Wooden domes, vaulted and flat ceilings, partition walls in the Sicilian constructive tradition knowledge for the safeguard of architecture abd technic

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The domes, vaulted and flat ceilings and also the partition walls built with wood and reeds had a particular diffusion from the XVII century, in Palermo as well as in other countries of Sicily, in many regions of Italy and in the whole Europe. The consolidated constructive tradition made them one of the most appreciated and usual systems for structural frame and for the definition of interior rooms, employed both for the monumental housebuilding and for that of minor importance, also owing to the adoption of economic materials. These wooden structures in the monumental architecture contain the rich pictorial and stucco decoration and define - together with other aspects of quality - the aulic image of the historic building, its role and its importance, while – in case of wooden ceilings and partition walls - they help to qualify the “basic” buildings, compared to that constructive forms sometimes appearing simple and unrefined. Because of the changing of aesthetic liking and after some tragic earthquake many stone domes of churches and oratories had replaced using wooden structures, able to offer a greater safety in case of further earthquakes. In fact, the historical use of timber framing embodies a special link among various seismic Mediterranean countries, such as Greece, Italy, Portugal and Turkey.Often the ceilings were connected to wooden partition walls, that contributed to the perimetric characterization of room and its planimetric regularization; the systems employed for the realization of carrying structure and finish and completion parts associated these structures, even though with technological specificity tied up now to the volumetric and constructive characters of the "false-vault", now instead to the function of framework forming the wooden partition wall. The employment of these structures had its apex in the XVIII century, but it was prolonged for the whole XIX century up to the first decades of the XX century; the last two centuries, inaugurated original reparation methods of the existing structures. We analyze the materials employed, the constructive techniques, the systems adopted in the historical erecting yard for their strengthening, after seismic events or interventions of maintenance and restauration.We believe that the knowledge of the material and construction techniques can contribute to the preservation of this constructive and artistic heritage, which qualifies many architectures of the Countries bordering the Mediterranean Basin, for the preservation of the most important and precious document of the history of European technology. This technical patrimony represents a real prototype for the anti-seismic modern framed system and it is undoubted a component of historic architectural heritage, bearer of immense values such as creativity and inventiveness.We think also that a good knowledge could encourage engineers and architects active in restoration interventions to maintain these structure in the historical building, and could stimulate researchers and educators occupied in the study of Technology History, Constructive features and Earthquake to consider this area of interest as rich of specificities and importance.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Numero di pagine8
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2014


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