Virtual Reconstruction of Historical Architecture as Media for Knowledge Representation



3D reconstructions have always been an important medium for teaching, illustrating and researching historical facts and items, especially architecture. While 3D reconstructions in academic contexts aim at an accurate virtual representation of a historic original, various knowledge communication effects influence a creation and understanding of virtual representations. From a temporal point of view, architecture usually lasts beyond a human lifespan, and concepts, ideas and messages of deceased builders are available only via sources—either through the architectural object itself or by descriptions or depictions of it. While a creational process of virtual representation is often performed by cross-disciplinary workgroups, an exchange of knowledge between involved individuals is characterised by the need for a synchronisation of personal mental models and organisational and cooperational learning. Moreover, architectural representations address a wide and heterogeneous audience. All described processes are highly supported by visual media, such as images, virtual models or the architectural object itself. To explore knowledge-related phenomena, the authors performed four stages of investigation using qualitative and quantitative research methods. While a first research stage focuses on the scope and overall relevance of virtual architecture within the field of digital heritage, a second stage investigates phenomena due to a creation of virtual architectural representations. A third stage examines how skills and competencies for creating virtual architectural representations evolve during a project and if teaching facilitates the development. Finally, a fourth stage evaluates design approaches for virtual building representations to make them comprehensible for an audience.


Historic architecture Digital 3D reconstruction Cultural heritage Visual communication Knowledge representation Information sciences 


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Research on usability aspects took place within a reconstruction project dealing with historic Dresden and Terezin in the context of the Holocaust. A test for visual usability was conducted by Josefine Brödner, Katharina Hammel and Cindy Kröber. The authors want to acknowledge the support of Dr. Lars Schlenker (Dresden University of Technology) who provided information on architecture-based learning.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Media CenterDresden University of TechnologyDresdenGermany
  2. 2.Institute for CartographyDresden University of TechnologyDresdenGermany

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