Laura Balboni1, and Paolo Faccio2
1) Politecnico di Milano, Department of Urban Studies, Milano
2) Università IUAV, Department of Architecture, Construction, Conservation, Venezia
Keywords: building archaeology, stratified buildings, structural analysis
Abstract. This study focuses on the Church of Santo Stefano (PD), once the centre of a large monastery complex that was closed for worship at the beginning of the 19th century. It is now in a precarious state of preservation that is clearly visible from the significant number of cracked boards. After years of neglect, the municipality of Monselice, which owns the property, has undertaken the restoration of the building as part of a new “music district”.
By analysing the conclusions of recent studies, the research focuses on how knowledge of the building’s construction phases impacts the understanding of the structural vulnerability and the kinematics involved to propose well-informed architectural designs for its structural reinforcement. The study surveyed the damaged materials and the construction techniques and used archaeological tools to identify the main phases of this highly stratified construction – from an original church with a single nave to the most recent transformations, which include the demolition of part of the ancient monastery. The data collected showed multiple relationships with the instability observed; the recent enlargement of the western entryway, for example, triggered deformation and damage to the new wooden lintel and caused the masonry above to sag. Lastly, the identification of the construction phases helped to highlight macroelements and establish simplified models to develop hypotheses about the church’s structural behaviour. This identification allowed for a diachronic analysis of the damage mechanisms and their evolution according to the progression of the building’s phases and will guide further investigation (e.g. into the structural connections) to indicate awareness-raising interventions.