This paper focuses on the Murena Palace in Perugia, part of an architectural complex designed by Luigi Vanvitelli and completed by Carlo Murena in the 18th century. In the context of the seismic vulnerability assessment of this masonry building, the safety of a construction modulus, which gathers several peculiar features identified within the edifice, is analyzed by means of an integrated architectural-structural approach. This construction modulus, that will be called Vanvitelli’s Modulus, is characterized by an intrinsic structural asymmetry with clusters of rooms with masonry vaults, combining different heights, where load bearing walls are standing on top of the vaults. Given these peculiarities, this construction modulus has to be analyzed as a sub-structure with regards to the seismic vulnerability. To this purpose, experimental tests, in particular videoendoscopies and structural monitoring, were conducted to identify geometrical features of walls and vaults, mechanical characteristic of materials and the actual damage condition. From an accurate survey, an innovative parametric approach has been proposed to build the geometrical model of the construction modulus. This has been used, by FEM (finite element method), to perform a structural analysis whose results have been checked by comparison with the actual damage patterns. The proposed integrated architectural-structural approach permits a deeper comprehension of the structural principles that characterize Vanvitelli’s construction modulus and to estimate its seismic vulnerability.
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