Remote Documentation and Monitoring Strategies for the Sustainable Conservation of a Medina of Tunis Building

By: Mara Cruz Michea

This dissertation is part of the project Activating Neglected Heritage in the Medina of Tunis
(ACTIVAH), led by Dr Alejandra Albuerne, with the participation of partner organisations in Tunis. The
World Heritage site of the Medina of Tunis has significantly deteriorated due to socio-economic
transformations in the mid-20th century, resulting in the neglect of its historic buildings, affecting the
quality of life of local communities and their built environment.
The research has shown that sustainable development can conserve the Fondok El Henna building in
the Medina in its fragile environment. This study aims to determine the conservation and monitoring
strategies necessary for the sustainable development of this building. A survey of the building’s
conservation state was conducted remotely based on a literature review on documentation and the
four pillars of sustainability. Close-range photogrammetry was used for this purpose.
The assessment of the façade’s conservation state showed the extent of damage to the different wall
materials and demonstrated that water, pollution, biological damage, light and anthropogenic effects
are the primary deterioration agents. It was also found that elements of the wall analysed require
different degrees of conservation. However, in general terms, the façade is in a very poor state of
conservation, with severe damage affecting its functioning. On this basis, it is recommended that
conservation and monitoring strategies include economic, environmental, social and cultural aspects
to effectively protect the property. In addition, further evaluation of other components of Fondok El
Henna is necessary to achieve an optimal state of conservation.
Key words: Capacity building; Heritage Documentation; Photogrammetry; Condition Assessment;
Sustanaibility Strategy