San Julián de Samos: a digital approach

Team Members Participating:

Estefanía López Salas
PhD Architect, Researcher and Professor, Art History, Architecture and Arts
Universidade da Coruña, Spain

Project Summary:

This project is devoted to study the monastic site of San Julián de Samos in the northwest of Spain from a digital perspective. We aim to enhance the understanding of its spatial architectural evolution and the urban and rural transformation of the immediate territory (the monastic precinct, the nearby village, and the surrounding landscape) over the course of centuries.

The community of San Julián de Samos was founded in an unknown date, but before the seventh century, when a first restoration of the monastic life and buildings was undertaken. The abbey, like most religious houses, changed across its long life through constant constructions and reconstructions. Therefore, we can say that “the” present monastery is, in reality, the sum of many monasteries. Something similar happens in the case of the immediate village and rural landscape. “The” present urban tissue is composed of several layers or different cities from the past. The traces of the previous city lives remain visible at present.

The project records data from on-site investigation, standings remains, previous published research, and new primary sources from different archives using methods of archaeology, art and architectural history, among others. From them, it is created a sequence of 2D plans and 3D models that visualize each stage of the evolution of the monastic site, that is, multiple phased plans and virtual recreations. These graphic 2D CAD and 3D models integrate periods of construction and deconstruction, instead of showing only one moment of the abbey history or the urban/rural development. In other words, we present the main long-term periods of the changing processes. In addition to this, drawing some stages also involves the recovery of lost buildings or spaces and the re-presentation of them.

All in all, by developing a new multidisciplinary approach within the field of Digital Art and Architectural History, the project aims to address and visualize questions of change and transformation of this monastic site over time.

3D models of the monastic site at three specific periods in history

External Link(s) and resources:

Presentation Slides (PDF)