Architectural Heritage Safeguarding
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Constitution of a Chettinad Heritage House Expert Team

The Chettinad Heritage House is a multidisciplinary team of architects, planners, lawyers and mediators and historian whose role is be to build awareness amongst the population, concerning the protection of the site. This will provide a platform for exchanging information and undertaking joint initiatives. The team of experts will be able to give technical and legal advice and to suggest solutions for adapting the houses to standards of modern comfort and to new functions in order to facilitate their continued maintenance.

The goal of the Heritage House Expert Team (HHET) is also to undertake an inventory of the built up area and the water and drainage systems, as well as a qualitative study of the natural areas and the houses, temples and villages. This will be with the aim of devising a comprehensive strategy for the conservation of the site through incentives and regulations. This will include the following: a conservation plan, a regional development plan, plans for tourism, suggestions for legislation, heritage rules and regulations. This will be subject to the approval of the District Collectors, the various Panchayats (village councils) and the inhabitants. The team will prepare the dossiers for classifying the site at different levels: national, federal and international.

The Heritage House Expert Team will also receive researchers and residential artists and will publicize their work and will contribute to the plan through exhibitions and publications. It will propose and explore the feasibility of future development projects in science, education and tourism. To do this, a research centre, offices, a library and lodging facilities may be created.

Creation of a Heritage Centre

The selected heritage building will house the Heritage Centre open to visitors from India and overseas and will offer services and utilities such as cafeteria-restaurant, handicraft shop, book shop as well as practical and cultural information. It will also offer site plan, conferences, shows, demonstrations of skills, workshops for adults and children and temporary exhibitions (for two or three years following themes such as handicrafts, history, customs and way of life, natural and built heritage). It will undertake medium term projects, namely an eco-museum, centre for training and production of handicrafts and applied art and will also function as a centre for international exchanges.

Creation of an Interpretation Centre, in the Old Chettinad Train Station Building

The regeneration of the old train station, the gateway to Chettinad to serve as an interpretation and information centre for visitors, will also be a key tool for sensitizing, and disseminating practical information. Panels produced by the university partnerships and the Heritage House will be displayed in the old restored building.