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Re-construction and record: exploring alternatives for heritage areas after earthquakes in Chile

Devilat, B M; (2018) Re-construction and record: exploring alternatives for heritage areas after earthquakes in Chile. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London).

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Abstract

Reconstruction is the ultimate type of intervention a building can experience, usually contested in the context of built heritage. Records and available remains are used as a way to settle debates around it, primarily associated with monuments, leaving aside other types of heritage such as housing in historical areas. When disasters happen regularly — for example earthquakes — reconstruction processes also occur periodically and are unquestioned, due to the necessity to recover the dwelling space for the affected families. I use the case of Chile as a laboratory since earthquakes occur regularly. Even though changes in regulations have led to safer behaviour of buildings in earthquakes, especially in urban areas, the built heritage has been significantly affected, mainly because of the age of the buildings, lack of maintenance, poor regulations, accumulated damage and overall neglect. The pressure for quick reconstruction has led to a superficial understanding of heritage by offering solutions that ‘look like’ the previous houses but without using actual records and without considering other important aspects of their historical value, such as building techniques and human occupation. As a methodology, I surveyed three heritage areas in Chile — San Lorenzo de Tarapacá, Zúñiga and Lolol — throughout different periods using 3D-laser-scanning complemented by photography and interviews. From this, I explore the potential role of accurate records in what is considered heritage and its reconstruction, understanding the capacity of such technologies to be a virtual database for memory, preservation, demolition, intervention or replica. I also propose a series of alternatives based on using 3D-laser-scanning as a continuous practice of recording, as a post-earthquake assessment tool and as a basis for design, which act as a trigger for speculation and questioning over the nature of rebuilding. With this research, I intend to contribute to a much-needed debate in Chile with further implications for other changing historical environments.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Re-construction and record: exploring alternatives for heritage areas after earthquakes in Chile
Event: UCL
Language: English
Additional information: Third party copyright material has been removed from the ethesis. Images identifying individuals have been redacted or partially redacted to protect their identity.
Keywords: Re-construction, record, 3D-laser-scanning, heritage, earthquakes.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > The Bartlett School of Architecture
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10046823
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