Track 2: Sustainability and Conservation of Built Heritage in the Americas
During the first decades of the twenty-century the restoration of historic buildings in Brazil used to be made concerning more the formal and aesthetic aspects than the constructive. Actually, only at the end of the century this approach began to really change. One of the remarkable restoration in which this new vision of restoration was used was the restoration of the Mother Church of Pirenópolis.
Pirenópolis is a small historical city, located in the central region of Brazil, in the state of Goiás. During he eighteenth century the gold rush took place in Brazil. At this time, a wide range of small cities and villages sprung up. One of these old, small villages was Pirenópolis.
In 2002, a terrible fire burned the Mother Church of Pirenópolis. Due to the importance of the church to the local community and Brazilian history, the Federal and local government decided to restore the church to its original state. This restoration consisted nearly of a total reconstruction, given that only the rammed earth walls withstood the fire and did not collapse.
This restoration was one of the biggest in the country and certainly the biggest in earthen architecture. Furthermore, using a new concept of technology preservation it was decided that traditional techniques and materials should be used. The church was made using rammed earth, a wood frame structure and adobe. The adobe was constructed maintaining the same size as the old adobes used in the construction. One controversial decision, to ram the adobe, was made so as to provide the construction with a greater resistance.
The project manager made a sound decision upon inviting the community to participate in and decide upon the specifications of the project. During the entire restoration, the church was open for the community to visit. Moreover, a representative from the community participated directly in the decision-making process. It was very important for a large number of solutions, including the church altar.
The presentation will begin with a quick vision of the Brazilian preservation approach history with focus on the technology. After the case study will be presented showing its main techniques solutions in the context of a new paradigm in the Brazilian restoration process.
I have learned some conceptual possibilities must be double checked before be used. I do not think the adobe solution was a good solution concerning the historic techniques preservation. Another important point is the community role in the preservation.
For the conference it will be an opportunity to have information regarding Brazilian preservation methodologies and discuss it comparing Latin American x American, Canadian context. Furthermore preservations techniques of earth construction will be presented and discussed.