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Working Group: Building Preservation and Maintenance in Practice

Building Preservation and Maintenance in Practice

The built heritage of the Baltic Sea Region is rich in architectural styles and influenced from many sources. But there are also common origins. Materials as wood, granite, limestone, iron, and the products made of these, have been used and shipped everywhere in the region. Ideas, knowledge, skills and tools have spread with master builders and craftsmen across the sea.

Good management for the built heritage is highly depending on a continuous demand for traditional materials and skills, i. e. on a sustainable market for trained masons, carpenters, architects, historians, restorers etc. and for the "traditional" building materials and products.

The aims of the working group
The long-term aim for the working group is to enhance good management of the built heritage in the Baltic Sea Region. There are three results in the work programme 2005- 2006:
- Reference Library of Good Practices - making knowledge and traditions available
- Networks for Professional Co-operation
- Baltic Sea Region Guidelines for Building Preservation

Former synagogue in Sabile, Latvia.


The former synagogue in Sabile, Latvia. Workshop in 2001.

Means to achieve the aims
- Organization of seminars and workshops
- Compilation and translation of reports on good practices
- Information through common web-site, printed documentation and films

Working group meetings
Tallinn, February 2001; Riga, November 2001; Tallinn, March 2002; Helsinki, June 2002; Stockholm, November 2002; Copenhagen, March 2003; Kaunas, September 2003; Tallinn, April 2004, Schwerin, September 2004; Riga, November 2004; Helsinki, March 2005 and June 2005 (planned).

Seminars and workshops
- Study tour to information centres on building preservation in Sweden, June 2001.
Organizing countries: Estonia and Sweden.

- A two days seminar, "Managing Building Conservation", on pre-project methodology: investigation, analysis, documentation, technical specification and design in Riga, Latvia, November 2001.
Organizing countries: Latvia and Sweden.

- A four days seminar and workshop with the objective to develop a policy and discuss methods for conservation of plaster on medieval churches, in Põide on the island of Saarema, Estonia, April 2003.
Organizing country: Estonia.

Terracotta heads, St. John's church in Tartu, Estonia.


Terracotta heads, St. John's church in Tartu, Estonia.

- A two days seminar on the conservation of brick buildings, in Kaunas, Lithuania - exchange of knowledge and experiences. Invited experts from all Baltic Sea countries. Organizing country: Lithuania

- Workshop on timber restoration, choice of timber and repairing methods in Ungurmuiza, Latvia, June 2001.
Organizing countries: Latvia and Sweden.

- Workshop on lime paint, pigments, colours and methods in Sabile, Latvia, August 2001.
Organizing countries: Latvia and Sweden.

-Workshop on interior painting with traditional paints in Ramava, Latvia, March 2002. Organizing countries: Latvia and Sweden.

Interior from a church in Laitila, Finland.


Stove in the church of Tervola, Finland Photo: Sakari Mentu.

- Seminar on "Indoor Climate in Churches - problems and solutions" in the premises of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Riga, November 2004, with lecturers from national institutions, universities and consultancy firms. A report (40 pages) is available below.

Traditional building materials of the Baltic Sea region
In 2003 the working group initiated a survey on the situation for a selection of building materials needed for the preservation of the built cultural heritage. The aim is to focus on the complexity of problems and to get an overview. For each material there is a short historical overview, a description of today’s situation in the region, of needs and availability. There is also a list of institutions and literature in each country.

This web-site and a film
For the time being this web-site is updated twice annually, but there are plans to make it a meeting place for presentation of reports, projects, seminars and workshops of common interest.

A documentary film "Kalamaja - the Possibilities of a Wooden Town" was produced in 2001 as an Estonian-Swedish co-operation and awarded a prize by Europa Nostra. The film exists in two versions - 15 minutes and 45 minutes respectively. They may be borrowed. More information from the contact person in each country.

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