Autore Andrea Luciani
Titolo Tesi

Historical climates and conservation environments. Historical perspectives on climate control strategies within museums and heritage buildings


The subject of the research is the development of climate control strategies in conservation environments, focusing on the issues involved in indoor climate analysis within historic buildings. Climate control in conservation environments within historic buildings is a complicate task which has relevant consequences on the preservation of cultural heritage and is generally characterised by conflicting needs. First of all, suitable hygrothermal conditions should be provided for the preservation of artworkss: the question on which are the best conditions for the artworks has been discussed for centuries. On the other hand, the introduction of modern climate control devices in heritage buildings can lead to serious consequences on building preservation. This issue became evident with the progressive tightening of suggested ranges of temperature and relative humidity, which has favoured the spread of modern air conditioning in museums. Other questions are related to the conflict between the hygrothermal needs of artworks and those of people, which do not always coincide, and, recently, to the growing need for sustainable buildings, both in the sense of an higher energy efficiency and in the sense of a reduction of operating costs. These issues are critically reviewed in the thesis through the adoption of a historical methodology, developed from a reflection on the concept of historical climate. This is intended in a double meaning: not only as the climatic conditions to which today an object has become acclimatised, as indicated in the EN 15757:2010 standard, but also as the study of the climate control strategies adopted in the past in conservation environments. That means to analyse how climate control systems and hygrothermal standards for conservation developed in the past and, at the same time, to improve our knowledge on indoor environments within historic buildings by coupling historical research on climate control systems with indoor climate analyses. The double use of the concept of historical climate is reflected in the division of the thesis into two parts. In the first one, the historical development of climate control strategies for conservation is examined. The focus is on the museum environment, since in this context the influence of hygrothermal parameters on artwork preservation started to be observed and was extensively studied until our days. The second part of the thesis will deal with the application of a historical approach to the climate analysis and monitoring of two case studies: Villa Reale, in Milan, and Skokloster Castle, in Sweden. Positive results obtained by the application of the concept of historic climate to historic buildings are finally discussed and presented.

Tutor Alberto Grimoldi
Co-Tutor Tor Brostrom
Titolo Dottorato Conservazione dei beni architettonici
Coordinatore Dottorato Carolina Di Biase
Ciclo/Anno XXIV - 2013
Università Politecnico di Milano
Scuola Architettura e Società