The Bell-Tower Façade: an Aseismic Device in Sicily between the 12th and 18th Centuries

Research output: Contribution to conferenceOther


Imposing tower façades with belfries in the last order were built in Sicily from the Middle Ages to the Late Baroque. Until the sixteenth century this model, inspired to Northern Europe, also had a parallelepiped forepart leaning against the façade, also working as a containment for the pressure imparted by the inner longitudinal arches on the front (amplified in case of earthquakes). The lacking static efficiency of these early structures is demonstrated by the collapses during the strong earthquakes that affected the island in the modern age. Despite numerous destructions, the memory of some prototypes survived in Sicilian constructive memory through the elaboration, during the late Baroque, of tower façades with an updated morphology. The hybridization with Guarini’s pyramid scheme, and its related articulations, could in fact offer the tower system advantages in terms of structural strength, thanks to a better balanced redistribution of masses and weights.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Conservation
  • Architecture
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts

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