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Kalidas Jethabhai House: Comprehending Conservation

As a part of the Spring 2023 Architectural Conservation studio of Masters in Conservation and Regeneration at CEPT, I along with five other fellow classmates, had the opportunity to study the Kalidas Jethabhai House at Dharmaj. Over a span of four months, the group conducted on-site documentation (manual documentation for accessible areas and digital documentation through photogrammetry and LIDAR scanning), condition mapping and assessment, and stakeholder consultation. Since the Kalidas Jethabhai House is an active CEPT Conservation Site School under the Centre for Heritage Conservation (CHC), CRDF, the initial data was provided by the institution, which helped us understand the structure better, especially prior to its partial dismantling. Through the stakeholder consultation, we were able to interpret the activity and changes in the structure over the period of time.

Following the process, we, as a class, came up with six possible conservation proposals that would be optimal for the building while taking into account all of its characteristics. As aspiring conservation professionals, it was quite intriguing to understand a distinct typology of residence in terms of its construction, and materials, especially while coming from various regions of the country. While working on site we were able to hone additional skill sets like working as a team, communicating with stakeholders, and comprehending potential site challenges.

Engaging with Kalidas Jethabhai House helped me to better understand how to connect the process to arrive at a “bigger picture” and the importance of conjecture and representation to derive the same. The group's work may add to already collected data and be useful for future measures on-site.


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