Those who forget the past often repeat it, but those who recreate it give us an opportunity to go back and experience history as it unfolded.
Imagine walking into The Colosseum, the bowl-shaped arena that used to host over 50,000 spectators in one event, or The Pantheon with its mind-bending dome that was built 40 years after. Unfortunately, these architectural masterpieces were built over 2000 years ago. It’s even a miracle that they are still standing after weathering many battles and kingdoms.
Fortunately for those living in the incredulously innovative 21st century, technology exists that can recreate these and many more architectural masterpieces. This is critical for educational purposes, and also for demonstrating that our past ancestors were pretty sophisticated and highly innovative.
Among technologies that can recreate the past include virtual reality, photogrammetry, impulse response, structured-light scanning, reflectance transformation imaging, and mainly 3D modeling. These technologies make it possible to digitally restore ancient, historical structures so we can engage with them.
The precast concrete industry has taken advantage of these technologies to build architectural masterpieces that appear as though they have been extracted from eons past. Below are ways to leverage technology to bring long-gone architectural pieces back to life.
1. Reflectance Transformation Imaging
Abbreviated as RTI, reflectance transformation imaging is a computational photographic technique of capturing the colour, surface and shape of a subject by interactively re-lighting it from several vantage points. The technology allows the subject’s attributes such as surface, colour and shape to be mathematically enhanced. After the enhancements, the object’s concealed surface information is brought into sharp empirical focus.
The technology recreates images from several digital photos of an object using a camera in a stationary position. RTI plays with lights to project photographs from several possible or known directions. The result is a series of images of the same subject with different shadows and highlights.
2. Preservation Technology
One can leverage advances in technology to highlight the architectural and historical significance of buildings. Through technology, historical landmarks and museums can engage visitors and recreate immersive, memorable experiences that take users inside these structures, allowing them to “feel” the moments and engage with the structures as though they were there. This is a classic way of bringing history back to life.
Preservation technologies literally preserve the structures to as close a condition as they were those many centuries ago. Today, a majority of organizations and historical sites provide visitors with guided walking tours to demonstrate the importance of historical preservation for the community and the visitors themselves.
3. Augmented Reality (AR)
You can leverage technology to educate and engage users about the many historical narratives they have read about. This is a great way to raise preservation awareness. AR, the metaverse and similar innovative technologies can recreate some of the historical masterpieces and digitally bring them to life.
Today, a visit to the museum is incomplete without engaging with AR. Digital works are recreated for visitors to engage with. The result is an immersive experience that takes visitors to places such as Ancient Greece, the Victorian Era, and other times in history that have left an indelible mark in the minds of scholars.
Due to its ability to employ visual layers to overlay information, AR can literally change the way people engage with their world. It’s an interactive and dynamic technology that architects use to bring historical buildings to life.
TKL’s Historical Recreations
Among construction materials that can bring these historical recreations to humankind is precast concrete. By design, precast concrete companies have come up with technologies that can replicate ancient architecture with amazing precision.
One such company is the TKL Group, which has developed technology to scan historical textures, profiles and monuments. The digitally scanned data is then processed with the goal of restoring objects to their original state.