Built heritage conservation trainings have been organized by the Foundation since 1999. The International Built Heritage Conservation Training Centre has been based at Bánffy Castle, Bonțida since 2001.
The purpose of the centre is to promote excellence in the conservation of the historic environment and specifically to teach traditional building craft skills which can be utilised in the repair and maintenance of historic buildings.
It is run by The Transylvania Trust (one of the leading NGO’s in Romania dealing with protection of the historic environment).
The Centre promotes a policy of Minimal Intervention, compatibility of techniques and materials, and the use of local resources in historic building repair.
It provides teaching modules, each of two weeks duration, which offer theoretical and practical understanding of the care of the historic environment, through lectures delivered by lecturers from British and Romanian universities and other specialists, provided through simultaneous translation in Romanian, English and Hungarian, and through practical workshops in Rendering, Masonry Consolidation, Traditional Joinery and Stonemasonry led jointly by Romanian and British craftsmen where students learn through practical restoration projects directly on the castle buildings.
The courses are available to craftsmen who are already within the building industry, undergraduate students (mainly students in architecture and structural engineering) to undertake their vocational training through the BHCT programme, as well as to postgraduate students and other interested participants from the region and abroad. The approx. 1500 students attending the courses have come from Romania, Albania, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Brazil, Croatia, Czech Republic, Egypt, Estonia, France, Hungary, Ireland, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Montenegro, Poland, Republic of Moldova, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Norway, UK and USA.
In 2004-2005 the Built Heritage Conservation Training Centre was officially opened in the Miklós building of the Castle, providing spaces for trainings, cultural events and scientific activities.
The Centre’s educational approach incorporates partnerships with local schools and colleges through environmental awareness programmes and direct participation in some practical aspects of the courses.
In addition to its practical courses it offers specialists workshops through its field study facilities to other participants such as Landscape Architects, Building Historians and Archaeologists.
Project Directors: Csilla Hegedüs/Berki Tímea