Savoir-Faire: Bridging the Gap Between Tradition and Technology

WS3–Sunday and Monday, October 26 & 27

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Workshops will be in French and English simultaneously interpreted and/or English with bilingual assistance as needed.

WS3—Savoir-Faire: Bridging the Gap Between Tradition and Technology
8:00–4:30  Sunday ,October 26
7:00-4:30 Monday, October 27

Traditional building techniques relied heavily upon craftsmen who would transform raw materials into complex components that they would integrate into an overall construction. Industrialization and rapid growth gradually saw the displacement of the craftsmen and the rise of factory/machine-made products assembled on site by tradesmen or workers. Whereas the craftsmen embodies all the knowledge and experience to exercise his craft, the tradesman or worker relies on externalized knowledge, manufactured products and processes to build.

Preserving/conserving our built heritage presents significant challenges in understanding the work that is required, how it is to be conducted and by whom. Additionally, our heritage stock does not only comprise of buildings that were built by craftsmen but also of modern heritage that was largely built with manufactured products. Increasingly complex building regulations and the need to adapt our building stock to accommodate contemporary use further complicate the preservation/conservation of our buildings. As a result, good preservation/conservation practice requires a multi-disciplinary team of specialists (architects, conservators, engineers, craftsmen, contractors, historians, etc.) in order to understand and investigate the issues, identify and evaluate possible solutions, and implement the appropriate remedial measures.

This workshop brings together multi-disciplinary specialists involved in the preservation/conservation of buildings to discuss current practice, identify shortfalls, and develop effective strategies of working together. Essentially, bridging the gap between traditional craft and contemporary building science and technique.

Facilitators will present the results of a recent study on the state of craftsman in preservation/conservation in Québec to launch a discussion of its importance and necessity. They will also look at specific challenges related to the conservation of crafted and manufactured wood, stone, fired clay (ceramics) and metals and how these challenges can be resolved through collaboration. This workshop is designed for mid-career professionals (architects, conservators, engineers, craftsmen, contractors, historians, etc.)

The unique format of this workshop includes one day of lectures and round-table discussion by local and international experts and a second day of hands-on collaborative work in the laboratories of the Centre de Conservation du Québec. Following a tour of the facility, you will be part of a small group that rotates to different stations/laboratories specializing in wood, stone, fired-clay (ceramics) and metals. Each station will be led by a conservator, architect, and craftsman and will present a challenge related to the conservation of a traditional and modern material. You will be engaged in identifying the issues and developing appropriate remediation solutions.

Learning Objectives
Following the workshop, participants should be able to:
1. Describe the various interpretations of the savoir-faire and its importance in building over time.
2. Understand the changes, approaches and sources that inspired building in Québec through its dependence and its influence on both Europe and North America.
3. Understand how means and methods (or lack thereof) inform Savoir-Faire and consequently building practice. When does improvisation become Savoir-Faire?
4. Understand the current context of Savoir-Faire through a recent study on the preservation / conservation practice in Québec and the importance of the craftsman as a key player.
5. Understand the importance of collaboration between specialists in preservation / conservation. Identify shortfalls, bridge gaps, and work together to meet project objectives.
6. Understand through practical exercises how to work collaboratively to identify issues, explore options and develop appropriate remedial solutions in the conservation of wood, stone, fired-clay (ceramics) and metal.

Day 1—Classroom
Theme: Diversity, Time, Context
Morning: Introduction
   Skills: Practice Building
   Expertise in the Timeline: The example of Québec in the North American context
Afternoon: Tradition and Technology: Marriage of Reason and Authenticity Expertise Scaled

Day 2—Classroom and Workshops in the Field
Theme: Heritage put under the microscope
All day: Small group workshops: wood, stone, ceramics, metals
Conclusion: Summary and interactive discussion with facilitators and participants

Language: Day 1 in classroom—French and English; simultaneously interpreted
                   Day 2 in field—French and English with bilingual assistance as needed
Fee: $550 - Includes breakfasts, lunches and materials
Location: Day 1 - Fairmont Le Château Frontenac
Day 2 - Centre de Conservation du Québec
Transportation: Day 1 – Walking and bus
Dress Code: Casual (jeans) with good walking shoes (for Day 2 field trip)
Recommended Equipment: N/A
Maximum attendance: 40
Handicapped Accessibility: Email APT for details
Continuing Education Credits: 13 hours

Richard Trempe

François Dufaux
Rosa Lowinger

Additional facilitators have been invited.

Richard Trempe, Patenaude Trempe Van Dalen, Québec City, QC, Canada, is an architect specializing in building science with more than 20 years of experience. He obtained his Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the Université de Montréal in 1990. He is currently the vice-president in charge of building diagnostics of Patenaude Trempe Van Dalen, a firm specializing in building science that enjoys a national reputation as a leader in its field. Over the years, Richard has been involved in an impressive number of projects, inspecting and developing solutions for complex building problems. Some notable buildings that he has worked on include several buildings of the Universities of Montréal, McGill and Laval, the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, Québec Parliament and many government buildings on Parliament Hill in Québec and the Québec Citadel. He has developed a series of courses on the subject of building envelope diagnostics and rehabilitation for architects and engineers and is a regular lecturer at the Quebec Building Envelope Council. He is currently completing a master’s degree in architecture. The topic of his thesis is determining if and to what extent social changes and technological innovations that marked Québec since the 19th century have had an impact on the development and the performance of its building construction systems.

François Dufaux, architect and professor, School of Architecture of Laval University, Québec City  François Dufaux has degrees in both architecture and urban planning. He defended his doctoral thesis on the origins of Montréal plex-housing between 1825 and 1850 at the Bartlett School of Architecture of London University in 2007. A practicing architect, he has designed a number of urban residential buildings that translate his interests in urban heritage and historic construction systems. His research interests in the typomorphological changes in the city of Montréal and of the social and economic history of the profession and of the construction industry have led him to develop to a novel creation-research approach to the adaptive use of built heritage. In the design studio, this approach integrates these aspects, particularly as part of the specialization in built heritage and preservation in the Masters in Architecture program. He is particularly interested in the real estate aspects of religious properties and of their potential recycling for new uses.

Rosa Lowinger, Principal and Senior Conservator, Rosa Lowinger & Associates, Los Angeles and Miami, USA, is a Professional Associate of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works. She holds a M.A. in art history and conservation from New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts. With a focus in modern and contemporary sculpture, architecture, and public art, Ms. Lowinger has been in private practice in Los Angeles since 1988, serving such clients as the Broad Art Foundation, the Metropolitan Transit Authority Gold Line to Pasadena, the Hawaii State Foundation for Culture and the Arts, and the cities of Los Angeles, San Jose, Ventura, Santa Monica, Inglewood, Santa Fe Springs, and Honolulu. She lectures and publishes frequently on conservation topics related to modern and contemporary sculpture and architecture. In 2009 was awarded the prestigious Rome Prize in Conservation at the American Academy in Rome for research into the history of vandalism. She is the author of Tropicana Nights: The Life and Times of the Legendary Cuban Nightclub and a founding contributor to the award-winning art-and-culture blog Ms. Lowinger is particularly passionate about maintenance of the built heritage of Cuba, her country of birth, and actively seeks to promote international interest in its preservation.

Photo by Claudel Huot


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