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The London Festival of Architecture (LFA), the V&A’s Culture in Crisis Programme, International National Trust Organisation and World Monuments Fund are pleased to announce the upcoming event; ‘FUTURE PROOFING HERITAGE: SUSTAINABILITY AND RESILIENCE’.

As countries around the world are faced with the increased challenges caused by extreme weather as a result of the climate crisis, we are rethinking how we could restore, build and sustain heritage structures and buildings to withstand extreme weather.

This in-person event, hosted at the V&A in South Kensington, London, will explore different case studies and approaches to the risks that heritage structures face in the light of extreme weather changes. The event will take place on 11 June 2024, as part of the London Festival of Architecture 2024 programme.

Through this event we bring together the voices of heritage preservation specialists working around the world, each embarked on projects that deal with heritage buildings and structures at risk and what steps are being taken to preserve and sustain these important monuments to our past.

The event will be formatted as presentations followed by a panel discussion and audience Q&A, followed by three breakout workshops examining the topics of Materials, Skills, Collaboration and Engagement.

Presentations and Speakers
Climate and conservation at National Trust Blickling and Bayt al-Razzaz, Cairo: Heather Jermy (Blickling Estate, National Trust) and Omniya Abdel Barr (Egyptian Heritage Rescue Foundation)

Past-proofing: traditional skills and new materials: Javier Ors Ausín Program Manager (World Monuments Fund) and Stephen Battle (Principal Project Director, Sub-Saharan Africa, World Monuments Fund) Through the example of two current WMF projects - the Takienta Building Tradition of Koutammakou (Benin and Togo) and Maison du Peuple, Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) - the session will explore the transmission of knowledge and skills across both traditional building methods and 20th century materials to secure the future of buildings from across different cultural expressions.

How the past can inform the future - skills, climate and traditional building: Dr Louise Cooke Senior Lecturer in Conservation at the University of York

Roundtable Discussion chaired by Imogen Wood Senior National Consultant - Heritage & Climate, National Trust

This event is hybrid and when registering you will be asked to specify whether you wish to attend in person or online. For online attendance, it will not be possible to participate in the workshops as they require in-person attendance, but the presentations, panel discussion and audience Q&A are open for online attendance. Registration is via this link


Heather Jermy is General Manager of the National Trust’s Blickling Estate, a historic Norfolk estate which is home to highly significant buildings, collections, nature, and landscapes. In this role, she oversees the operational management of the visitor business and leads for conservation excellence and strategic planning. Prior to the Trust, Heather had a 15 year career in the historic built environment. With a background in Architecture and Archaeology, Heather joined conservation practice Purcell and founded a Heritage Consultancy team at the forefront of developing conservation management planning. Heather champions understanding the significance of places to enable climate adaptation and accessibility, thrives on collaboration, and believes in the power of place to connect people to heritage and each other.

Omniya Abdel Barr is an architect and art historian specialising in the Islamic art and architecture of Egypt. She studied architecture in Cairo at the Fine Arts of Helwan University (2000), and holds a PhD in Islamic history from Provence University, Aix-Marseille, France (2015) and an MSc in Conservation of historic towns and buildings from the KUL, Leuven, Belgium (2004). She joined the Victoria and Albert Museum in 2016 as a researcher, working on photographic and architectural collections on Egypt and the Arab world. She is also the Head of Development at the Egyptian Heritage Rescue Foundation, where she is running projects focussed on documentation, digitisation, cultural heritage rescue and restoration. Omniya is a member of ICOMOS, and a trustee at the Egypt Exploration Society (UK), the Middle East Medievalist (USA), a board member at the Egyptian Post Museum (Egypt), and an advisor to the Diriyah Biennale Foundation (KSA).

Stephen Battle is an architect with 30 years' professional experience managing conservation projects in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. He started on his professional path in Zanzibar, where he worked on projects in the historic Stone Town. From 1998 to 2008, he worked for the Aga Khan Trust for Culture based in Geneva, where he was project manager for conservation and urban rehabilitation projects in Syria, Tanzania, and Pakistan. He joined World Monuments Fund in 2009 as Program Director, responsible for managing WMF’s projects in Africa. He has led major multi-year conservation projects in Ethiopia, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone, Mali, Ghana, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Liberia, Benin, Equatorial Guinea, Maldives, and Uganda. From 2017 to 2020, he developed and implemented a project in Jordan and Lebanon to train Syrian refugees, Jordanians, and Lebanese in stonemasonry and conservation, funded by the British Council’s Cultural Protection Fund.

Javier Ors Ausín is an architect and Program Manager at World Monuments Fund (WMF), where he oversees the organization's three special programs on Modern Architecture, Jewish Heritage, and Crisis Response, and a diverse portfolio of conservation field projects in different countries across the world. He has presented his field work and research at various forums, including the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, the Royal Geographical Society, the Society of Architectural Historians, and various ICOMOS symposium, and has been a guest critic in many universities. Javier holds Bachelor of Building Engineering and a Master in Architecture from the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia in Spain, and a Master in Design Studies in Critical Conservation from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design.

Dr Louise Cooke is Senior Lecturer in Conservation at the University of York. Her expertise is in sustainability and historic buildings, she is internationally recognised for her expertise in the study and conservation of Earth Buildings.

Imogen Wood MSc FLI MCIfA IHBC is Senior National Consultant - Heritage & Climate for the National Trust. Imogen is the lead for conservation advice relating to heritage management in the face of climate impacts at the National Trust; Europe’s largest conservation charity. As climate hazards increasingly impact our ability to look after our historic and beautiful places, our work continues to research and explore conservation practice that can help retain what makes places special while adapting and increasing resilience. We are partnering with INTO and other National Trusts globally to learn from their experiences and share knowledge. Imogen has a background in archaeology, environmental science and master-planning. Previous work areas include heritage at risk at Historic England, the farmed environment at Natural England, environmental management and master-planning for large estates and heritage significance and impact assessments. Imogen is a Fellow of the Landscape Institute, Chair of the West Midlands Institute of Historic Building Conservation and a Full member of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists.

LFA event1
  • Venue: Houchhauser Auditorium, V&A South Kensington, London
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