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New perspectives to save cultural heritage
Altan, M. Orhan

Can §. BINAN
a Prof Assoc.Dr.Architect, YTU, Architecture Faculty, Istanbul, Turkey - binancb@tnn.net
KEY WORDS: Architecture, Cultural Heritage, Measurement, Restoration, Architectural Heritage Conservation,
Process of architectural conservation and restoration requires scientific approaches which shows parallelism to the field of medicine
in regards of basic principles, used methods and purpose. In practicing medicine, which aims at recovering man from chronic or
acute diseases, the information and tests required for diagnosis and treatment should be sensitive enough to determine the real cause
beneath the health complaints during the health checks. Tests required for correct diagnosis are processed from the most simple to
the most sophisticated stages by the Medicine doctors. And, usually, during this process most of the diseases are diagnosed. For a
disease of which symptoms are very clear, one does not choose a very expensive and complex tests and analyis or methods and tools
to diagnose it so that the budget to be spared for the treatment which is the final target is not exaggerated.
This is both important in regards of individual budgets and national sources of countries. Therefore, the system of preventive
medicine is established to diagnose and recover patients with relatively lower budgets in advance. From the point of view of the
conservation economy, the cost of restoration process gains importance. Here, the structure (the patient) must afford it. It is true that
architectural restoration is an expensive process, but today the variety of architectural heritage that needs to be protected is ever
increasing and it is not limited to a mere monumental architecture which in turn requires reduction of the costs.
The process of architectural conservation and restoration
requires scientific approaches being in parallel to the field of
Medicine in respect to basic approaches, methods used and
targets. The sensitivity of the knowledge and analyses that are
required for diagnosis and treatment in the application of
medical occupation which aims to treat the health and to have it
at a fit condition to work and extend the life of a person who has
a continuous disease or a sudden illness, should be sufficient
enough to determine the illness that was suspected in the
preliminary controls. The diagnostic examinations are
implemented by the physicians in a process starting from the
simplest to the most developed. For an illness having very
obvious symptoms, generally, very expensive and complex
tests, examinations and methods are avoided. Thus the budget
that should be reserved for the treatment, which is the final
purpose, will not increase dearly. This is important both for the
personal budgets and also resources of the country. For that
reason, the system of protective medicine has been formed and
now it is possible to diagnose and treat the illnesses quite early
and with relatively low budgets.
In this context, it is possible to see and apply the existence of
parallel approaches in the field of architectural preservation.
The sentence given in article 4 of the Venise Charter “The
basic attitude in the preservation of monuments is to ensure the
stability and sustainability of the preservation” nearly coincides
with the concept of protective medicine.
When we consider the situation in respect to the preservation
economy, the cost of the restoration process becomes important
here. The patient/the building should be able to pay it back. It is
true that architectural restoration is an expensive action but
since the versatility of the architectural treasures that must be
preserved has increased greatly and it is not only limited to
monumental architecture, these costs should be decreased.
Hie studies of architectural survey shows parallels with the
actions carried on for analyses and diagnose in the process of
medical approach. Here the historical and structural identity
(bodily status) of the building (of the patient) are determined
and the existing situation is documented (examinations and
medical display) with measurements and the process it has
passed through since its first construction (his illnesses) and
wear and tear (the visible symptoms of the illness) are clarified
in these studies and the necessary techniques and methods
(drugs or operations) for the restoration (the treatment) are
At this point the selection of the survey method that will be
used becomes important. Sensitivity is important but as it is the
fact for the field of medicine, really important issue is to
determine the sensitivity that will serve the purpose.
Therefore the determination of the method depends on the status
of the building that will be preserved and what kinds of benefits
will be derived from the resulting product.
For the exemplification of this method, 5 buildings have been
selected and the method used and suggested for the
determination techniques and method used in these buildings
have been exemplified.
In the first example the survey method that was selected for a
Fountain of Azapkapi Saliha Sultan , dated 1780 with a limited
budget and for which façade cleaning, roof repair and
restoration intervention in respect to limited elements will be
made and the reasons for selection shall be defined. Drawing
In the second example, Tophane fountain dated 1732 with a
limited budget and for which façade cleaning, roof repair and
restoration intervention in respect to limited elements will be
made and the reasons for selection shall be defined. Drawing
In the third example, survey method selected for a serial of
Galata Port buildings dated 1890 having great dimensions but
no structural problems, built in a modular structure and with a
pre-determined budget and the reasons for selection have been