The purpose of this research project is to establish a close and profitable international network of relations on the topic of survey and musealization of archaeological heritage that means to re-discover ancient tracks and involve them in the present, as a part of contemporary city. There are many disciplines involved in this project: survey and architectural representation, historical analysis, museum exhibition, urban design, conservation and restoration. It is necessary to ensure a real integration to achieve significant results. Architectural survey and representation have the task of documenting objects. These disciplines are not concerning the mere measure operations, but aim at building the apparatus of information necessary to validate the hypotheses of study. The survey activities, conducted with the latest methods and tools such as laser scanners, photogrammetry, UAVs and topography, allow you to integrate geometric and qualitative data to obtain three-dimensional reality-based models. The representation of architecture is inspired by these models to process the best-suited forms of communication for each target. Three-dimensional models are the starting points for both the technical drawings required for the project of preservation, reuse and restoration and the models that are used in the designing phase of the musealization, to the virtual representations for the dissemination online. The process of knowledge to make the citizens and the community aware of the historical heritage is not possible without a thorough historical study. Through this, it is possible to reconstruct the origin of the cultural asset and its evolution over time to the present time and state so the historical and artistic value and raising the awareness of the need for conservation and for mix old footprints with contemporary urban life.

International project

The goal of the workshop is to integrate the survey and project stage in the enhancement process of Cultural Heritage. The synergy between the two disciplines allows to broadcast an in-depth knowledge and awareness of CH and promotes the realization of continuity and coexistence between ancient trails and structure of the contemporary city. The documentation of the city and its architectures through the survey and the strengthening through the design represent different activities of an architect and are both parts of the process of architectural preservation and planning in World Heritage Cities. The workshop is divided into two parts: the first part is related to the survey and initial data processing of some relevant masterpieces of Acri old city center, according with the International Conservation Center – Città di Roma in Acre. In this second phase the cognitive element is synthesized in virtual reconstructions that are the outcome of the first phase of instrumental survey, both the basis of subsequent processing composition, designed to verify the possibility of transformation of places by weaving new relations between ancient tracks and contemporary city. The first part of each workshop is related to the phase of knowledge of the artifact (shape, size, geographic location and historical use, context, etc.) both in the survey field by a survey campaign and to a first processing of the acquired data, both in the design porject, by preparing sketches and technical drawings useful to to investigate local features, measurea, uses and way of life and basic to hypothesize the main rules of intervention. During the second week is linked to the design. During the second week both cognitive survey and design elements are synthesized in reconstructions visual design that are the outcome of the first phase of instrumental survey, but also tools to develop desing scenarios in which the recovery operations of cultural heritage become an opportunity to achieve the integration between historical tracks and contemporary city. The students will be divided into two groups according to their main interest (survey or design): daily meetings will enable the two groups to keep pace in the activity and to share advances in a reciprocal exchange. The workshop will be essentially operational and will put students in a position to operate at different stages of the process. The short communications will have only theoretical aims to make students aware of transactions that are taking place, making him also acquire critical skills.

Acre is an exceptional historic town where remains of the medieval Crusader buildings stay under existing Muslim fortified town dating from the 18th and 19th centuries. The result is an exceptional view of a rich palimpsest that tells the story of an ancient city through stratified layers, since the medieval Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem to present crossing all historical periods. Present-day Acre is an important example of an Ottoman walled town, with typical urban components such as the citadel, mosques, khans and baths, well preserved, and partly built on top of the underlying Crusader structures. Ancient Acre was situated on Tel Akko, about 2.5 km east of the location of the old city. Around 1900 BC the town was fortified by a high earthen rampart with a brick gateway facing the direction of the sea. It was successively under Assyrian rule in the 9th century BC and a Phoenician town under Persian rule between the 6th and 4th centuries BC. Following the death of Alexander the Great the area around Acre was first ruled by the Hellenistic Ptolemid dynasty of Egypt and then the Seleucids of Syria. The present city, founded on the peninsula in the 3rd to 2nd centuries BC, was named Antiocha Ptolemais after its founder, Ptolemy II of Egypt. Acre was a center for international trade because of its strategic position and its natural port. The city fell to the Romans in 63 BC and was granted the status of colonia. In 330, during the Byzantine period, this region passed into the control of the Roman Empire. During the early Arab period (638-1099) many cities were abandoned and destroyed: Acre decreased in importance as an international port. The city began its economic recovery during the 10th and 11th centuries and the port and city walls were rebuilt. The Crusader period began for Acre in 1104, following the successful siege by Baldwin I, King of Jerusalem, and the Genoese commercial fleet. The king settled in the northern part of the city, where he built a fortified palace. Genoese, Venetian, and Pisan merchants built autonomous quarters nearby the port. The military orders installed themselves nearby. During the two centuries of Crusader rule Acre symbolized the interchange between the eastern and western cultures better than any other city. In 1187 the Muslims captured the whole of the Crusader lands and Acre was held for four years. It was not until 1191 that the Third Crusade led by Richard the Lion-heart led to the recapture of Acre and the adjoining coastal regions. A second Crusader kingdom was established with Acre as its capital, as the Crusaders were unable to retake Jerusalem. New neighborhoods such as Monmizar to the north were built and Acre was given a new double city wall. More palaces, churches, and public buildings were erected, at a time when styles in the west were changing from Romanesque to Gothic. The Mameluke period began in 1291 with the conquest of Acre and continued until 1517. Acre came within the mamluka of Gaza. The city was destroyed and totally abandoned, with only a few buildings remaining around the port. During the Ottoman period (1517-1917) Acre was a deserted ghost town. Reconstruction did not begin until the mid-18th century, under Daher El Amar, who renewed the port, manned it with officials and merchants, built a palace for himself, and rebuilt the fortifications. Acre enjoyed renewed economic expansion in the 19th century. Mosques, bathhouses, and caravanserai were built. Wealthy merchants settled there, building grand mansions in the eastern neoclassical style of the end of the 19th century. After capturing Acre in 1918 and being given control of Palestine by mandate of the League of Nations, the British developed the city outside the boundaries of the walls, constructing dwellings and administrative buildings. The port fell into disuse as the nearby modern port of Haifa superseded it. After Israel’s independence in May 1948 only a few Muslim residents remained in the old city, but after the fighting had died down many Palestinian Arab refugees from other places began to arrive and settle in the old city, whereas many Jews settled in the new sections. What remains today is a remarkable mixture, both above and below ground, of cultural elements from every period of Acre’s eventful history between the 11th and 20th centuries.