AEC Online
Printable version Bookmark this page Notify a colleague or friend about this page Bookmark and Share

Preservation of Middle Eastern Ancient Architecture Through Modern Technology

  Other News
  Subscribe to newsletter  
14 May 2024

The Middle East is a rich and vibrant tapestry of a wealth of ancient architectural marvels that stands the test of time and continues to captivate people’s attention and interests. Stretching from Western Europe to the Asian lands of the Far East, the region boasts some of the world’s most excellent architecture and heritage sites. However, at present, many of these architectures are at a risk of deterioration, disintegration, and deconstruction.

Preservation of Middle Eastern Ancient Architecture Through Modern Technology

Modern technological advancements have made it feasible for us to delve deeper into the study of these architectural wonders, ensuring their preservation for the benefit of future generations. The amalgamation of conventional knowledge with cutting-edge construction technologies stands as an ideal solution to these challenges, assisting in preserving the historic architecture of the Middle East. To preserve historic buildings for future generations, engineers and conservationists are increasingly relying on and leveraging cutting-edge technologies, methods, and materials.

3D printing is one of the most exciting advances in building restoration, as it allows precise documentation and analysis of architectural features, ultimately supporting structure restoration efforts. In addition, utilising Building Information Modelling (BIM) has also facilitated the development of digital replicas, which allows for virtual simulations of restoration procedures.

Historical preservation projects require sound approach, robust collaboration, careful planning, and effective management. Fostering cooperation amongst experts, including scientists, software developers, graphic designers, historians, archaeologists, and architects, are extremely crucial to the preservation efforts. During this process, it is imperative to make informed decisions regarding the repair and replacement of elements. By virtually simulating various scenarios, BIM enables data-driven decision-making, thereby guaranteeing well-informed and efficient planning. Furthermore, incorporating BIM with conventional preservation techniques must involve robust collaboration between modern technology experts and preservationists in order to strike an ideal balance between innovation and conservation.

The lifespan of restored structures is ensured by modern construction materials, which offer sustainability and durability. Thanks to the use of carbon fibre composites, reinforced concrete, and sophisticated mortar formulas, historical structures receive structural support while retaining its visual and aesthetic integrity.

Several notable projects in the region serve as excellent examples of how contemporary building technologies may be successfully integrated to preserve Middle Eastern ancient architectures. For example, the Pyramids of Giza revealed interesting anomalies when thermal imaging technology was applied, pointing to the possibility of hidden chambers or use of varied building materials. This discovery enabled us to have a comprehensive picture on the construction of the Great Pyramid as well as demonstrated how contemporary tools can be used to unravel ancient mysteries.

In a similar vein, laser scanning and 3D modelling was utilised for the restoration of the Great Mosque of Samarra in Iraq. By utilising these technologies, the mosque’s iconic spiral minaret was reconstructed after being severely damaged during conflicts. Furthermore, the restoration of Jordan’s ancient Petra city exemplifies the harmony between tradition and modernity. Conservationists carried out thorough preservation efforts by using drone images and GIS mapping, which provided vital insights into the topography of the site.

Sustainable conservation methods are also guaranteed by the use of environmental-friendly materials, such as stabilised earth blocks. Virtual reality has the immense potential to reconstruct and reimagine historical cities and structures. As long as technology continues to develop, the prospects for maintaining and preserving Middle Eastern architectural treasures seem bright. By immersing visitors in virtual reconstructions of historical sites, augmented reality and virtual reality holds the power to foster better comprehension and knowledge enhancement. In addition, developments in automation and robotics provide effective ways to maintain and monitor heritage buildings, reducing the possibility of their degradation.

Technology offers enormous potential for restoring and conserving precious ancient structures and heritage. We can guarantee that the splendour of the Middle East region’s architectural legacy endures as a testament to humanity’s collective heritage by embracing modern construction technologies and fostering collaboration between experts, policymakers, and local communities. Preserving Middle Eastern ancient architecture is not just about protecting physical structures but also about safeguarding the region’s cultural heritage for future generations.

By Paul Wallett, Regional Director of Trimble Solutions, Middle East

Skyscraper Banners