The Conservation Management Guidelines for Traditional Courtyard Houses and Environment in the Ancient City of Pingyao has been recently published in both Chinese and English.
The Ancient City of Pingyao, is an exceptionally well-preserved ancient city in China. The city was founded in 5th Century AD and the extant city dates from the 14th century. Covering an area of 225 hectares, the Ancient City of Pingyao is a complete building system including ancient walls, streets and lanes, shops, dwellings and temples. Its layout reflects perfectly the developments in architectural style and urban planning of the Chinese Han cities for more than five centuries, providing a complete picture of the cultural, social, economic and religious development in Chinese history.
The guidelines were initiated by the Pingyao County Government and UNESCO, and supported by the China Cultural Heritage Foundation and Global Heritage Fund, and complied by the Tongi University. Through this joint effort – two conservation guidelines were created. The guideline; Conservation Management Guidelines for Traditional Courtyard Houses and Environment in the Ancient City of Pingyao, which is primarily written for government authorities, professional conservation teams, design and construction companies, outlines the existing legal framework and local regulations, historic building conservation standards, principles and process of conservation work, and the practical details of traditional building conservation.
The other guidelines, Practical Conservation Guidelines for Traditional Courtyard Houses and Environment in the Ancient City of Pingyao, is primarily written for residents and provides them with a better understanding of the “Do’s” and “Don’ts” of living in traditional courtyard residential houses.
These two new conservation guidelines target traditional courtyard houses within the Ancient City of Pingyao that are not listed or currently protected.
Their aim is to provide relevant stakeholders with a clearer and better defined approaches for conservation, restoration and maintenance of traditional courtyard houses, thereby maintaining the integrity and authenticity of the Ancient City of Pingyao World Heritage site, as well as improving the living condition of its residents.
They also aim to:
- Raise the awareness amongst Pingyao authorities and local residents about the importance of the historic city, and particularly the traditional courtyard houses, which are key to the significance of Pingyao.
- Introduce procedures for applying for, carrying out and evaluating restoration and conservation work – for both the applicant (resident) and authorities.
- Evaluate the qualifications of design and construction teams.
- Provide technical support and guidance for the adaptive reuse of traditional courtyard houses through the use of traditional restoration techniques and modern skills where appropriate.
- Promote appropriate adaptive reuse of traditional courtyard houses
The conservation guidelines will seek to ensure that Pingyao does not become a theatre prop, but rather retain its distinctive characters.
It is hoped that these guidelines will not only serve Pingyao, but can also be of benefit to similar projects in historic towns and cities in China and beyond.