Vous êtes ici : Version française > Parcours du doctorant > Formation

Colloque / Séminaire

Séminaire LMC2 - A reasonable re-evaluation of the empirical approach to the stability of historical structures

Le 8 juillet 2019

Amphi 2, IUT Lyon 1, Département Génie Civil, Campus LyonTech - La Doua

Présenté par : Carlo Blasi, Professor & Architect, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy

Résumé au format pdf + bio de l'orateur + plan d'accès

Until the beginning of the nineteenth century the architecture manuals were based on the "Principle of proportionality" and on the mechanisms of instability, defined on the basis of millennial experiences (empiricism), despite the fact that Galileo Galilei had criticized the principle of proportionality and introduced the more "scientific" tensional theory. From the beginning of the nineteenth century, the introduction of the first iron beams in buildings, due to lack of experience on these construction elements, required the invention of a new Science that would allow to predict the behaviour of materials, the stress states and the deformations: the "Mechanics of materials" or the "Science of Construction". This area of research had a first moment of crisis in Italy in the 1970s following the various seismic events that in a few years produced over 3,000 victims and destroyed part of the historic architectural heritage. Two different fields of research were immediately created between those who turned to the numerical approach and
those who turned to the empirical-kinematic approach of the past, as a starting point for the verification of macro-element stability of the masonry architectural heritage. In other words, in the current state of knowledge, working on craft objects that do not have global behaviours, the reduction of the problems of global stability to the sum of local problems defined on the basis of experience leads to results closer to reality and more useful for a detailed and sharp consolidation.

In brief, the empirical knowledge (Art de Bâtir) constitutes a fundamental part of knowledge within the broader and wonderful discipline that we could call “Wisdom of Constructing”, in which the Science of  Construction has an important, but not unique role. In the present century past empiric knowledge and modern science have to come together, as in other human disciplines, with a fusion between Enlightenment and Humanism.

As examples of applications of the study of the kinematics for the restoration of buildings are the studies carried out for the church of Saint Geneviève (Pantheon) in Paris and some notes on the ongoing studies on the stability of Notre Dame.