Rappoport, Heritage and the Quality of Life

Heritage is a funny thing. How does one judge whether or not a place or building possesses Outstanding Universal Value (OUV, the standard applied to heritage listing)? And then how does one assign a value to it? For not all heritage sites are of equal value.

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The team at Rappoport are the heritage design and advice experts. They know this business inside and out. And they have some amazing stories to tell.

When being asked to value a site some experts have been known to read everything they could find about the place. Then track down anyone who might have first-hand information about it. Some even have sought permission to roll up to the site with a Hurricane Lamp and sleeping bag and spend the night there.

‘That’s when the ghosts come out,’ this person told me. ‘It’s the Gruen Transfer in reverse,’ he went on. ‘Instead of being overwhelmed by everything around you, you become more focused, more in-tune with the surroundings.’

It’s not just the beauty of a place, or its history; though these things do matter a great deal. It’s the impression they make upon us.

And my friend is not wrong.

A recent study has shown we are affected by certain things without being consciously aware of them. In the study, it was shown that subconscious cues can and do affect the placebo effect. So even if you are not consciously aware of the architecture and history around you, it may still affect you; it may still ‘position’ you.

And this is important to the quality of life people have.

Central_Station_Railway_Square___1-482-272-200-80-cPut in these terms, the people of Rappoport have a very important job. They’re the ones you call if you need advice on buying, listing, or altering heritage buildings and spaces. They aren’t in it to protect everything older than themselves; only the objects with Outstanding Universal Value. And you can see why it’s necessary.

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