Track 1: DOCUMENTATION AND DIAGNOSTICS – UNDERSTANDING HISTORIC PLACES / Volet 1 : Documentation et diagnostic – Comprendre les lieux historiques

Documenting, Unearthing and Unraveling the Cultural Landscape and Built Heritage of T2

Friday, October 13
8:30 AM - 10:00 AM

As the concept of cultural landscape has evolved since its formal recognition in the early twentieth-century, it has been adopted and applied as a practical tool to a variety of disciplines, such as cultural geography, architecture, archaeology, environmental design and planning, all of which understand that the appropriate and deferential management of sensitive and significant cultural landscapes can successfully integrate multiple, and at times, competing historical perspectives, promote sustainable land-use practices, enhance natural landscape values and maintain biological diversity.

This paper will present the Thibodeau 2 Site (T2), a multi-component site located within the community of Poplar Grove, Nova Scotia, as a cultural landscape, built heritage and documentation case study, representing a continuing landscape. As such, it is defined as “one that retains an active social role in contemporary society closely associated with the traditional way of life, and in which the evolutionary process is still in progress. At the same time it exhibits significant material evidence of its evolution over time”.

The Thibodeau 2 Site is situated within a large operating dairy farm, the current owner of which is a direct descendent of the original Planter family that was granted the land in 1760. The landowner reported that several large stones visible within a portion of pasture represented the remains of “The Old French House”, a structure, which according to anecdotal evidence, was standing on the property when the Planters arrived in the mid-eighteenth century. Fortunately, several photographs of this structure remain extant and suggest the site contains not only evidence of a Pre-Deportation Acadian settlement, but also the remains of an early Planter occupation that utilized and enhanced the existing Acadian infrastructure.

The process of understanding a landscape ranges from rapid overview using existing maps, photographs, oral history reports, historic data, archeological and architectural interpretation through to the detailed survey and analysis of material using all of the technologies and available know-how. For this project both image and non-image based documentation and testing technology was applied.

The “Metric Survey” and the exploration utilized technologies that included hand survey, REDM total station, close-range photogrammetry, Lidar, EM38 Ground Conductivity, Building Information Modeling, and reflectance transformation imaging.

Virtual 3D hyperlinked models were constructed of buildings both formally and presently associated with the site including their time specific landscapes, thus providing a heads-up venue through applications such as BIMx Hyper-model that can be uploaded to Apple and Android smart devices for natural, game-like exploration of archeological and architectural research in real-time.

Technologies from the intersecting professions of archeology and architecture were united thereby adding to Cultural Landscape terms “research related” and “planning related” a new cyber vantage point called “now”.

Learning Objectives:

Gregory J. MacNeil, Architect

Vice President
Jerry MacNeil Architctecs Limited

Gregory MacNeil is an architect and President of the Nova Scotia Association of Architects. He oversees image-based building documentation and visualization services at Jerry MacNeil Architects Limited, a 39-year old firm permitted to engage in the practice of architecture in Nova Scotia.

His holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations, Bachelor of Environmental Design Studies and Master of Architecture degrees and has completed postgraduate studies at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.

He has been published, carried out conservation work in Canada, Germany, and the United States, and has presented papers in Canada, Norway, and the Czech Republic


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Documenting, Unearthing and Unraveling the Cultural Landscape and Built Heritage of T2

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