Open Door project – a celebration of heritage conservation in the UK and China

The Open Door project, delivered in partnership with Royal Institute of British Architects, will recognise and pay homage to exemplar heritage and conservation sites and buildings in the UK and China.

There are numerous examples of successful heritage conservation in both China and the UK. By shining a light on these, the Open Door project will strengthen understanding of heritage buildings, their uses, and how they influence communities and societies.

The project will facilitate meaningful conversations on heritage themes, showcase how heritage buildings can be successfully maintained, repaired and updated, and promote architectural conservation's environmental and cultural benefits.

Video of RIBA Director of International Azlina Bulmer

How will Open Door celebrate architectural heritage?

The project will highlight the environmental and cultural benefits of building conservation and foster knowledge sharing between experts in both countries, facilitating future UK-China dialogue on architecture and design.

14 outstanding heritage projects from the UK and China will be selected by an Expert Advisory Group, chaired by Ben Derbyshire, Past President of RIBA and Commissioner for Historic England, made up of leaders in the field of conservation in China and the UK, to be exhibited later this year.

Projects will be collated through:

1. A call for short papers: Open to qualified emerging architects, researchers, practitioners, designers and academics involved in conservation, renovation, preservation or transformation of buildings and spaces, in the UK and China. Six projects will be selected.

2. RIBA Award winners: The Expert Advisory Group will consider heritage and conservation projects from the UK and China that have won RIBA International Awards or RIBA National Awards in the past two decades. Eight final projects will be selected.

The Expert Advisory Group seeks examples of renovation and re-invention of two project types: 20th Century heritage buildings and pre-1901 buildings.

The 14 projects will be showcased online and at a public exhibition in Shanghai and through two professional masterclass events, which will also provide a forum to discuss contemporary heritage conservation.

Key dates:

6 April project launch
21 April open call for case studies launches
23 May open call for case studies closes
20 June assessment of both project streams by Expert Advisory Group
15 September showcase online and in Shanghai, China
17 October  professional masterclass events begin

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