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Construction and materials in the stratification of S. Maria Nova (S. Francesca Romana) at the Roman Forum

Gonzalez-Longo, Cristina and Theodossopoulos, D (2013) Construction and materials in the stratification of S. Maria Nova (S. Francesca Romana) at the Roman Forum. Construction and Building Materials, 41. pp. 926-941. ISSN 0950-0618

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Abstract

This paper examines the interaction of successive historic construction phases in the church and monastery of Santa Maria Nova (Santa Francesca Romana) in Rome, built between the 8th and 20th centuries above the platform of the Roman temple of Venus and Rome, and their effect on the overall stability and conservation of the buildings. The North elevation of the building complex is better conserved, displaying the variety of materials and construction techniques used over the centuries, including the reuse of material, in a close relation with the local conditions. The discussion of the data collected through survey, archive research and architectural analysis identified the complex stratification, materials and techniques, allowing for the interpretation of the buildings, and providing the bases to inform any conservation work. The continuous process of construction, destruction, reconstruction and extension that emerges shows also techniques employed over the centuries to deal with pre-existing fabric while designing in a contemporary way, and their interfaces interest modern architectural technology, as well as conservation research and practice.