This lecture, taking place today from 2.00 – 2.30pm in the Digital Crit Space, looks at the impact-related conservation workshop organised by Nikolaos Karydis on the island of Lesvos in Greece. Following the earthquakes the hit the island in 2017, this workshop aimed to familiarise local conservation professionals with the island’s vernacular structures and their impressive earthquake behaviour. The latter had been analysed in Karydis’ book Eresos (2003) as well as in his recent paper of 2015. Despite these publications, Lesvos’ architects and engineers were not familiar with these structures and their earthquake-resistant qualities. The workshop was an opportunity to make Karydis’ new research available to these professionals. It also raised awareness of the dangers of the use of cement and reinforced concrete in the repair of these stone and timber structures. At first, local engineers were reluctant to abandon these incompatible methods. Still, during the workshop, most of the participants were convinced that these structures can be repaired with natural materials following the building logic of Lesvos’ vernacular buildings. This helped to develop a new attitude to the historic structures of Lesvos and their future preservation.
Dr Nikolaos Karydis, director of the MSc Programme in Architectural Conservation, visited the island of Lesvos, to study the behaviour of vernacular structures in the recent earthquake (6.3R). There, he discovered the use of an advanced earthquake-resistant system. This discovery has major implications for the forthcoming repair of historic buildings on Lesvos. Preliminary research findings are summarised in the article published on 3 August in Greece’s “Journalists’ Newspaper” (Εφημερίδα των Συντακτών).
The students of the MSc in Architectural Conservation have worked under the direction of Dr. Nikolaos Karydis on the restoration of the Regency Dockyard church in Sheerness-on-sea. Designed by George Ledwell Taylor in the 1820s, and one of the few remaining historic dockyard churches in the UK, this monument was tragically destroyed by fire in 2001. The students’ work on the restoration of the building reveals its significance and shows how to recapture it.