Infoscience

Thesis

Le facteur séisme dans l'architecture vernaculaire: un décryptage entre déterminants culturels, types de structures et ressources cognitives parasismiques

A large part of ancient built environments in earthquake prone areas have been accomplished exclusively thanks to the experience that their builders developed over centuries of practice. Several of the resulting techniques have showed a satisfactory performance during earthquakes, attesting sometimes of risk cultures. Nowadays, the seismic phenomenon is not systematically considered as a factor that might have been taken into account by ancient builders. A lack of knowledge about vernacular building cultures and their correlation with these phenomena raises the probability that interventions on ancient built stock and prevention activities do not take advantage of site potentialities, even increasing its vulnerability. These issues have been investigated on the basis of the following research assumption: decoding the link between vernacular architecture and earthquakes considering cultural, structural and cognitive aspects, could contribute to reduce the vulnerability of people and ancient built environments, thanks to an in-depth understanding of mechanisms and dynamics supporting their resilience. Thus, this research aimed at highlighting questions and arguments fostering the appreciation of inventiveness inherent to past building cultures and enhancing their value in contemporary practice. Correlation factors between vernacular built environment and seismic phenomena have been explored through three research axes. The first one considers cultural determinants, namely the aspects that have a marked impact on the society reactions to earthquakes. The second one investigates types of vernacular structures that could be qualified as paraseismic. The third research axe concerns cognitive resources regarding effectiveness of a particular building practice implemented in many seismic regions, based on the integration of horizontal wood elements in masonry walls. The exploration of these axes has been accomplished through literature review and field studies considering vernacular built environment from multiple perspectives. It has been perceived as an environment permeated by resilience strategies referred to measures reducing building vulnerability and to precautionary behaviours adopted by populations (L'Aquila Province, Italy). At the same time, buildings have been examined as testimony of structural solutions adapted to the historical seismicity of the area (territory of North Anatolian Fault, Turkey), and as the expression of knowledge closely related to horizontal forces effects (Ohrid Lake region, Macedonia & Albania). Findings from this research highlight the potential of an approach questioning aspects referred to perception, technique and knowledge. Decoding the link between vernacular architecture and earthquakes as between cultural determinants, types of structures and cognitive resources, thus becomes a source of substantial and contextualized elements from which develop resilience strategies that are multi- and trans-disciplinary.

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