On 1883 July 28, an highly damaging earthquake stroke Ischia’s isle - a well-known fixed, thermal destination, particularly loved abroad – and provoked damages and crushes of most historic masonry heritage. Being in compliance with the 1785 Borbone’s code, which had disposed the timber frames adoption for the re-building of Calabria’s small cities and villages heavily beaten for the 1783’s seismic events, even the late XIX’s re-building management of Ischia’s dwellings widely adopted the cited frameworks. Missing an effective understanding of the traditional local-tuff masonry performances, especially of the seismic behavior-related ones, because of so-many heavy damages and decays phenomena generated by that earthquake, the technicians all had been called for the reconstruction planning, preferred a whole renewal of the isle building heritage adopting masonry in association with timber systems or, in case of the biggest features, with iron frames. Thus, the former huts – later transformed into durable ones (“improved huts”) – as well as the new residential blocks (dwellings) and public structures, all settled up on the basis of a short given variety of typological solutions, were built using masonry-timber frames, since the first emergency lodging program (1883). Though the late XIX’s re-construction policy and strategies in Ischia were already studied, as well as the relative technical solutions, what actually was built in that moment, together with past and present transformations, still have not been surveyed, unless paying attention to relevant building aspects. With the aim of understanding and assessing features and frameworks of that re-building program, and to verify their compliance and safety degree with relevant codes, few Ischia’s, so-constructed buildings, fortunately survived the wide late XX’s reinforced-concrete dissemination, have been surveyed, combining the “as-built” state of condition surveying with geo-radar prospections of the masonry walls, and by relating relevant data to archival research on similar artefacts. The geo-radar prospection has been particularly used for corresponding a non-destructive approach in the study of the local-tuff masonry covered timber frames with internal planking (siding). Thus, while so many studies begin to present the interesting earthquake-resistant performing of the historic timber frames in the Mediterranean area, we’ve put light on Ischia’s post-seismic re-building program as the newly-born Royal Italian Government first text bench for forming and applying a common building seismic-resistant best practice, though with relevant contradictions and limits, here underlined and developed.
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