In 2005 the Spilamberto Town Council acquired the Rocca Rangoni. The castle lying on the borders between the territory of medieval Modena and Bologna, had been home to the Rangoni family of Modena, feudal lords of this area from the fourteenth century onwards. After a long period of segregation from public access, the Rocca and the grounds behind it were to become an integral part of the old town centre. However, long abandoned and stripped of its furnishings and fixtures, it was something about which little was known: a few pages had been written about its history; there were no information being available about its characteristics and size. The Town Council’s first request, therefore, was for measurement of the structure and a detailed plan of its internal layout. Summarised here, the surveys and analysis carried out by a group of researchers from the Politecnico di Milano were predicated on one main conviction: that the methods and instruments used to study a building and its stratified fabric should respect its own integrity and consequently the building should be taken as a ‘text’ whose distinctive features were to be interpreted and maintained; that the aim was to destine this historically important part of the urban fabric for public use. A careful topographical and geometric survey was the basis for further observations and questions. First, the rooms on the floor plan – from the ground floor to attic – were numbered. Then, for each room was compiled a historical description and an account of present state, with this information being ordered as a Raumbuch (“Room Book”). This latter made it possible to organise information and establish relations between materials and features of construction. One thus had a clear picture of the heterogeneities within the structure and could survey and describe both the causes and results of the various forms of deterioration, relating them to the lifetime of each component. Given that the family archives were not available for consultation, the stratigraphic analysis of the walls (most of them shorn of plastering) proved essential: this made it possible to map out a temporal sequence of building phases. Following this, samples of the facing materials and building stone were taken and subjected to laboratory tests. Particular attention was paid to the inspection of the wooden beam floors, which will play such a role in defining the new public use of the ancient buildings. First there was a systematic overall identification of the types and degrees of decay in these structures, then more detailed focus on those areas and components which resistograph tests and calculations showed to be most fragile. With regard to the re-use of the building, its energy efficiency was assessed. Over different seasons, thermographic studies and microclimate monitoring made it possible to establish the variations in temperature and humidity both within the walls and the rooms on the different floors. The extent and range of data thus generated made it possible to identify and suggest a mode of intervention that would: protect the wealth of knowledge which this – like all ancient buildings – preserves; and enable the Rocca Rangoni to play an integral part in the life of the community to which it belongs.

Methodology of survey and assessment for the conservation and re-use of the Rocca Rangoni, Spilamberto (Italy)

DI BIASE, CAROLINA;ALBANI, FRANCESCA LUCIA MARIA;BALBONI, LAURA;CORRADINI, PAOLO
2010

Abstract

In 2005 the Spilamberto Town Council acquired the Rocca Rangoni. The castle lying on the borders between the territory of medieval Modena and Bologna, had been home to the Rangoni family of Modena, feudal lords of this area from the fourteenth century onwards. After a long period of segregation from public access, the Rocca and the grounds behind it were to become an integral part of the old town centre. However, long abandoned and stripped of its furnishings and fixtures, it was something about which little was known: a few pages had been written about its history; there were no information being available about its characteristics and size. The Town Council’s first request, therefore, was for measurement of the structure and a detailed plan of its internal layout. Summarised here, the surveys and analysis carried out by a group of researchers from the Politecnico di Milano were predicated on one main conviction: that the methods and instruments used to study a building and its stratified fabric should respect its own integrity and consequently the building should be taken as a ‘text’ whose distinctive features were to be interpreted and maintained; that the aim was to destine this historically important part of the urban fabric for public use. A careful topographical and geometric survey was the basis for further observations and questions. First, the rooms on the floor plan – from the ground floor to attic – were numbered. Then, for each room was compiled a historical description and an account of present state, with this information being ordered as a Raumbuch (“Room Book”). This latter made it possible to organise information and establish relations between materials and features of construction. One thus had a clear picture of the heterogeneities within the structure and could survey and describe both the causes and results of the various forms of deterioration, relating them to the lifetime of each component. Given that the family archives were not available for consultation, the stratigraphic analysis of the walls (most of them shorn of plastering) proved essential: this made it possible to map out a temporal sequence of building phases. Following this, samples of the facing materials and building stone were taken and subjected to laboratory tests. Particular attention was paid to the inspection of the wooden beam floors, which will play such a role in defining the new public use of the ancient buildings. First there was a systematic overall identification of the types and degrees of decay in these structures, then more detailed focus on those areas and components which resistograph tests and calculations showed to be most fragile. With regard to the re-use of the building, its energy efficiency was assessed. Over different seasons, thermographic studies and microclimate monitoring made it possible to establish the variations in temperature and humidity both within the walls and the rooms on the different floors. The extent and range of data thus generated made it possible to identify and suggest a mode of intervention that would: protect the wealth of knowledge which this – like all ancient buildings – preserves; and enable the Rocca Rangoni to play an integral part in the life of the community to which it belongs.
Science and Technology for the Safeguard of Cultural Heritage in the Mediterranenan Basin
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11311/572344
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