Communicating Architectural Heritage: CAH

Communicating Architectural Heritage: CAH

Alfonso Ippolito (Sapienza University of Rome, Italy)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0680-5.ch001


This research addresses the strongly felt need associated with Cultural Heritage objects, particularly with architectures of Tomaso Buzzi, which in the process of concrete research opened up and imposed an interesting methodological and practical enquiry. In fact, the research confronts the problem of how to communicate – through virtual means, which happen to be the only workable ones – of unbuilt projects or complex architectures. The objective of this is to effectuate a Virtual Comeback of the architectural object through digital means. This study aims at a hyper-medial acquisition, composed of digital objects recreated by means of more advanced techniques of ICT communication.
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La Scarzuola: Tomaso Buzzi's “Dream Of Stone”

While visiting Umbria in 1956 Tomaso Buzzi discovered a small, abandoned Franciscan monastery called La Scarzuola near a small town called Montegiove in the Terni province. Awestruck by the location and encouraged by the fact that it was near Rome, he bought it1. The ancient medieval monastery included a small church-with a porticoed entrance. There was a large courtyard in the front surrounded by stone walls and terracotta aedicules marking the Stations of the Cross. Next to it, there was a small, two floor cloister with several rooms. The architect wanted to turn it into his studio and home and so the monastery underwent a lengthy yet creative restoration process based on strict conservation criteria. The variations and additions made during the project were all intended to achieve a harmonious sense of volume and proportions. Several rooms were annexed to the former monastery as well as a large garden, designed by Buzzi: some areas were turned into an Italian garden with avenues, topiary, water games, nymphaea and rose gardens.

However, it was in the valley next to the monastery that Buzzi created his greatest work. As far back as 1957, he began to design and create this “unusual folly”2 that he continued to work on right up until his death: a building complex (never completely finished), the Buzzi city, fruit of his imagination and a representation of his past experiences. When the visitor enters the city he has a scenic view of the entire complex (Alpago Novello, 1985). From a distance, Buzzi's city looks like an incredible combination of di rent architectures that spring up spontaneously without a specific plan, a sequential complex of mutual penetration and aggregation. In fact, its genesis lies in his lightning-swift, hurried sketches and oral indications.

Figure 1.

Scarzuola. General views of the complex. The Theatrum Mundi, the Acropolis and the Umbrian countryside; the Acropolis and the Theatre of the Bees.

Key Terms in this Chapter

3D Model: Communication tool for the understanding and support of the object based on the three-dimensional representation of a real object in a virtual space. Depending on the objective for which they are created,two types of model can be made: figurative 3D models and 3D models for scientific purposes. The figurative 3D models are aimed at convincing documentation of reality with a purely informative purpose; they are characterized by the identification of the geometry that describes the object represented by the clear and readability of its component parts. The 3D models for scientific purposes have a higher dimensional and formal correspondence with the real object and are characterized by high accuracy and reliability of the dimensions represented. In the first case, any survey's methodology is able to obtain data necessary for a correct realization of the final model, while in the second one needs to have qualitative accurate and highly precise survey data.

3d Survey: Process that involves the passage from the real object to its representation, which leads to the definition of graphic models through a cultural process aimed at a critical reading of the object and its description 3D and 2D models, able to describe the object to the appropriate scale of representation.

3d Surveying: Knowledge system which includes the steps of acquition data with the aim to obtain the maximum objectivity. The techniques for the 3D survey are linked to non-contact survey, which have the aim to return the rappresentation of a real object in a virtual three-dimensional space. Nowaday the methods of highly specialized 3D survey, as 3D laser scanner short range and long rang, comparing with those speditive one, as the photomodelling, image-based methodology characterized by greater speed in the phases of acquisition and elaboration of data.

Numerical Model: Synthetization of survey datum in which is registered every single information aqquired be it metric or chromatic. The term refers to a model whose shape is described by points characterized by their spatial coordinates x,y,z, also known as point cloud is characterized by greater speed in the phases of acquisition and elaboration of data.

Representation: The process by which percetions, imaginations, judgments and concepts are presented to awareness and the object that is represented in this way. Retrived from Dizionario di filosofia 2009 ( ).

2D Model: Drawings which are conventionally represented elements of architectural and archaeological heritage or architectural and urban project at different scales of representation, consisting of plans, elevations and sections. In order to communicate all the knowledge acquired about the surveyed object, two types of model can be made: geometric models and textured models. The first typology of model is characterized by the geometrization of the elements represented and show the morphology and the spatiality of the object; the second one make explicit the actual configuration of the elements and show characterization graphic indicating the quality of the surfaces and their state of preservation.

Textured Model: Model obtained with techniques based on the digital development of images, use texture mapping to define in detail the formal aspect and the state of conservation of the organism, making a continuous exchange between the represented object and the observer, a two-way relationship between iconic representation and virtualization of the surveyed object. Textured models are suitable for general users, since they close resemble reality, and for expert users, because the photo is linked to metric information.

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