45211 - Conservation of Materials in Historical Buildings (A)

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

The purpose of the module is to provide students with the know-how and skills for the drafting of a conservation project, starting from the analysis of construction characteristics and materials all the way through diagnostics, in order to analyse and interpret phenomena of material degradation and static instability.

At the end of the module the student will able to:

- analyse the materials and the state of conservation of historical buildings;

- interpret the causes of degradation and instability;

- design the conservation and restoration works.

Course contents

The Lab-based Course on Architectural Restoration (C.I. 12 CFU, 168 hours) consists, in addition to the characteristic module/teaching of Architectural Restoration (8 CFU, 120 hours), in a module/teaching of Conservation of materials in historic buildings (4 CFU, 48 hours).

The module/teaching of Conservation of materials in historical buildings aims at providing students with tools and methodologies useful for understanding ancient architectures in terms of material and construction. To this effect, the module uses the features, techniques, systems, procedures and executive expedients that have characterized the traditional building site as keys to define the complex material objectivity of the pre-existence. The module trains students for observation, identification, study and acquisition of the material, construction, but also aesthetic and formal aspects of the historical buildings, encouraging the analysis of the mutual interdependences established between the construction data, the functional organization and the language of the architecture. The knowledge of the above topics and their syntactic connections is the essential prerequisite for guiding and planning conservation, restoration and repair works.

Program:

_The concepts of “building material” and “construction product”

_Stones

  • categorization
  • selection and use criteria
  • physical, chemical and mechanical properties
  • tools, processing, laying, finishing

_Bricks

  • composition and categorization
  • physical, chemical and mechanical properties
  • tools, processing, laying, finishing
  • raw and baked brick in architecture

_Binders

  • origin and uses
  • categorization
  • lime, gypsum and concrete

_Mortars

  • composition
  • preparation criteria
  • uses in the traditional building site

_Wood

  • essences and categorization
  • physical, chemical and mechanical properties
  • tools, processing, laying, finishing

_Metals

  • the metallic state: characteristics and properties
  • copper and its alloys, lead, iron, cast iron, steel
  • production and processing techniques
  • uses in the traditional building site

_Glass

  • the vitreous state: characteristics and properties
  • production and processing techniques
  • uses in the traditional building site

_The traditional building systems: foundations, masonries, vaults, slabs, roofs, staircase, ceilings, floors and plasters.

Readings/Bibliography

The bibliography and contents of the module of Theories and History of Restoration are essential to successfully take part in Lab-based Course on Architectural Restoration.

Essential bibliography:

Adam J.P., L’arte di costruire presso i romani. Materiali tecniche, Longanesi, Milano 1988.

AA.VV., Intonaci, colore e coloriture nell’edilizia storica, Atti del convegno di studi (Roma, 25-27 ottobre 1984), Istituto Poligrafico e Zecca dello Stato, Roma 1986.

Biscontin G. (a cura di), L' intonaco. Storia, cultura e tecnologia, Atti del convegno di studi (Bressanone, 24-27 giugno 1985), Libreria Progetto, Padova 1985.

Carbonara G. (diretto da), Trattato di restauro architettonico, voll. I-II, Utet, Torino 1996.

Carbonara G. (diretto da), Atlante del restauro, Utet, Torino 2004.

Cavallini M., Chimenti C., Pietre e marmi artificiali. Manuale per la realizzazione e il restauro delle decorazioni plastico-architettoniche di esterni e interni, Alinea, Firenze 2010.

Della Torre S. (a cura di), Storia delle tecniche murarie e tutela del costruito. Esperienze e questioni di metodo, Guerini, Milano 1996.

Fiengo G., Guerriero L. (a cura di), Atlante delle tecniche costruttive tradizionali. Lo stato dell'arte, i protocolli della ricerca. L'indagine documentaria, Atti del I e II Seminario Nazionale, Arte Tipografica Editrice, Napoli 2003.

Giordano G., Tecnica delle costruzioni in legno, Hoepli, Milano 1993 (IV ed.).

Giovanetti F. (a cura di), Manuale del recupero del comune di Città di Castello, DEI Tipografia del Genio Civile, Roma 1992.

Giovanetti F. (a cura di), Manuale del recupero del comune di Roma, DEI Tipografia del Genio Civile, Roma 1997.

Giuliani C.F., L'edilizia nell'antichità, Carocci, Roma 2002.

Menicali U., I materiali dell’edilizia storica. Tecnologia e impiego dei materiali tradizionali, NIS, Roma 1992.

Rockwell P., L’arte di lavorare la pietra. Manuale per l'archeologo, lo storico dell'arte e il restauratore, NIS, Roma 1989.

Tampone G., Il restauro delle strutture di legno, Hoepli, Milano 1996.

Thoma E., La natura del legno. La vita e i segreti del più antico materiale da costruzione, Edicom, Monfalcone 2009.

Varagnoli C., La materia degli antichi edifici, in Carbonara G. (diretto da), Trattato di restauro architettonico, vol. I, Utet, Torino 1996.

* Further references will be provided during the course depending on the topics dealt with.

Teaching methods

The course is structured in lectures and exercises. Lectures support the exercises on the specific topics and cover technical and building site aspects.

The exercises, carried out with the support of professors and tutors, offer students the opportunity to 'see for themselves' the problems developed during the lessons.

Assessment methods

The Lab-based Course on Architectural Restoration (C.I. 12 CFU, 168 hours) consists, in addition to the characteristic module/teaching of Architectural Restoration (8 CFU, 120 hours), in a module/teaching of Conservation of materials in historic buildings (4 CFU, 48 hours).

The examination of the Lab-based Course on Architectural Restoration includes the testing of the contents of all the modules/teachings that make up the Integrated Course and takes place in a single examination test.

The final examination will be carried out at the end of the course, through the verification and discussion of the workshop exercise regarding the restoration of an historical building; the professors will check the achievement of educational objectives:

- be able to set up and conduct historical research applied to the building of the exercise;

- be able to draw up a geometric relief for the restoration (in-depth construction details, overhang, bulging...);

- to be able to draw up a structural framework of the factory, with detection of static and dynamic instability phenomena;

- to be able to identify the materials and note them down on the geometric reliefs previously produced and on appropriate analytical cards;

- to be able to identify the forms of degradation and note them down on the geometric reliefs previously produced and on appropriate analytical cards;

- to be able to connect forms of degradation to their possible causes, noting them on the geometric reliefs and on appropriate analytical cards and defining interventions to reduce or remove them;

- to be able to formulate a building compatible use program (functional organization);

- to demonstrate to have applied plant engineering skills;

- to be able to draft a plan according to the levels prescribed by the sector regulations (preliminary, final, executive);

- to be able to define the specifications and calculations-metric estimation applied.

The exercise follows a path from a fact-finding phase, gradually comes to the design one. The stages of this path can be summarized as follows: historical-critical investigation, relief, examination of materials and construction techniques, analysis of degradation, conservation and restoration proposal (see above).

The drawings, duly signed by the professors, will be presented as progress reports, according to a schedule announced at the start of the course; the evaluation will take place at the final examination, while the non-delivery of the documents on the dates indicated constitutes grounds for exclusion from the laboratory; also all documents must be completed by the date of appeal and will be integral part of the final examination. The tables, in format and number to be agreed with the professors, must be numbered progressively and report, among other indications – university, degree course, lab, professors, tutors, academic year, study theme, topic of the single document – the authors' names in full. A copy of the work, together with a digital one, will be retained for the course archive.

Teaching tools

In addition to the architect’s usual tools, privileged instruments will be students’ own senses (sight, touch, smell, hearing) for a progressive approach to materials and historical signs in architecture. From this point of view, building site visits are essential.

Office hours

See the website of Chiara Mariotti

See the website of Emilio Roberto Agostinelli