11 January Jan 2017 1722 one year ago

Experiments on the pylons of the lantern tower in scale:the work of ISMES

The Duomo Tells Its Story

Over the course of its history the Duomo has been the focus of various requalification and restoration projects, at both the aesthetic and structural levels. Any work taking place within the Cathedral's eternal construction site is always preceded by careful study, monitoring, consultation, and diagnostic and experimental investigations.

The photograph that we present to you today, preserved in the Veneranda Fabbrica's photo library, is visual documentation of this phase which precedes the true restoration: it depicts a technician from ISMES in the act of taking measurements and performing checks on a scale model of one of the pylons of the Duomo's lantern tower. ISMES (Istituto Sperimentale Modelli e Strutture, founded in 1951 in Bergamo) worked with the Veneranda Fabbrica for many years, carrying out numerous static and structural trials on scale models of sections of the Cathedral.

In particular, during the 1960s and 1970s, the research conducted by ISMES and other institutes from the sector on four pylons of the lantern tower and on twenty-one secondary pylons was fundamental in preparation for that which would become one of the most complex restorations ever to take place within the Duomo.

This major project, which began in 1981 and ended in 1984, was recognized, in 1986, with the Ingersoll-Rand Italia award for great buildings in the world that represent this day and age being presented to engineer and architect Carlo Ferrari da Passano, the Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo, and ISMES.

A selection of several photographs such as this one are preserved in the Archives' photo library and can be seen in the photography exhibit now on display.