The bell tower of the Basilica Church San Michele in Foro, located in the heart of Lucca, Italy, is an iconic historical structure renowned for its architectural significance. To ensure its ongoing preservation and safety, a consortium of experts and institutions joined forces to embark on a comprehensive monitoring project. Paolo Cecchettini, a stone restoration specialist graduate at the Opificio delle Pietre Dure, led the effort, with support from So.Ge.T, an expert in geological and geophysical services, Arch. Marco Mei, Ing. Alessandro Lenci, and Move Solutions.
Our mission: to perform scientific and multidisciplinary investigations, establishing a baseline for the bell tower’s structural condition and informing future restoration and enhancement endeavors.
CHALLENGE AND GOALS
The distinctive architectural design of the San Michele in Foro Basilica Church bell tower presented unique structural challenges. The project’s primary objectives were the following.
- Continuous structural monitoring: implementing real-time monitoring of the bell tower’s dynamic behavior to capture crucial data.
- Collecting real-time data: acquiring precise data to facilitate informed decision-making for preservation and restoration efforts.
- Proactive issue resolution: preventing costly repairs and potential safety concerns by identifying structural problems in their early stages.
To address these objectives, a strategic selection of sensors was meticulously installed on the bell tower.
The comprehensive monitoring system provided a continuous stream of data, enabling daily observations of the bell tower’s behavior. The valuable insights derived from this data are equipping the project team with the ability to address potential structural issues proactively and plan restoration projects with heightened precision.
“With our monitoring solutions, we have unlocked unprecedented insights into structural health, empowering our clients with remote, reliable, and continuous analysis of important buildings such as San Michele.” – Paolo De Lellis, Head of Operations at Move Solutions.
The bell tower monitoring project of the San Michele in Foro Basilica Church sets a powerful precedent for leveraging technology-driven solutions in the preservation and enhancement of critical historical and architectural assets.
It stands as an example for institutions seeking resilient, technology-enhanced preservation of their urban heritage.
Photo by Parrocchia dei SS. Michele Paolino Alessandro (ph. Victor Valobonsi)