Safety and Preservation: The Restoration of the Abbey of San Clemente at Casauria, Italy, after the 2009 Earthquake - a lecture by Gianmarco de Felice.
Safety and Preservation, these are the two recurring terms in the debate following the seismic events that struck Italy in the last decade. It is the contrast between the champions of doing, driven by the need to ensure an adequate level of safety for our heritage, and the champions of not doing, moved by the need of preserving historic buildings against the widespread use of unappropriated interventions. The Abbey of San Clemente a Casauria, well known for the Chronicon Casauriense and for the beauty of its sculptural assets, was one of the first monument restored in the early 20th century with the use of reinforced concrete. More recently, the Abbey suffered severe damages during the 2009 L’Aquila earthquake. This talk will present the work of retrofitting and reconstruction of the tympanum, funded by the World Monuments Fund and awarded by the Domus International Prize for Restoration and Conservation, discussing the related issues on Safety and Preservation.
Gianmarco de Felice is currently the Weinberg Fellow in Architectural History and Preservation at the Italian Academy of Columbia University. He is professor and head of the PhD School in Civil Engineering at Roma Tre University. He was chairmen of the RILEM Technical Committee TC-250 CSM Composites for Sustainable Strengthening of Masonry and of the ACI 549-0L Liaison Committee on Thin Reinforced Cementitious Products and Ferrocement. His current research activity encompasses the structural analysis of cultural heritage, the seismic assessment of historic structures, the retrofitting of monuments and the development of innovative strengthening systems through the use of composite materials. He designed several engineering projects on cultural heritage, such as the restoration of the Farnese Palace in Ischia di Castro, attributed to Antonio da Sangallo and awarded with the Mastrodicasa 2017 Prize.