Inspection and diagnosis of La Antigua Church in Zumárraga

30 November 2023
inspección y diagnóstico de la ermita de La Antigua en Zumarraga

“TECNALIA offers inspection, intervention and technical assistance solutions for the conservation of our wooden built heritage”

TECNALIA is working on the diagnosis and conservation of the wood at La Antigua Church in Zumárraga

TECNALIA, a leading technological research and development centre, is taking part in the inspection and comprehensive diagnosis of La Antigua Church, located in the town of Zumárraga, in the province of Gipuzkoa. This collaboration highlights TECNALIA’s experience and knowledge in the analysis and conservation of wooden elements, and strengthens its commitment to the preservation of built heritage.

This ongoing study focuses on assessing the state of conservation of all the wooden elements in the church, paying special attention to carvings, as part of the main goal of obtaining a complete overview of the condition of the building.

Specialised restoration treatments

TECNALIA’s Wood Engineering team is working hard to identify elements that require structural interventions or standard treatments, as well as elements with carvings that are in need of specialised restoration techniques and treatments.

The assessment of the state of conservation includes the detection of wood-decay fungi, woodworm and termites, backed by a meticulous analysis of the humidity in the elements to identify the needs for intervention on the entire building envelope.

State-of-the-art technology is being used, such as exhaustive laser scanning of the church. This has generated detailed graphic documentation of more than 1,200 wooden elements, which have been identified with numbers. This documentation is the main tool used to allocate issues detected during the inspection, and serves as a crucial reference for future inspections and interventions in the church. With this measure, TECNALIA is setting an important precedent to ensure that all structure-related information is comprehensively mapped out.

Our commitment to the conservation of wooden built heritage

TECNALIA is proud to offer comprehensive solutions – not only inspection and diagnostic services, but also specialised technical assistance for the conservation of historic structures. This project is a good example of TECNALIA’s constant dedication to excellence in the field of research and innovation, and consolidates its position as a leader in the field of technology applied to the conservation of architectural heritage.

La Antigua was declared a National Historic-Artistic Monument on 23 September 1965, and a Basque Historic-Artistic Monument on 27 July 1984. La Antigua shows us, to a certain extent, what the old Romanesque temples of Gipuzkoa may have looked like, with their wooden roofs, carvings and sober decorations. The most outstanding feature inside the church is its rural character, as it is reminiscent, both in its structure and decoration, of farmhouses and rural architecture in the Basque Country. In this sense, one of the most important features is how the wood has been decorated.