Innovation throughout the restoration project

The innovative factor has been incorporated into the project from the beginning of the restoration of the Santa María Cathedral. Some of the innovative proposals developed by the different interdisciplinary teams which have worked on the comprehensive restoration are detailed below. 

The Master Plan, introduced in 1996, put forward a series of innovative proposals as to the way of carrying out a study of these characteristics, amongst which was the execution of geometrical documentation based on the photogrammetry technique, which enabled a three-dimensional model to be achieved, stone by stone of the whole cathedral

Similarly, the stratigraphic study of the stonework of the cathedral using the Archaeology of the Architecture allowed the archaeologists to understand the historical and constructive evolution of the building and validate this methodology for buildings as complex as the Santa María Cathedral.

The way in which the structural analysis of the monument was approached, based on the theory of evolutionary limit states, has enabled the comprehension of the complexity of the forces acting on the building, making its structural restoration possible.

This whole process has been managed from the start by means of a Geographic Information System called Information System of the Monument, which is simply the BIM concept applied to the historic built heritage. This system was being implicated even before the term BIM was used in the management of buildings.

An investigation has been developed in order to determine the composition and the materials which should be used for carrying out consolidation injections in walls and pillars of historic buildings. The whole research process, as well as the results and the analyses carried out have been gathered together in a printed publication which is available to the public digitally under a Creative Commons license.

In the area of technological development it is worth highlighting the implementation of a video mapping system which enables the polychrome evolution of the portico to be viewed, from its construction up to the current day.  The recreation, by means of light projection, of the polychromes is conceived as a type of polychromatic reintegration within the artistic restoration of the portico and as an augmented reality tool which is available to the visiting public.

During the years 2015-2018 we have participated in the Nano-cathedral project together with the Cathedrals of Cologne, Vienna, Ghent and Pisa (as well as the Opera House building in Oslo). This project, financed by the European Union through its Horizon 2020 programme, develops new nano-materials, technologies and procedures for the conservation of deteriorated stones in monumental buildings, cathedrals and contemporary architecture of great value.