TERREMOTO E RICOSTRUZIONE: MESSINA 1908, VERSO UNA PROGETTAZIONE “CONSAPEVOLE” : La teoria della maggiore resistenza delle strutture “circolari” e il contributo della pubblicistica al dibattito sulla costruzione antisismica

Research output: Book/ReportBook

Abstract

THE EARTHQUAKE AND RECONSTRUCTION: MESSINA 1908, TOWARDS "CONSCIOUS" DESIGN. THE THEORY OF THE INCREASED RESISTANCE OF CIRCULAR STRUCTURES AND THE CONTRIBUTION OF PUBLICATIONS IN THE DEBATE ON EARTHQUAKE-RESISTANT CONSTRUCTION The stories told in this book provide an overview of research into earthquake-resistant design from two perspectives as it developed as part of the debate in Messina after the earthquake of 1908. Whilst there is ample evidence of "conscious" forms of design, that is, of solutions that take into account the problem of earthquakes in centuries-old building practices in the period preceding the many reconstructions in Sicily in the early modern period, the debate that ensued after 1908 also had to confront with new paradigms. These included patents, calculations, scientific analysis, and new materials, just to name a few. The two events examined herein took two completely different paths: on the one hand, the vast field of "scientific" investigation (in turn, it too all but uniform in its approach) is contrasted with the solitary point of view of an expert who believed that he could offer solutions looking to history. The first contribution, by Domenica Sutera, studies the theory centred on the “earthquake-resistant shape" of the circular structures designed by Giuseppe Torres in 1909. This architect, from Italy’s Veneto region, determined the resistance of circular constructions to earthquakes based on the direct observation of the ruins of the two cities of Messina and Reggio Calabria. In fact, these had proven to be the most resistant. Torres went against the anti-historical, mainstream currents of his time and looked instead to the history of construction, and in particular of Sicilian building techniques, in conducting his research into the field of earthquake-resistant construction. He was convinced he was the first to have found the key to selecting "resistant" buildings in the past.The question of the ideal earthquake-resistant shape came significantly to the fore at the time of the reconstruction following the devastating earthquakes of 1693 in Val di Noto and 1726 in Palermo. Medieval and early modern constructions in Sicily based on the circle and still extant despite centuries of violent local earthquakes probably inspired the architects of eighteenth-century reconstructions through a shared intuition that recognised history and its fundamental educational and operational role. The second contribution, by Federica Scibilia, explores and underscores the role played by current affairs press in the debate on earthquake-resistant construction after the earthquake of 1908 in Messina. The repeated earthquakes that shook Italy between the end of the nineteenth century and the first decade of the twentieth century forced many experts in the field to deal with the question of how to build in earthquake prone zones. In particular, the catastrophe on 28 December 1908, which caused the almost total destruction of the cities of Messina and Reggio Calabria and other smaller towns, had an international resonance, placing the issue of earthquake-resistant construction at the centre of the technical and scientific debate.
Original languageItalian
PublisherEdizioni Caracol
Number of pages132
ISBN (Print)978-88-32240-04-7
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Publication series

NameTRACCIATI. STORIA E COSTRUZIONE NEL MEDITERRANEO

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