"New life" for defence military architecture: the case of the sighting towers in Basilicata
Defence Sites II
Since the time of Roman Empire possession, the need to defend and guard the territory from foreign incursions has been felt, especially in peripheral or coastal areas. For this reason, numerous towers were built; they form just a part of a larger communication system, in which each tower was in line with the next, communicating through a telegraph or semaphoric system, via a complex system of bright reflections using fires, smoke or mirrors and sometimes even with a warning signal (bells). The
... ignal (bells). The research, which focuses on a portion of the Ionian Sea coastal area (Basilicata, Italy), through a study of the defensive system of sighting, aims to highlight, besides the obvious functional system, the very close characteristics of shape, architectural and typological types, that connect these towers and assimilates them to the typical forms of military architecture (regular shapes, closed on the outside and massive). Through a technological and constructional analysis, the study aims to propose a new life for these architectures that have lost their primary function and, now, are abandoned and in an evident state of decay, as ruins. In fact, the fundamental elements of the conservation debate consists of the opposition between material and image conservation; the balance between these two terms is a third element, the value of the building. The most current guidelines suggest an integrated conservation, as the combined result of the techniques, interventions and user needs: the goal is to ensure continuity of life of this heritage through a suitable use. It is also a necessary condition for conservation intervention that exceeds the concept of protection to become an important way to build the future, as part of the social, economic and cultural territory in which these buildings are located.