Working with historic buildings at all levels of intervention whether that is simple repair, major refurbishment or alteration requires an understanding and sensitivity to the history of the building and the historical context it fits in.
It is useful to have a broad understanding of the shift in architectural styles, construction technologies and social change. When proposing works to a historic building a more detailed understanding of its own particular past is crucial. Knowledge of the architect, occupants and builders gives explanation to why it looks and was built a particular way. When there is little written record a more forensic or archaeological approach is required, finding clues in the building itself.
Le Lay Architects, whilst being experienced historical and conservation architects, also works with historians and archaeologists. The practice maintains an extensive reference library to draw upon. This knowledge of architectural styles and ability to research individual buildings is also important in informing designs for new buildings so that they are responsive to their historical context.