be utililsed to address issues of sustainability in the context of conservation.

Drawing on research undertaken over the past 15 years, in this talk Professor Schoenefeldt will explore the role of his research in leading change within architectural practice and education. It will focus on the findings of his research project within the Palace of Westminster Restoration and Renewal Programme. The project involves an in-depth study of the Palace of Westminster‘s 19th-century ventilation and climate control system, and a collaboration with the client and lead designers to develop a heritage-led approach to sustainable design, involving a critical engagement with historic methods.

Biography: Henrik Schoenefeldt is Professor of Sustainability in Architectural Heritage at the University of Kent, National Teaching Fellow and AHRC Leadership Fellow. He specialized in environmental design with an MPhil and PhD from the University of Cambridge. His main research interest is in historic principles of environmental design, both as field of scholar research and architectural practice. Since 2016 he has been seconded to Parliament in to lead the research project ‘Between Sustainability and Heritage’ His research has been published, amongst others, in Architectural History, Building Research & Information, Antiquaries Journal and Building & Cities. It is also subject of his recent book with Routledge ‘ Disruptive Environmentalism and the Houses of Parliament Under David Boswell Reid’. A documentary film about his research ‘Preserving the Palace’ was shortlisted for the 2021 RIFA film awards 2021.