For the construction an “expert” memory: the earthquake of 1818
The seismic events have influenced the habits of the population and the modalities of reconstruction of the historical centers. In eastern Sicily, from the disaster of 1693, designersand workers have been repeatedly engaged in the reconstruction and / or in the safety of thearchitectural heritage. From the documents we understand the intention to recover the efficiencyof the constructive elements through the good rules of the art, proposing interventions ofteninvasive for the original appearance of the buildings. Recent seismic events in central Italy demonstrate the relevance of the problem: it is necessary to read past earthquakes as tool for predicting the future behavior of historical buildings. The paper highlights the progressive awareness acquired by local designers, looking for an expert memory of the earthquake. This is possible through a transversal reading of the architectural transformations and of the anti-seismic protections adopted in Eastern Sicily in pre-industrial times. The paper outlines a rapid overview of the interventions and reconstruction policies following the 18th century earthquakes. The research summarizes part of a detailedanalysis of the archive documentation related to the repair and reconstruction interventionsfollowing the 1818’s earthquake in the territory of Catania (Italy). The final objective is thus to recover and analyse the design choices and the technical culture of the designers of the time.
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