About the Congress:

“Domes in the World”

Florence, March 19 – 23, 2012

Preliminary Notes
Since its early appearances in Western European funeral buildings of the 6th and 5th millenary B. C., the dome has been widely adopted in architecture primarily for its symbolic reference to the celestial vault. Dome construction was then disseminated initially in the Eastern regions where it acquired civil and religious meanings. Later, as a result  of Palladianism, they appeared in the New World and very New World (Australia), where they were built of earth or masonry, wood, steel, concrete or other materials, using a variety of building techniques from the simplest deducted from the imitation of nature, to the extremely sophisticated structural concepts. No other architectural element is so adept in resuming the building capability achieved by a civilization, stir up deep spatial emotions or, with its peculiar but various shapes, confer special features to a landscape hence attaining a universally intelligible value.

Basic Principles and Aims of the Congress:
The idea at the basis of “Domes in the World” is to give a substantial contribution to intercultural dialogue through an international and interdisciplinary congress aimed at highlighting the significance of domes and their symbolic value from the perspective of different cultures. The themes to be examined will include: the cultural and spatial significance of the ancient and contemporary domes in buildings; their architectural context in the territory and in the landscape; their construction (materials, techniques, structural system); their documentation, interpretation, conservation and restoration and their continuity in contemporary building.

Thus this international congress which unites people of various countries, with different cultural backgrounds, philosophical approaches to life and traditional knowledge, will explore the multidisciplinary themes related to domes divided into two main areas: the symbolic, sociological, humanistic context and the architectural field, between geometry, structure and material.

A high scientific profile will allow the participants to assess the present situation of domes, to debate, compare and elaborate their interpretation, to define appropriate uses and the protection of the extensive patrimony of domes existing in the world. The architectural conservation of domes and their material and conceptual significance will also be addressed.

The objective of the congress is to collect and compare scientific information about the cultural and spatial significance of domes for men, societies and cultural landscapes in different cultural environments, past and present, their building concepts and interpretations, their building traditions and techniques, their conservation / restoration and their contemporary building as a basis for  further development of integrated heritage work (planning, education, tourism, conservation etc.).

The promoters of congress wish to obtain results that will be of direct benefit to our civil society (individuals, institutions, public administrations) in its current theoretical, philosophical and real evolution.

General Information
The promoters have received positive feedback evidencing a high level of interest on the topic not only among scientific experts and professionals, but also among enterprises and “non specialists”. In view of a wide attendance to the congress, the simultaneous translation in different languages is foreseen, as described below.

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