12 August 2019

Thinking professionally: in the course of the practical training, future conservation architects were drawing not only constructions but also their impressions

The summer practical training of SPbGASU senior undergraduate and graduate students majoring in conservation architecture was held in Pskov. What tasks did they face and whether the future graduates had successfully solved them, outlined the associate professor of the Department of Architectural and Urban Planning Heritage Nadezhda Akulova.

SPbGASU senior undergraduate and graduate students majoring in conservation architecture had their summer practical training in Pskov

“When students of different grades, including undergraduates, work at the same place and at the same time, a great exchange of experience is taking place. Their training and tasks were different, but I could see how they shared their knowledge with each other. My colleague Nina Petukhova (associate professor of the Department of Architectural and Urban Planning Heritage) and I only had to watch and slightly correct their work. I find this extremely valuable.

We visited the objects of restoration, made measurements of the cultural heritage sites, performed office processing and landscape analysis, introduced refinements and proposals for the design of the historical settlement boundaries. Some students selected sites and areas for their future graduation projects.

The training started with practical classes with Artyom Konov, restoration architect, who was engaged in the restoration of the Pskov Kremlin and many other objects in this city. Initially, the tour was planned for 90 minutes. However, we had been walking with him for about five or six hours. We learned a lot of interesting things about the history of the city of Pskov, and, of course, we talked about the restoration.

At the end of the day, the students got the task to draw what they liked, or what caught their eye, or was incomprehensible. The next day, they arranged a viewing of the works with authors’ comments. It was very interesting. Students’ attention was drawn to very different things. In the presented sketches, there were an interior, and cracks in the masonry with historical layers, and a moat with traces of historical buildings, etc. There was a drawing the author of which decided to express his emotions overwhelmed by the interiors of the Trinity Cathedral, which is located in the Kremlin.

This exercise was meant to make them think about something of their own and to express these thoughts professionally. I really like when they think, and not just do what they are told. The main thing is that your eyes blaze with the excitement about your profession. Then the work comes up strong and good.

The second day also started with an excursion, this time to the Mirozhsky Monastery with a 12th century church, the first made of stone in Pskov. The church is decorated with unique frescos of the mid-twelfth century, never restored. All this gave a great potential to the students for their practical training.

Students in the Mirozhsky monastery looking at the unique 12th century frescos

During the practical training, we got a chance to live in the pilgrimage center in Pechory. Students got introduced to works on the projects of the protected zone and the draft of the historic settlement of Pechory. The area of the alleged historical settlement was divided into pieces intended for studying by future restorers. As a result, a proposal to change the boundaries of the historical settlement was made. We found objects that, in our opinion, would be appropriate to include in the area of the historical settlement. These are serious urban elements. And several objects, on the contrary, would be logical to exclude. We are going to discuss these proposals in early September with the Committee for Culture of the Pskov Region. The students then said that they had the feeling is as if they had worked there for more than a month: they solved a lot of tasks, got a lot of knowledge, broadened their horizons. 

I would like to say many thanks to those who helped us organize the practical training.The choice of objects, accommodation, and transfer were organized by the Chairman of the Committee for the Protection of Cultural Heritage Objects of the Pskov Region Natalia Tikhomirova; Maria Lisenkova from the Scientific and Production Center for the Protection and Use of Monuments of History and Culture and Nikolai Krutov from the Art Initiative.



Recorded by Angela Semicheva

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