Prior to any action in or near a historical monument, the recognition of it’s particularities and sensibility towards its significance should prevail. The necessary qualifications or expertise in restoration is a first condition. A second one is a thorough and complete documentation, essential to obtain optimal comprehension of the building in all its facets. From a variety of documentation techniques a selection is made considering different criteria.
A critical analysis of all elements, sustained by an interdisciplinary collaboration, distinguishes substantial from circumstantial, typical from unique, degrees of decay, degrees in value, kinds of values…etc. Well determined choices lead to an overall preservation, conservation or restoration policy with hierarchy in actions and differentiation in methods.
Interventions in a historical context may include new designs. How does new relates to old? Does the architect acts as an iconoclastic renewer and the restorer as a conservative protector? Although the architect is distinctive in approach from the building conservator, they shouldn’t be opponents. The latter is in his methods more of an extension rather than the denial of the former.