Issues of Structures Management of Modern Cultural Heritage: The Case of Xenia 2 Motel
There is a plethora of architectural achievements of modern Greek architects of great renown, which have been characterized as monuments of modern cultural heritage and are made of reinforced concrete. Such monuments are prominent examples of postwar modern Greek architecture and constitute important landmarks of our cultural heritage. For this reason, since their mechanical performance is significantly degraded, such structures are in need of immediate restoration.
In the effort to manage the problems arising, it is essential to minimize material loss through prevention and the use of the least invasive repair techniques. However, the challenges that arise are special in comparison to the abovementioned principles of intervention in reinforced concrete structures, given the fact that architectural elements are constantly exposed to environmental phenomena. In such cases, extended techniques are used for the repair and the restoration of the components which have been damaged, due to corrosion factor. The basic aim of intervention to buildings of high architectural importance is the reassurance of their anti-seismic sufficiency, with as much as possible subtle addition of new load-bearing elements to the existing load-bearing system of the structure, with the purpose of their restoration and maintenance. However, it emerges that the best approach in order to succeed the maintenance of monuments of modern cultural heritage is through prevention. Consequently, there is a need of continuous monitoring to employ techniques capable of detecting the presence of factors that can lead to reinforcement corrosion.
A typical case of a structure made of béton armé (reinforced concrete) is Xenia 2 Motel (1966), designed by the notable architect of modernism in Greece, Aris Konstantinidis (1913–1993). Unfortunately, this building has presented extended environmental degradation as it is abandoned by the state and the local authorities. The degree of the corrosion damage, which is owed to environmental phenomena (concrete carbonation), makes difficult the process of implementation of effective technical interventions with the aim of leaving unchanged the original geometry. However, the subtle addition of new load-bearing elements in conjunction with the use of appropriate materials (repairing mortars or even resins) could give solutions with due respect to Intervention Standards. The present situation of this historical building could trigger a discussion on the application of the classic or dynamic (exact reconstruction, based on their initial geometry and position) restoration and conservation process of more Xenia Hotels around Greece.
KeywordsModern cultural heritage Material degradation Prevention measurements
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