EDUCATION \ SITE PRESENTATION \ 23tech
1: G. Buccellati, July 2009
IntroductionOver the last several years, we have experimented with a number of different models. The goal was to achieve (1) maximum flexibility for ease in updating; (2) a design that was sufficiently pleasing but very simple; (3) suitability for local manufacturing; (4) low costs, and, last but by no means least, (5) a construction strong enough to withstands the long winters in between seasons.
After monitoring weather conditions in the winter, and reviewing carefully the damages incurred, we have come up with solutions that adequately meet our goals. I give here the current status as of the summer 2009, without going through the details of the various experiments we have undertaken over the years (see under Chronicle for a more general history).
The main problem has been the wind, which is strong enough to tear down some posts, snap plates from the posts, or simply rip the pages from their metal support: I will indicate below the various solutions we have implemented in this regard. The problem of rain and snow has been resolved by laminating all pages. Laminators are now available at low cost, even for large sheets (A3 format), and having one at our disposal in the house (rather than depending on stores in the neighboring city) has increased greatly our options. Fortunately, vandalism has played hardly any role.
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SignpostsThese signs should be visible even from a distance, hence they cannot be covered. We have glued the laminated pages to a metal plate without cover, and screwed a metal strip along three sides in order to keep the page from being yanked by the wind. At the top, a small overhang keeps rain water from seeping through between the page and the metal support, and it also prevents birds from clutching onto the top border with their claws.
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The "panoramas"The stands consist of a large horizontal panel, with pages mounted between glass plates with a cloth background. A strong lid with a foam rubber strip secures the glass and prevents normal dust from blowing in (though it is no remedy against a powerful sand storm...). The lid is further secured with a padlock, to be opened for visitors by the guard.
Changing the pages between the glass plates is feasible, though it requires a certain effort (unlike what is the case with the reading stands): they are heavy when one has to remove them from the case, and the organization of the pages is somewhat rigid. However, by its very nature, the synthetic overview which the "panoramas" offer is less susceptible to changes.
The "panoramas" are placed on high vista points from where they offer an extensive overview of the monuments and a synthesis of their history. It is a place where visitors stay the longest, and we have provided a kiosk covered with the black material of a bedouin tent that gives shade in the summer and protection from a light drizzle in the in between seasons.
I developed the design in close collabroation with Sabah Kassem of Amuda.
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Reading standsSimilar to music stands, these panels are designed to be light in weight and appearance, so that they can be moved easily and be close to the feature they illustrate without being obtrusive.
The base panel consists of a 2 mm iron plaque, ... x ... cms in size – large enough to accommodate a large sheet (ledger or A3 format) or two normal sheets (letter size or A4, in portrait and landscape orientation). The thickness of the panel is intended to keep it from getting bowed in the wind.
The lid is lighter (3/4 mm). It is beveled on the two narrow sides, so as to protect the base panel from the rain. A spring lock keeps it from being blown open in the wind. A narrow ledge at the top keeps the birds from perching atop the panel in its vertical position. When opened, the panel displays the same page setup as the base panel, thus allowing for he display of four normal size pages.
Each sheet is laminated, and then glued to the metal panels. The equipment is inexpensive, and the result more than adequate aesthetically and practically, so that individual sheets can be changed at will, without concerns about effort or costs.
The stand consists of either a 3/4" pipe, or an angle bar, of different lengths (depending on the intended location), but generally about 1 m. The base consists of four angle bars, two of which end with a ring, through which one may drive a stake. If the location for the stand allows it, the base can be secured to the ground with these stakes, otherwise one can drape on top of it a sausage-like long sand bag
The design I eventually came up with was the result of a series of trials and errors during which I could rely on the patience and resourcefulness of Muhammad Suleiman of Qamishli and Samih Musa of Hajji Nasr.
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