09 August 2019

 Summer practical training: future conservation architects dig into their profession 

Future conservation architects and engineers, first-grade students of the SPbGASU Faculty of Architecture spent their summer practical training at the churches of the Leningrad Region – in Teglitsy and Chirkovitsy villages. Associate professors from the Department of Architectural and Urban Planning Heritage Nadezhda Akulova and Nina Petukhova were leading the practical training. Nadezhda Akulova described the practical training benefits for the students and what they could learn during the expeditions.

Summer measuring practical training of the first-grade students of the Department of Architectural and Urban Planning Heritage took place at the 19th century church in Chirkovitsy village, Leningrad Region.

“It was our first experience of such measurement practical training at our department. We managed to combine it with the ArchiDec architectural project (the project of youth architectural and decorative practice in churches of the Leningrad Region).

Our principal site for the practical training was the 19th century church in Chirkovitsy village, Leningrad Region. We had three groups of students, 20 people each, and each group had its own tasks. It was amazing how many questions the future conservation architects had got. And this is great; for a few days they were totally wrapped up in their future profession.

One of the obligatory and primary skills for the restorer is the ability to take measurements correctly: just one minor error in the measurements can lead to major problems in the restoration.

Let’s imagine that a measurement of the width of an opening was taken incorrectly. Then, according to these data, a project was made. As a result, the element does not fit. So, what’s next? To expand walls? Or, on the contrary, add to the brick laying? That’s unthinkable regarding the objects of cultural heritage. We carefully monitored how the students were taking measurements. Of course, not everyone succeeded right away - and this is normal, they are learning. All obscure points were discussed with the guys at the university. Then they transferred all the received data into a computer program.

Our second site was a wooden church in the village of Teglitsy. Historically, there had been a stone church which was, regretfully, destroyed at a certain period of time. The present small wooden St. Trinity Church is not finished in construction, and the clergy and local residents asked us to help them with finalizing the design project. The students got enthusiastic over the idea. Hopefully, we might have a solid project of the church and the area around it.

The atmosphere during the practical training was absolutely unique. Local people helped the students, treated them with tasty food. And in the end, they organized for us an art picnic with a country-style dinner. The students were delighted!


Our second site was a wooden church in the village of Teglitsy. Historically, there had been a stone church which was, regretfully, destroyed at a certain period of time. The present small wooden St. Trinity Church is not finished in construction, and the clergy and local residents asked us to help them with finalizing the design project. The students got enthusiastic over the idea. Hopefully, we might have a solid project of the church and the area around it.

The atmosphere during the practical training was absolutely unique. Local people helped the students, treated them with tasty food. And in the end, they organized for us an art picnic with a country-style dinner. The students were delighted!


Student classes were taking place at the St. Trinity church in the village of Teglitsy

Such classes give a lot to future conservation architects. All the more so that we had specialized tours in the region. This year, we visited Koporye where they still have medieval structures. Now, the students see in those more than just historical monuments. They pay special attention to the various types of work setting, examine each fracture; they notice a lot of details.

Next September, we plan to arrange an exhibition at SPbGASU dedicated to our summer measuring practical training. In addition, when the measured drawings are completely converted into the electronic form, for sure one of our students will continue with the theme of temple ensembles or simply temple architecture in these villages. And in a year or two, if not working drawings, then a quality project for the restoration of these churches will be ready at a very high level. "



Recorded by Angela Semicheva

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