Heritage Report


Adaptive Re-use

Some may argue that from the archaeological point of view, it is better that no maintenance be undertaken rather than maintenance not complying with a rigid requirement to continue to replicate exactly the species, size, colour and pruning patterns of the existing garden. This, of course, poses the question of the existence of buildings and gardens as part of the continuum of life.

Distinguished French architect, Philippe Robert, has espoused the construct of “adaptive re-use” in much-admired designs for the preservation of ancient buildings in Paris. He argues that it is better that old sites be preserved using respectful adaptation as a way of financing their survival.

It is clear that the principle of adaptive re-use has direct application to the conservation of heritage gardens. It is suggested that as time passes, more Australian government organisations will adopt these principles rather than be charged with setting the scene for the decay and destruction by neglect of many of the notable heritage gardens of the country.

Critical in the management of legislative instruments is the requirement for Government agencies and others administering legislation and regulation to be appropriately educated to not only deal with the archaeological, engineering, environmental and scientific issues, but rather have a capacity to work with the community and owners in particular in preserving heritage items rather than overseeing their progressive decay or obligation to a contemporary issue of the environment or its indigenous origins which do not reflect the .... of its Heritage Management.