Wedge-shaped bricks spires and domes. Construction and decorative aspects

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The use of maiolica bricks as artefact for surface decoration is widespread both in monumental and ordinary architectures in the Mediterranean regions, harmonizing the local construction traditions with the Islamic influences. This study presents an in-depth analysis of examples of spires and domes in Sicily featuring earthenware maiolica cladding serving both as decoration and structural element. Due to the limited knowledge of these artefacts, incautious construction operations led to an alteration of their material and technical features, putting at risk a centuries-old heritage. The systematic investigation on more than a hundred samples categorises these architectural polychrome elements for typology, construction and decorative systems, formal and geometric aspects, in relation to the multiple forms and dimensions of the spires while detecting both originalities and similarities with other works found in Italy and rest of Europe. These new in-depth studies here presented were possible thanks to surveying methods and digital representation techniques, which allowed the implementation of operative solutions and the elaboration of hypothesis of guided restoration operations, while innovating and enforcing traditional investigation methods.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWORLD HERITAGE and KNOWLEDGE : Representation, Restoration, Redesign, Resilience
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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