University of Southampton OCS (beta), CAA 2012

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Digital Models – Associative Geometry: the peculiarity of monuments in extension. The eighteenth-Century Lisbon Aqueduct as a case study
Maria Helena Rua, Ana Cristina Chalaça Gil

Last modified: 2012-01-02


Nowadays, the existing information on heritage goes beyond the physical concept. The invention of internet, and the development of information and communication technologies, has changed how museum collections expose their collections, how they interact with the public and with the patrimonial object beyond
simple reproduction of works. Despite the discussion associated with virtual museums, the main advantage of making an object part of a virtual museum is promoting its interpretation within its environment, which is a regular procedure on scientific studies.

This research reflects on the three-dimensional representation of monuments that, by their character and function, spread out through a large territory which difficult the survey procedure and therefore the elaboration of the digital models. So it is sought to formulate a methodology to apply in similar cases. For that, it is evaluated the potential of the use of these digital tools, complemented with others that explore the association of geometry with alpha numeric metadata. Associative geometry allows the model to automatically adapt to new data, thus avoiding the need for a completely new reformulation of future updates, on occasion of the discovery of new information.
Additionally the virtual model is intended to allow “visits” in loco.
And as a case study, it is presented the Águas Livres Aqueduct, National Monument which extends along a vast area of the territory of Lisbon and Tagus Valley as an application of these concepts, procedures very common in today’s architectural design: geometry and metadata.

The monument modelling, which went through the use of different software and file conversion, enables us to obtain a tool which can be used in the current management of this eighteenth century building that can still have an active contribution to sustainability of public water supply. Thus, it was used a dataset drawings concerning the original project, focusing the main pipeline, model that is finished and which we present its
potentialities. Since the use of standard components – conduct and ventilation holes – can be adapted and adjusted to any specific metric size of real-world, the 14 km length of the monument (approximately 8 english miles) may now, in collaboration with his patron, be confronted on the territory (geo and conservation status of its geometry) in order to test and to assess the functionality of the tool now developed. This systematization aims to contribute to balanced reuse of heritage buildings, both in real and virtual point of view.


3D model; associative geometry; digital project; BIM heritage