What is Heritage Architecture?

Heritage architecture is a term that refers to buildings or structures of historical or cultural importance, which are a vital part of the country’s heritage and require conservation.


History shapes the present and future of countries, and the world of architecture is no exception. In any city, the ancient buildings that have stood the test of time and are still standing strong despite calamities tell the story of that city’s architectural history. These ancient constructions are generally known as heritage buildings and authorities take special care to preserve these structures. Typically, a heritage building means a structure that requires preservation because of its historical, architectural, cultural, aesthetic or ecological value. Archaeological sites, ruins and remains are also covered under the term heritage sites.

“Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live with today, and what we pass on to future generations. Our cultural and natural heritage are both irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration.” _ World Heritage Center – UNESCO

The expression of “architectural heritage” shall be considered to comprise the following permanent properties:

-Monuments: They are referred to all the buildings and structures of conspicuous historical, archaeological, artistic, scientific, social, or technical interest including their fixtures and fittings;

-Groups of buildings: The homogeneous groups of urban or rural buildings conspicuous for their historical, archaeological, artistic, scientific, social, or technical interest, which are sufficiently coherent to form the topographically definable units;

-Sites: They are referred to the combined works of man and nature, the areas, which are partially built upon and sufficiently distinctive and homogeneous to be topographically definable and are of conspicuous historical, archaeological, artistic, scientific, social, or technical interest.

Architectural conservation

Regarding conserving the heritage to have an embodied reality for its interpretation, it has been attempted to understand and interpret the heritage in order to show how the world was like before us. Conservation means protection and maintenance. Architectural conservation means to conserve the valuable architectures or architectural values. Since the formation of architecture, its conservation and restoration have been considered as a principle. In the ancient Greece, damaged monuments were repaired such that, the original shape of the building was preserved.

Value assessment

Today, recognition and expression of the values latent in the work are of special importance in the conservation of architectural heritage, and value is one of the determinants of validity and importance in the special topics related to the science of conservation playing a very important role in developing the conservation policies. In general, any conservation activity takes place when an object or place is valuable and therefore, decision-making on treatment and intervention in the work depends on these values. Some values take precedence over the others in making a decision about the thing or aspect that needs to conserved.

What are the values influencing the semantic conservation of the architectural heritage?

In the scientific research on the architectural heritage, one or more semantic values have been considered and studied as an effective value in the process of semantic conservation. However, in these studies, all the influential values in the semantic conservation process have not been mentioned comprehensively. Therefore, one cannot have a clear understanding of the semantic values involved in the conservation process. Accordingly, the main objective of this study is comprehensively investigating the semantic values determined by the researchers and experts in the field of the architectural heritage conservation.

Semantic values and conservation

Semantic and intangible values are the most fundamental aspects of the social and intellectual life of the nations, the origin of identities, diversity, and creativity. Although, these values are not of material nature, their materialistic manifestations are perceivable and reviewable; such as language, beliefs, thoughts, and customs that are not objective in nature.


Preservation is a method of not losing the values of cultural identity. In order to preserve before you know what the cultural assets of people are: catalog. All goods contained in catalogues must be protected and preserved. But not only these ones, before any action we make as architects, we must think about the value of the good on which we will intervene before deciding the type of intervention