Mar 2012, Volume 1 Issue 1

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    Jianguo Wang
    Giovanni Carbonara

    The essay provides an up-to-date review of the realities of Italian restoration. Restoration work feeds off the doubt that stems directly from historical and balance, and a conceptual rigour and practical approach at the same time. Restoration is carried out always and only on the original, with all the attendant risks of error and damage, and thus with all the prudence that demands. One of the most recent definitions of restoration is put forward: “By restoration, therefore, is meant any intervention that has the aim of conserving and transmitting to the future works of historical, artistic and environmental interest, facilitating the reading of them while not erasing the traces of the passage of time this is based on a respect for ancient material land the authentic documentation that such works constitute and, moreover, is to be seen as a critical act of interpretation that is not verbal but expressed concretely in the work carried out. Or, more precisely, it is a critical hypothesis and a proposition that is always modifiable, without it ever altering irreversibly the original”.

    The true nature of restoration is a complete fusion of historical and technical-scientific expertise. It is therefore artificial to distinguish between a ‘project of consolidation’ and a truly described restoration project. This is a distinction based on the assumption (to be demon- strated) that in an ancient building static problems and those related to the materials can be isolated and treated separately from an overall understanding of the architectural ensemble. So the paper stresses research methodology, the project and specific skills. As part of the principle of unity of methods in restoration, interdisciplinarity is viewed as the principal tool for bringing together consistently and fully the different skills necessary for the study and conservation of monuments.

    In summary, there are three fundamental components: (1) the history of architecture and theory of restoration; (2) the techniques of survey, analysis, diagnosis and intervention on the materials and the structure; and (3) legislative and regulatory aspects.

    The author emphasises the link between restoration and access to the monumental heritage. The definition of restoration as ‘an act of culture’ (fundamentally critical-historical and technical-scientific) leads to the reflection that culture is, by definition, exchange, commu-nication and opening up to people without distinction. So restoration, because of its cultural nature, has need of recommendations, trends and orientations rather than regulations. Restoration looks to the future, not to the past. It has educational and commemorative functions for future generations, for young people; it ultimately is concerned not with satisfaction with research per se but the preparation of all citizens and their quality of life, viewed in the widest possible spiritual and material sense. In conclusion, some perspectives for the new millennium are offered. We have to ask ourselves whether society today is still able to guarantee a role for memory, for history and for the value of traditions, or for beauty itself. At first sight, it seems that interest in conservation and restoration has been reinforced in recent times. At the same time, we are aware of dominant pressures wanting to renovate and redesign our environment, giving priority above all to economic factors and revenue. To recall an earlier declaration by Renato Bonelli: contemporary society is not interested in historical and artistic things in themselves, whether they are ancient or modern. It is practical and consumerist, but it is also a society of complexities, and that however opens up some vents.

    Guangya Zhu

    China’s civilization is ancient. The country’s architectural heritage conservation activity is an integral part of the world conservation movement. This paper gives a general introduction of the movement in China from four aspects: (1) history; (2) important conservation projects assessments; (3) new ideas and principles being debated and discussed; and (4) issues facing the movement. The present paper summarizes the essential character of the movement in China and highlights the importance of supporting and protecting this movement.

    Xing Shi, Wei She, Hailong Zhou, Yunshen Zhang, Fei Shi, Wei Chen

    Architectural heritage conservation is an important field in architectural research. The Hui-style vernacular dwelling is an essential architectural heritage of China. Its hollow wall system, with horsehead-like upper corners, is a distinct architectural feature that is worth preserving. However, the thermal performance of the hollow wall is relatively poor by today’s standard. The current study developed a novel approach, whereby foam concrete was used to fill the voids inside the hollow wall to improve its thermal resistance. This approach was deemed cost effective, easy to learn, and capable of preserving the architectural integrity of the wall. Different types of foam concrete were prepared and tested. Testing results showed that the material properties of foam concrete are suitable for thermally upgrading the hollow wall system. Climate chamber testing was conducted to investigate the effectiveness of the proposed thermal upgrading strategy. The testing results suggested that filling the voids with foam concrete can effectively improve the overall thermal resistance of the hollow wall system by 24%, which is almost equal to the overall thermal resistance when using the more expensive commercial inorganic stucco system.

    Yuan Wang

    The Grand Canal is of incomparable importance to ancient China, which still serves it’s original functions in the current society. Given it’s outstanding value, the conservation of the Grand Canal in China is drawing an increasing attention, and there is a proposal to inscribe it in the World Heritage List in the near future. The different functions of the Grand Canal determine the roles of the different departments; however, there are some contradictions that will harm it’s conservation. The current paper attempts to find solutions toward the better management of the Grand Canal in the context of world heritage conservation.

    Jinghui Wang

    Historical urban areas are the memory of a city, and the overall landscape they constitute displays the typical scene of a city in a certain historical period. Thus, they are of value for protection. The current study gives an overview on the origin and protection of historical urban areas in the world. Moreover, the study also focuses on the principles, methods, and current problems in the protection of historical urban areas under the guidance of related laws and regulations in China. Finally, some effective measures to protect historical urban areas are suggested.

    Weixin Huang, Daisuke Matsushita, Junzo Munemoto

    This paper explores the problem-solving behavior of people in design activities through a protocol analysis of verbal reports on the interior work design process simulated by an interactive evolutionary computation (IEC). The protocol analysis method was used to explore the ways of thinking of the participants throughout the process. The analysis reveals that different parts of the interior scene have different effects on the evaluations, and people tend to use the same evaluation criteria continuously on several images. This kind of behavior is consistent with that of professional designers in past studies and is revealed applicable to non- professionals in the current research.

    Yu Hibino, Shuichi Hokoi, Katsuaki Yoshida, Satoru Takada, Masanori Nakajima, Miho Yamate

    For a healthy and productive life, good sleep is essential, which has prompted studies on how comfortable sleep can be achieved. Understanding the relationship between thermal environment and physiological responses such as skin and core temperatures, and psychological responses such as thermal and sleep sensations is necessary to identify the most suitable thermal environment for sleep. As an energy-saving and practical method of creating the most appropriate thermal environment for sleep, local heating or cooling is sometimes used, which takes into consideration the differences in local thermal responses. We performed this study to identify the most effective thermal environment for inducing comfortable sleep by identifying the physiological responses during sleep on the basis of sleep experiments conducted under local body heating or cooling conditions. We also used a human thermal model, which can be applied for predicting physiological responses.

    In the experiments, the feet of the subject were the primary area to be heated or cooled, which was achieved by installing a flexible duct with an outlet placed close to the subject’s feet and inlet connected to an air conditioner. Differences in the fluctuation of body temperature and sleep stage depended on the airflow direction from the duct to the feet. When air was blown downward towards the feet, body temperature decreased and the subject was able to sleep well. Measured skin and core temperatures were calculated using an improved 27-node human thermal model that was originally developed for use in subjects who are not in sleep. Although skin temperature fluctuated significantly under local cooling, the results calculated using the proposed model agreed well with the measured results since the changes in heat conductance between the skin surface and surrounding environment as a result of the changes in the posture and feet position were taken into account. This result indicates that posture-associated changes in the heat conductance significantly influence skin temperature.

    Xiaoyu Qu, Daisuke Matsushita, Tetsu Yoshida, Mengzhen Han

    This paper used Active Radio Frequency Identification (Active RFID) technology to identify in which rooms fathers and their child tend to stay together and talk, and in which rooms they stay separately in seven one-child families living in Chinese urban apartment houses. The father was found to stay together with the child 0.5%-25% of the time when both father and child stayed at home. The use of the living room as the place in which the child stays with the father and talks was found to be highest (five out of seven families), followed by the dining room and the child’s room. In over half of the cases when the child stays with the father in the living room or dining room and either of them talk, the child spoke over 1.6 times more than the father. However, in the child’s room, the child always spoke less than the father, and the duration of the child’s speech was less than 70% of that of the father. Findings showed that the instances in which child and father stay in different rooms fell into two groups. First, five of the seven subject fathers tended to stay in the living room, whereas the children stayed either in their room or in their parents’ room to use the PC. Second, two fathers stayed in the studio or dining room to work, while their children stayed in the living room or their own rooms. For both groups, the duration of these periods of stay covered 30.0%-81.4% of the time during which both the father and child stayed at home.

    Weidong Hou, Wei Wang, Yan Xu

    This paper expounds the consideration to the design of protection and exhibition of Hanyuan Hall and Linde Hall of the Daming Palace. Based on in-depth study on their existing conditions after archeological excavation, and in combination with comprehensive considerations in terms of the protection of the main body of sites, the restoration research of existing bases and superstructures, the requirement of site open exhibition, etc., it proposes the design to restore the rammed earth bases by surrounding them with bricks and stones or rammed earth. Besides the protection and exhibition of the site of Hanyuan Hall bases, it also integrates the features of landform there to design the protection and exhibition of brick and tile kiln of Tang Dynasty within the relic area. Under the condition at that time, a semi-underground small exhibition center is designed by taking advantage of the height difference of base side slopes, satisfying the requirement of exhibition, and meanwhile preserving the overall landscape of the site. The integration of the design of protection project with archeology as well as the science and technology of heritage preservation is a brand-new probe into site protection design.

    Tongbin Chen

    Stockaded villages of the Qiang nationality that are made up of watchtowers and watch-houses are an important part of its cultural heritage. The earliest documentary records of its blockhouse-styled construction can be found in Biography of the Ethnic Minority Groups in Southwest China of History of Eastern Han. In 2006, watchtowers and stockaded villages of the Qiang nationality was placed in the preparatory declaration list of world cultural heritage in China and became a minority architectural heritage that is of potential value for world cultural heritage. The Wenchuan earthquake, which happened on May 12th, 2008, caused severe damage to settlements of the Qiangs in the upper reaches of Min River, including the “Tangping Qiang village,” which plays a prominent role in Qiang stockaded villages. In conserving this important architectural heritage, we observe the idea “everything for heritage value”. We discuss and draw up a series of salvage conservation countermeasures and research for antiseimatic key technology during post-earthquake reconstruction period of Tibetan and Qiang settlement engineering projects, including six engineering principles on priority of structure rescue, heritage value, former address maintenance, traditional way of use, protection against and mitigation of earthquake disasters, and spot cleaning and separating. We draw up three rules in engineering strategy, namely: (1) we should follow ultimate orientation of heritage value protection in rescue, maintenance, and protection engineering; (2) degrees of priority of engineering measures should be differentiated according to the situation of the disaster and residential situations of stockaded villages and; (3) we should keep local smiths and conventional art as the base, and modern technology as a supplement in rescue, maintenance, and protection engineering.

    Shi Hu, Xiaomin Jin, Miao Zhou

    The current paper discusses the conservation and restoration of the Guang Sheng Si Pagoda of the Liao Dynasty in Liaoning Province, China. The Southeast University, together with the Conservation Center of Liaoning Province, the Sapienza University of Rome, and the IUAV University of Venice, organized a workshop on the current project, which consists of a preliminary investigation, the restoration design, and on-site construction. The current study attempts to introduce the expressing procedure through precise on-site investigations and the rendering of restoration drawings based on the integral definition of the structural damages. This project is a new technique in the field of traditional restoration in China.