Noor Jehan Sadiq (MSHP '18) won the Anthony Nicholas Brady Garvan Award for an Outstanding Thesis.
Abstract: This research is a conservation study of the marble elements of the Naulakha Pavilion at the Lahore Fort in Pakistan, built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. The scope of work includes the two sets of adjoining jalis (lattice screens) on either side of the pavilion, that are self-supporting. The jalis along with the decorative veneer of the pavilion, both employ Makrana marble (from Rajasthan, India), more commonly known for its use in the Taj Mahal, India. Currently, the marble displays a wide array of deterioration including cracking, granular disintegration, and deformation that in several areas has led to dimensional loss. In particular, the thin, low strength jalis show signs of severe stress and destructive weathering due to thermal hysteresis in the presence of heat and moisture. So far, no comprehensive documentation of the monument’s construction, previous interventions, or its current conditions exists. This work addresses the digital documentation of existing conditions and a synthesis of the prevalent deterioration mechanisms contributing to the behavior of the stone and the overall performance of the pavilion.
Investigations involved analyzing and characterizing the Makrana marble and its use in the pavilion along with conducting an in-depth conditions assessment for answering a range of research questions ultimately concerned with material, design, performance, alteration, treatment, and maintenance. The resulting digital documentation of conditions and synthesis of current deterioration mechanisms present on site, serves as a baseline for future conservation and interpretation of not just the pavilion but of the larger Lahore Fort complex as a whole.