AN INTERNATIONAL conference will feature experts and discussions on how to retrofit ancient churches in light of the destruction wrought by the Oct. 14, 2013, earthquake on several centuries-old churches and ancient structures in Bohol.
The National Museum will host the International Symposium on the Seismic Retrofit of Unreinforced Masonry Heritage Churches of the Philippines on Jan 13-14, according to Fr. Milan Ted Torralba of the Diocese of Tagbilaran, Bohol.
Father Torralba said the international experts will make an on-site inspection of the damaged churches in Bohol today and tomorrow.
According to Bakas Pilipinas, Philippine Historic Preservation Society, the purpose of the conference is “to bring to the Philippines a group of international experts—engineers, architects, researchers and scholars—whose practices are entirely focused on the preservation of heritage structures, often in seismic and disaster-prone regions, and to start a dialogue among the international experts and members of the local design professions (engineering and architecture) on best practices for seismic evaluation and retrofit.”
“Government officials who oversee the protection of heritage buildings, church stewards, craftspersons, educators and students are also invited to participate and benefit from this interaction,” Bakas added.
Speakers include Regalado Trota José, Philippine church architecture historian and archivist of the University of Santo Tomas; architect Augusto Villalon of the Unesco International Commission on Monuments and Sites; Mario Aurelio of the National Institute of Geological Sciences, University of the Philippines Diliman; Gorun Arun, dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts and Architecture in Hasan Kalyoncu University, Gaziantep, Turkey; Matthew DeJong, partner in Ochsendorf DeJong and Block, LLC, Structural Engineering Consultants, Cambridge, UK; Rohit Jigyasu, Unesco chair professor, Research Center for Disaster Mitigation, Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto, Japan; Stephen Kelley, Unesco tangible heritage expert; Sergio Lagomarsino, professor of structural engineering, Polytechnic School, University of Genoa, Italy; Paulo Lourenco, head of the Structural Group at University of Minho and Cimbra in Portugal; Arun Menon, assistant professor, Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, India; Claudio Modena, professor of structural engineering, University of Padova, Italy; Zach Watson Rice, preservation architect; Michael Schuller, principal, Atkinson-Noland & Associates, Boulder, Colorado, United States; Daniel Torrealva, principal professor of civil engineering, Catholic University of Peru; Carlos Villaraza, president of the Association of Structural Engineers of the Philippines.