Track 3: Conservation of modern and post-modern heritage
APT Student Scholar Abstract and Application
Often dismissed as an architectural work on the main campus of Texas A&M University, the Olin E. Teague Research Center is among a group of architectural specimens uniquely threatened, yet poised for efficient digital documentation; mid-century modern architecture. The Teague Documentation Project began in 2017 as a condition assessment and digital survey (via terrestrial laser scanning) of the Olin E. Teague Research Center, an example of mid-century modern architecture on Texas A&M University’s main campus. Documentation in 2018 focused on the continuation of laser scanning to create a more complete 3D point cloud of Teague. The 2017 phase of documentation captured ground-based, exterior laser scans of the building. The 2018 phase of laser scanning addressed the roof of Teague as well as the main circulation areas of the interior. These interior areas included the corridors on levels 1-3, the east stairwell, the middle stairwells, and the upper portion of the west stairwell. 33 scans were registered together between the 2017 ground-based positions and the 2018 roof positions; and 68 interior scan positions were registered. Registration is typically done with the assistance of targets (checkerboards and/or spheres) and total data stations, however, this project relied on the software’s (FARO SCENE) ability to recognize surface planes and use those for registration. In the context of contemporary (or, in this case, mid-century modern) architecture, the number of well-preserved and visible planes make it possible to achieve results comparable to that of registration aided by digital survey markers and measurements. Automatic registration and manual registration with surface planes reduce setup time and allow for documentation with a minimal team of surveyors. While it is clear that laser scanning is a non-invasive or non-damaging documentation method with respect to the building, phasing exterior to public circulation ensures documentation is minimally invasive to the building occupants. This notion is imperative if active buildings are to be documented without annoyance to and to encourage collaboration with building proctors and occupants. Development of methodologies like this for heritage conservation are important, because they give preservationists precedent for what is possible in terms of procedure and scope. Furthermore, testing faster methods that reduce setup time, while maintaining accuracy with minimal post production, is important for large-scale documentation of heritage districts. Efficiently building these 3D-digital archives provides a baseline for the conservation of mid-century modern architecture. This data allows for the assessment of current conditions, as well as foundation for the development of design solutions for conservation efforts.