ARCON Heritage Consultants is run by Graham Jacobs. Graham has been involved in architectural heritage and cultural landscape projects since 1986 when he obtained his Master's degree in Conservation (Built Environment) from the Institute of Advanced Architectural Studies, York University, UK. He also holds a Bachelor's degree in Architecture from the University of Cape Town.
Over the years, Graham has been involved in significant international, national and provincial heritage projects. These have included the following:
- Rescue restoration work: Wupperthal town center, Cederberg, after the disastrous fire (working with the Rupert Foundation); Lanzerac Stellenbosch, after a fire that gutted its lounge, taphuis and dining room areas; Mamre’s fire damaged historic water mill; and severely dilapidated vernacular dwellings at Wittewater mission village. Many of these projects involved on-the-job training aimed at empowering locals in the preparation and use of traditional building materials.
- Miscellaneous works involving the conservation of highly significant historic building fabric including: A major conservation/reconstruction project at Donkerhoek (now Soetmelksvlei), Simondium, the historic Market Hall, Sofia, Bulgaria; the Soviet era VIP airport terminal, Almaty, Kazakhstan; and various other local projects including at Boschendal, Groot Drakenstein, Rhone, Groot Drakenstein, Old Bethlehem, Groot Drakenstein, the Lutheran Church, Strand Street, Cape Town; Market House, Greenmarket Square, Cape Town; and the historic Lourens River (stone) Bridge, Somerset West.
- Conservation management plans, heritage impact assessments & cultural landscape analyses: These include the award-winning Bosjes Chapel outside Worcester; the parliamentary precinct, Cape Town (as a team member) the Grand Parade, Cape Town (with Melanie Attwell); the kapstyl settlement at Puntjie near Vermaaklikheid; the Gexi, Vorotnavank and Zorat’s Qarer cultural landscapes, Armenia; and the Old Royal Mint Building, London, UK.
- Heritage Impact Assessments: Numerous heritage impact assessments from 2000 onwards and therefore a pioneer in this field in South Africa.
- Teaching: Former part time staff member at the University of Cape Town (MPhil program in Conservation [Built Environment] including convenor of its Heritage Impact Assessment module); visiting lecturer at the SA Institute of Heritage Science & Conservation; and lecturer on the ‘short course’ in conservation at the faculty of the Built Environment & Engineering, University of Cape Town. Has delivered various presentations on cultural heritage conservation including to international audiences in the UK, Africa and the USA.
Graham is a heritage advisor to the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) currently involving heritage projects in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. He serves as a member of the International Advisory Committee of the Commonwealth Heritage Forum and is an immediate past Council Member of Heritage Western Cape, serving for just under two consecutive terms as the Chairperson of its Built Environment and Landscape Committee.
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