Heritage summer school dedicated to historic estates, reuniting students and trainers from the various disciplines connected to heritage conservation.
Many of the historic estates in Romania are in disrepair, and private owners rarely have the capacity or funds to develop management plans or finance restorations. University students focusing on heritage also lack practical opportunities to learn and participate. Also, heritage training is often targeted to architecture students, but lacks communicating how multiple disciplines can converge into better management of all heritage values.

In this context and through the continuous collaboration with the owners of the Teleki estate, ARCHÉ and the Teleki Castle Association launched the Summer school at the castle in 2016. Its objectives were to help create a basis for the future restoration project and management plan of the estate and offer students the opportunity to work in a multidisciplinary environment and gain the theoretical and practical abilities to start, lead and implement responsible interventions on built heritage.

Thus, each year, around 20 students from various universities and fields gather at the castle to work for 10 days on different theoretical and practical tasks. In 2019, all the materials developed within the Summer School were offered to the architecture office in charge of creating the feasibility study for the restoration. Since 2019, the Summer School also started to be organized on another estate, and is planning on expanding to other two in the following years.

Resources needed

Financial resources: cca. 13.000 euros/edition for accommodation, food, learning material and human resource
Time to organize: 1.5 – 3 FTE, depending on financing sources and reporting requirements
Human resources: 1 scientific coordinator, 1 logistics coordinator, 1 financial coordinator, 1 press

Evidence of success

Proof of success comes from recurring students, and from new students joining following recommendations. Also, since 2019 the summer school has been extended to another estate and several other owners have requested that summer schools be organized on their estates also. Another sign of success comes from the fact that the studies made during the summer school have been integrated into the conservation plans for the castle.

Difficulties encountered

The main challenge is accessing the necessary funding to ensure annual continuity.

Potential for learning or transfer

Scalable and replicable to any country estate. Adaptable to other types of built heritage, especially complex sites.

Promoting a closer collaboration between heritage owners and students from various disciplines provides many win-win opportunities. On one hand, students can obtain very hands-on experience on specific cases. On the other hand, owners can access a wide range of expertise and advice at a relatively low cost. The students’ help can materialize in the feasibility planning stage (as shown by the ARCHÉ Summer School) but also in other stages such as in the actual restoration work (see example of Transylvania Trust at Banffy Castle).

One way in which a similar practice was implemented in the Province of Gelderland (Innocastle partner) was to create a mobile workplace that can be moved from one estate to the other in order to host research projects and trainings for university and vocational training students. More can be read here - http://bit.ly/2upX4WR

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Main institution
Bucureşti - Ilfov,
Start Date
June 2016
End Date


Irina Leca Please login to contact the author.