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3D Analysis of Historic Building Facade in Spain

University of Alicante 3D Analysis

This work provides new data on the church of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción in Biar,
combining the investigation of documentary sources with the 3D analysis of the geometry obtained
using LiDAR technology and the study of stone materials.

From a paper in Heritage by Jose Antonio Huesca-Tortosa, et al.

This monument has a Proto-Renaissance façade of great architectural value, as it was the first building in the province of Alicante, in Spain, to use Renaissance decorations at the beginning of the 16th century. Its main façade reflects the four centuries of its construction from the 15th to the 18th centuries.

The building has been digitised using LiDAR technology and photogrammetry. The graphic representation of the point cloud obtained from the aforementioned techniques makes it possible to study deformations in colour
gradient with respect to a reference plane.

The results obtained after the analysis of these data show that the method used in this work has served to detect and corroborate the constructive evolutions of the church obtained from the documentary sources investigated. This work serves as an example for similar works, proposing the incorporation of the analysis of anomalies in the geometry of the facings as a new variable that should be considered to complement the rest of the usual studies,
bringing to light deformations and irregularities that at first sight may go unnoticed.


The current church of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción de Biar was begun in the 15th century in the area previously occupied by a mosque and a tower of which an elevation has been preserved. The northwest façade reflects the different construction stages in which the building was built until its completion in the 18th century.
The results obtained after the detailed analysis of the point cloud show that the method used in this work, with the study of deformations in gradient of colour with respect to a reference plane, has served to detect construction anomalies (such as small plane twists) and to corroborate the constructive evolutions of the church obtained from
the documentary sources investigated. In addition, it has been possible to detect and quantify degradations and even small movements that would go unnoticed with the naked eye.

As can be deduced from the documentary studies, the observation in situ, the study of dimensions and the data obtained with the point cloud, the oldest area of the main façade corresponds to part of an old tower. The proportions of the masonry and its thickness correspond to cubits ma’munis, a measure used in the Almohad period, placing the construction of this part of the church in the AH 12th–13th centuries.

At the end of the 15th century, the side chapels to the main nave were built following Gothic construction systems, with stone vaults and pointed arches. The façade was annexed to the northeast of the existing medieval tower. These side chapels were not supposed to have a raised body, as is the case today. The height of the northeast façade at
this stage was 650 cm, and the roof of the side chapels rested on the vaults. The central nave was to have more light thanks to a rose window that is now partitioned off and is located inside the chapter house.

For the complete paper on 3D analysis CLICK HERE.

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