The Great Structures in Architecture
Antiquity to Baroque

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International Series on Adv an ces in Architecture ances
The field of architecture has experienced considerable advances in the last few years, many of them connected with new methods and processes, the development of faster and better computer systems and a new interest in our architectural heritage. It is to bring such advances to the attention of the international community that this book series has been established. The object of the series is to publish state-of-the-art information on architectural topics with particular reference to advances in new fields, such as virtual architecture, intelligent systems, novel structural forms, material technology and applications, restoration techniques, movable and lightweight structures, high rise buildings, architectural acoustics, leisure structures, intelligent buildings and other original developments. The Advances in Architecture series consists of a few volumes per year, each under the editorship - by invitation only - of an outstanding architect or researcher. This commitment is backed by an illustrious Editorial Board. Volumes in the Series cover areas of current interest or active research and include contributions by leaders in the field.

Managing Editor
F. Escrig Escuela de Arquitectura Universidad de Sevilla Spain

Honorary Editor
C. A. Brebbia Wessex Institute of Technology Ashurst Lodge, Ashurst Southampton UK

Honorary Editor
P. R. Vazquez Fuentes 170 Pedregal de San Angel 01900 Mexico D.E. Mexico

Associate Editors
C. Alessandri
University of Ferrara Italy

W. P. De Wilde
Free University of Brussel Belgium

M. Majowiecki
University of Bologna Italy

F. Butera
DI Tec, Politecnico di Milano Italy

C. Gantes
National Technical University of Athens Greece

S. Sánchez-Beitia
University of the Basque Country, Spain

J. Chilton
University of Nottingham UK

K. Ghavami
Pontifica Univ Catolica Brazil

J. J. Sendra
Universidad de Sevilla Spain

G. Croci
Istituto di Tecnica delle Costruzioni Italy

K. Ishii
Yokohama Japan

M. Zador
Technical University of Budapest Hungary

A. de Naeyer
University of Ghent Belgium

W. Jäger
Technical University of Dresden Germany

R. Zarnic
University of Ljubljana Slovenia

The Great Structures in Architecture
Antiquity to Baroque

F. Escrig Universidad de Sevilla, Spain

The Great Structures in Architecture
Antiquity to Baroque

Series: Advances in Architecture, Vol. 22
F. Escrig

Published by

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...............120 THE OMNIPRESENT SINAN...........................................................................................209 THE VIRTUAL ARCHITECTURE OF THE RENAISSANCE AND THE BAROQUE ........................................................................................180 SCENOGRAPHICAL ARCHITECTURE OF THE 18 TH Chapter 10: Chapter 11: CENTURY....................................................................................................................................................................................... vii Chapter 1: Chapter 2: Chapter 3: Chapter 4: Chapter 5: Chapter 6: Chapter 7: Chapter 8: Chapter 9: STONES RESTING ON EMPTY SPACE.................................................... UNDER THE SHADOW OF BRUNELLESCHI ....96 THE CENTURY OF THE GREAT ARCHITECTS ...45 THE RIBBED DOME ............................243 ........168 THE PERFECT SYMBIOSES FORM-FUNCTION IN THE HIGH BAROQUE ARCHITECTURE .........................................150 EVEN FURTHER ...................................65 A PLANIFIED REVENGE......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................1 THE INVENTION OF THE DOME.....................................................................................................................................21 THE HANGING DOME................................................................................................................................CONTENTS INTRODUCTION ......

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we would be more modest. more primitive. Neither do the Babylonian legends mention anything referring to architecture. which have evolved in a progressive and sequential order as mentioned. can deify the axe because it is an instrument for wood building. we could study the importance of the forms and its optimisation. But from the viewpoint of someone who practices architecture. You could think that to build a dolmen. but when an arch or a temple is to be made. Nevertheless. in addition. but the historical sequence reveals itself as tricky. And we could go on with the Oriental mythologies with similar results. That leads me to the conclusion that in those days people had to have a great faith in their own skill to take shelter in the shade of a wall of rough stones and that they fully relied on the physical laws to dare to live under a slab canopy. this book tries to start from the early origins without fearing to ignore undocumented precedents. to get closer to them and find out whether they should be conserved or modified. its stability being guaranteed by the inertia of those colossal masses. what is left is the proof of the existence of these works. which they never do with architecture itself. In any case. Instead of committing outrages favoured by the resistance of concrete and steel. But when someone first succeeded in making a ceiling of pebbles. and to be humbler when thinking that our tools are all-powerful. intends to reflect on the great adventure of architecture. so that everything to be added to tradition would show an unmistakably human character. Why does something so important stay outside the consideration of men? In my previous book Towers and Domes I advanced some hypotheses.INTRODUCTION I have always found amazing the fact that someone in the past spent his time piling stones up to mark or to delimit an area. . Greek mythology makes reference to all the forces of nature and to all the human passions and liking. Every matter is open to opinions and everything is objectionable. supported by a material as weak as mud. In case that is right. but not to architecture. people only needed enough energy to move the huge stones it was made of. felt safer inside it than outside. The Nordic ancient cultures. choosing the noble building way instead of the popular brick based architecture. this text will possibly serve to better understand the monuments. And the Egyptians either. But I get even more astonished when I come to think that somebody dared to live within that pile of stones and. that represented a step forward as great as the control of fire. but I must insist on the instrumental character of the domestic architecture and on the symbolic character of the great architecture as a means to achieve other objectives. That is settled. If we realised that our advantage is based in the fact that we have new materials invented by chemists and that in using sun-cooked bricks our results would not be different to those of Babylonian craftsmen. and reaches to the present time in the volume to follow. that must have happened so long ago that no mythology tells about a God owning the power to keep stones floating in the air. which starts in antiquity and finishes in the Baroque in this first volume. since they deified the human architect that constructed Zoser’s pyramids. wooden architraves are used. The Bible considers the existence of domes so obvious that not only does it not mention it. The story that I tell. We could also think that architecture is something so recent that it appeared when the legendary corpus of tradition was already finished.

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Among them sandy. made of great granite or sandstone blocks such as the Cave of Menga. terracing the steep slopes. The Palaeolithic civilisation was based on very limited resources and a slowly made culture zealously passed on from one generation to the next. a world of explorers in pursuit of paradises that inspired their epic poets. We are not talking about megalithic monuments. waste and people. and utilising every source of water available to water the grapevines. usually dry waterbeds. although they rarely used this type of construction. This form of construction is very similar to those developed by other civilisations since it was almost spontaneous. the problem to close convex enclosures must be solved by means of wooden beams. or carrying back to the terraces the little earth that had slipped to the bottom of the ravines. The doors opened into streets along which ran traffic. STONES RESTING ON EMPTY SPACE Huge limestone rocky formations that end on the Mediterranean coasts penetrate the continent. easy to pile up and very steady once piled. Walls can be made of stones as well as primitive tiles. an incomplete firing provides rudimentary tiles not much better than mud walls. There were few woods and the little wood of use for the construction. We are talking about structures mostly made 1 . on occasions. The prismatic modules could be attached to each other to make better use of walls. In this way a city was born. The cattle shared the streets with trade. The English people refer to “corbelled” in a positive way. such as that of pine trees. Some of the oldest civilisations bloomed in those rocky deserts and have survived keeping themselves on the thin layer of earth resulting from the action of weather over the stones. This primitive Mediterranean house did not have an interior courtyard. This was a world of shepherds in which the kindness of the weather allowed them to be partially sedentary. In other countries other great civilisations were growing around true orchards watered by mighty rivers or on vast plains. It was in this poor but well used space where one of the greater structural revolutions took place. shaping steep and stony landscapes. policy and culture. But although the walls admit a certain sloping. and the adobe and the earth building provided stability and protection. The result has been called false vault. the almond and the fig trees. This constructive system is based on the ease of limestone blocks to fragment in angular and flat pieces.Stones Resting on Empty Space Chapter 1. In any case. But the Mediterranean people had to struggle for every inch of ground to sow their seeds. as it could have been called falsely lintelled. the olive. though the climate made it prone to fire and rotting. Reeds are good as planking and are more resistant. That is a later invention whose origin can be found in the country houses related to farming and cattle farming. The great structural discovery was the horizontal covering by means of the stone advance. that made of stones. a world of soldiers that snatched out of their neighbours what their fields lacked. or false dome. a world of fishermen and navigators whose knowledge of the Earth was confined to the rocky shores and the silky beaches. which should be called “advanced course domes”. Some types of impermeable clay are good as layers on the reed covers and. who found in them a public and open place as an extension of the small cubicles they lived in. clearing the surface of stones. was as valuable as a treasure. wind their way down and lead the water of rivers that have their source far inland. the abounding lime is good to make every material impermeable and lend it cohesion. All of them are negative terms that in a certain way reveal that language apostatises regrets of a great cultural contribution. growing along more or less straight streets with walls like fish backbones. The typical Mediterranean house was at first no more than a modest cabin made of flat walls with small holes blocked up with boards as windows and a flat reed or board roof. At the same time there was a more complex and permanent architecture. the Temple at Stonehenge or the Minorca’s Taulas.

whereas Fig.7). Matarrubilla or La Pastora (Fig. 1. 1.9 m high. The pictures of Fig. Near Menga. shortening the span of the closing stones. in Antequera (Escrig). in Antequera (Mata Carriazo). that is to say rubble work.2 shows a sectional view in its present state. a thousand years after El Romeral. Schematic section of the Cave of El Romeral. is covered by a mound of earth which has helped to preserve it in perfect condition.20 m in diameter and 3. Fig. one of the most perfect constructions of advanced course domes.The Great Structures in Architecture Fig. Its central room is 5. that is completed with an access corridor and a smaller chamber. this system has remained until today.11) in the El Aljarafe zone in Seville. In Portugal there are vast number of tombs with corridors made in a simpler way with great slabs (Fig. this technique was developed in the Peloponnesus to such an extent that perfect domes of advanced courses could be built.9). The Treasure of Atreo had the greatest dome ever constructed until it was surpassed by Agrippa’s Pantheon a thousand years later. as well as in the South of France. Fig. Plan and section of the Cave of El Romeral. 1. that does not have a wholly rounded cover because its constructors just let the walls tilt inwards. of rough stone pieces light enough to be moved without the help of great tools.1 shows a general view of the monument. and the whole construction. Nevertheless.1. Many are the domes made from this model scattered all over Europe as proof of the capacity of navigators. This happened about 1500 BC. about 1350 BC. in Antequera. Minorca has impressive megalithic vaults in constructions reaching two floors. and in general in every country under the “calcareous curse”. is the Cave of El Romeral.8 and 1.2. 1. at Ontiveros. The Treasure of Atreo.3 to 1. 2 . 1. 1. The headstone consists of a stone of great size very like other archaic works. the Mediterranean zone abounds in this type of construction dating from the same time. explorers and soldiers to spread culture and techniques. Dating approximately from 4500 years ago it is a burial mound. in the Mediterranean Italian islands. as Naveta del Tudons (Figs.6 give an idea of the perfection of the bond that has recently been partially restored.10). 1. 1. 1. At Los Millares (Fig.

3. Fig.Stones Resting on Empty Space Fig. 1. Fig. in Antequera (Escrig). Access to the second chamber of the Cave of El Romeral. Corridor of access to the Cave of El Romeral.6. 1.4. in Antequera (Escrig). Fig. and covering slab (Escrig).5. Stone disposition of the main chamber of the Cave of El Romeral. 3 . in Antequera (Escrig). 1. 1. Door of access to the main chamber of the Cave of El Romeral.

10a and b.6 m in diameter and 13. it was not included in the later cultured architecture. in Valencina near Seville (Escrig).16). lends it a moving magnificence. in Minorca (Salvat). The covering mound of earth makes it stable and probably served to contain the ramps along which the stones were lifted (Fig.9.1. 1. At this point one has to wonder what was the static working of this system of stones bonding over empty space and why. 1. Tholos of Los Millares in Almeria. Inner view of Naveta dels Tudons. Cave of Ontiveros. in Minorca (Salvat). 4 . even more since this system was not surpassed by any other made up of stones until the French Romanesque vaults. Outer view of Naveta dels Tudons. Its access through a brief covered gallery and a passage between embankments.5 m high.8. Fig. Domed tombs sketches from Portugal (Fletcher). 1.13). 1. The curved lintel and the discharging arch prove a good knowledge of building problems (Fig. is a circular enclosure 14.7. The vault is made of carved stones of almost one tonne in a perfect bond that reveals either a great command of stereotomy techniques or a later carving of its inner part to level its surface and to get it decorated (Fig. 1. also named Agamemnon’s Tomb. though being structurally correct. 1.11. 26 Syrmakezis analyses some recent Greek constructions and makes a detailed exposition of its balance. 1. The cross section is almost parabolic although its pointing in the headstone reveals an attempt to improve its stability as if it was an ogival profile (Fig.15). in Mycenae. 1. In Ref. 1.12). Fig. Fig.The Great Structures in Architecture Fig. and the following equations: Fig. For a linear construction with prismatic blocks see (Fig.14).

1. β v +1 = a v +1 + av+1 = 1 v ∑ βi v i =1 bv +1 2 [1. in Mycenae (Escrig). including the lintel and the discharging arch. Schematic detail from the Treasure of Atreo. ∑ W (a i =1 i v v +1 − βi) ≤ 0 [1. 1.4] [1.1] [1.18). Stone bound of the dome of the Treasure of Atreo.5] This does not depend on the height of blocks (Figs. In this case all the stones are identical.13. 1.12. 5 . Fig. Detail of the access to the main chamber of the Treasure of Atreo.14. 1. Fig.3] ∑W i =1 i Fig.17 and 1.Stones Resting on Empty Space Fig.2] β i = ai + v bi 2 i i a v +1 = ∑β W i =1 v [1. in Mycenae (Escrig).15. Entrance and covering mound of the Treasure of Atreo (Escrig). 1.

18.10] Which means that in case d1 = Δd . Balance scheme of the prismatic blocks projection (Syrmakezis).19. av +1 = i b + 2 ⋅ i =1 v(v + 1) 2 ∑ ia v [1...11] Which leads to a v +1 − a v = Meaning that b v [1.7] In case we considered decreasing rows instead straight rows.17 and 1.6] b a2 − a1 = .12] b a2 − a1 = .. being d and and hi constant (Fig. d 2 = 2Δd . 1.1] to [1. Scheme of the projection with a decreasing number of blocks (Syrmakezis).. 6 . 1. 2 a3 − a2 = b . ∑d i =1 [1. 2 b a3 − a2 = . for the projections balance analysis (Syrmakezis). 3 a4 − a3 = b 4 [1. av +1 − av = b 2v [1..9] a v +1 = [1. Independence of the projection with regards to the thickness of the pieces. 1.. 1. the formula becomes a v +1 = b + 2 ∑a d i =1 v i v i Figs.The Great Structures in Architecture Fig..5] become Fig. the courses have a back counterweight made of earth or rubble (Fig. 4 a4 − a3 = b 6 [1.13] If as it happens in many mounds.20) the formulas [1.16. 1.8] i d i = d + i ⋅ Δd b i =1 + 2 ⋅ i =1 2 2vd + v (v + 1) Δd d ∑ ai + Δd ∑ iai v v [1.19)..

18] ∑(W +W′ ) i =1 i i v Wi = yπ ϕ ( Ri′ 2 + ri ′ 2 ) hi Being Which being b i = b becomes v i =1 v ri ′ = ri + bi [1.21. Scheme for the study of the balance of circular shaped decreasing stone courses (Syrmakezis). In Ref.20. we wanted to face the real problem of the Treasure of Atreo (Fig.17] If we counted on the existence of the back counterweight Wi = y ⋅ bi d i hi W 'i = yπ ⋅ d i hi (av + bv − ai − bi ) β i rv +1 = a i + bi 2 v 1 = cosϕ ∑ β W +∑ β i =1 i i i =1 v i =1 i i v v i ' Wi ' [1.21) without taking into account the stabilising earth weight. If we knew therefore the size of every stone that makes up the thirty-three advanced courses.23] ∑ (W + W ′ ) [1.22] 7 .15] [1.23.19] [1. 1.25] av+1 = i=1 ∑β W +∑β ' W' i i i =1 i i v 2 senϕ R' i2 + R' i r' i + r' i2 β i' = 3 ϕ Ri ' + r' i [1.22. If we consider that the voussoirs are carved in a wedge shape and therefore the problem of the flexion or the cutting one are of no importance. though the table only reaches a height of 4 m and a span of 5 m. 1. rv +1 1 = cosϕ ∑β W i =1 v i v i ∑W i =1 [1. as is shown in Fig.24] [1.21] [1. where the stable profiles appear in shade.27] a v +1 = 1 2 v (a v + b) 2 − ∑ ai2 v ( a v + b) − ∑ a i i =1 Ri′ = rv + bv If starting from this premise. 1.16] [1.14] [1. locating its profile in the zone of suggested stability of Fig. we will be able to change the scale to fit the size of the Treasure of Atreo. 1. Balance of projections made of isolated blocks.20] i 2 senϕ Ri2 + Ri ri + ri 2 βi = 3 ϕ Ri + ri Wi = yϕ hi ( Ri2 + ri 2 ) [1. 1. its density and the density and height of the filling material we would directly obtain from the previous expressions the optimal profile of the vault. balanced with a rear load (Syrmakezis). ∑ W (a i =1 i v v +1 − β i ) + ∑ W ' i ( a v +1 − β ' i ) ≤ 0 i =1 v [1.26] [1. Fig. 25 Symakezis has developed a calculation program that from the previous parameters and including the stones resistance to flexo-compression and to cutting effort.Stones Resting on Empty Space Fig. allows us to develop the stable profile considering the static and structural stability.

1.24).22.25. 1. 1. Fig. 8 . 1. Analysis of present Cretan constructions. 1. 1. Fig. Different inner views of a present Cretan dome (Syrmakezis).c and d.25. which are infinitely more modest and made of rough stones fitting also the profiles in the mentioned stable limits (Fig.23. Scheme or the stability zone and the profile position of the Treasure of Atreo (Escrig). Syrmakezis has analysed Cretan constructions dating from the beginning of the XXth century. Fig.24. Typical section (Syrmakezis). Different outer views of a present Cretan dome (Syrmakezis). Calculation of the stable profiles for domes of projected stones (Syrmakezis).a and b. Fig.The Great Structures in Architecture Fig.

in Castellon. (García Lisón) 9 .Stones Resting on Empty Space Fig. 1. Different types of shepherd huts from the Levantine Maestrazgo.26.

c.The Great Structures in Architecture Fig. 1. d and e. b.27a. 10 . Different views of some shepherd huts in Castellón (Escrig).

28a. b and c.Stones Resting on Empty Space Fig. 1. 11 . Different views of the inner stone disposition of some shepherd huts (Escrig).

12 .The Great Structures in Architecture Fig. Present views of the Italian Trulli.29a and b. 1.

The disappearance of this structural type that has countless advantages seems inexplicable: a) b) c) d) e) Admits stones without carving.29c. 1. 1. Construction without need for a temporary support. in Alberobello.25 shows different building aspects wherein even the superposed lintels in substitution of the discharging arches can be seen. Fig. 13 . 1. Neither flexion nor cracking zones.30. Possibility of openings in the surface without altering its tensional state. No need for horizontal thrust. General view of Alberobello. The Trulli as a tourist attraction. Fig.Stones Resting on Empty Space Fig.

Group of Bories in Sarlat. Inner aspect of a Borie. 1. Fig.31. COMPOSED FORM Fig.35b. in the French region of Perigord (Escrig).34b. 1.35a. 14 .32. Recent project to build a Borie (Escrig).33. Stonehenge aereal view in Salisbury in England. 1. Fig. in Sarlat (Escrig). Oratory of Gallarus. Evolution of the Trulli (Vernice).The Great Structures in Architecture SECONDARY FORM Fig. a stone cabin. and 1. 1. in Ireland. Fig. 1.34a. Fig. 1.

Fig 1. preceding the exquisite medieval works. Ref. whose vegetal precedents they did not try to hide. such as too much thickness and weight and its high camber. such as those in La Mancha (Spain). paradoxically involved in the commerce of tin since early times. we are again talking about pointed profiles stable enough to resist an earth tremor: in any case. in the Gallarus oratory. 1. Fortunately for the advanced courses domes. preferred a much more primitive system with column and lintel or strut and brace. The attempts to reproduce the technique today have not been too satisfactory (Fig. where the only fruit to be harvested from the ground consisted of stones. 1. Fig.33). so that a construction of a four metres span could be rebuilt in two or three days at the most by a pair of workers. Better constructions can be found nowadays.31. he could not demand payment. In the centre of France constructions exist very similar to the Trulli. possibly by the hundreds. Dowth and Knouth.32). In Apulia.36a and b.29) are still built and have become one of the main tourist attractions of the place. with more regular courses and using mud as a settling element. called Bories. even more considering that in the Treasure we find the first pointed arch.34) that Fig. Greek people. for instance. Terraced houses in Menorca in Spain. The Levantine Maestrazgo has examples and craftsmen who still follow that system. 1. 1.27 shows some examples.28). 31 deals in more detail with this interesting type of very flat limestone stones whose schematic evolution can be seen in Fig. though having to hand these examples. the shepherds and the farmers of those dry places kept the tradition. 1.37a and b. When the collector appeared in the town he only found rubble piles for which. Outher and inner view (Jarque). the principal reason for this way of building was the necessity to evade the tax on houses. 1. House in La Mancha in Spain. But we cannot forget that the British Isles. which 15 . No sooner did he disappear than the stones were return to their original place since these vaults could practically be taken apart. 1.35). Outer and inner view (Jarque). 1. in Dingle (Fig. in Ireland. in some cases have a kind of mezzanine and windows of a certain complexity. The main thing is that in the time of maximum splendour of their culture. In Salat can be found the very well made Breuil cabins (Fig. 14 shows a wide analysis of its different types and its usefulness (Fig. According to legend. beside the Adriatic sea. evidently. that have extremely disordered bonds (Fig. have clear examples that share the territory with the great megalithic monuments of Stonehenge and Avebury in England. Ref. Yvias in France (Fig.26). and New Grange. Apart from this suggested explanation. that can be added to the long list previously mentioned. do not seem enough reasons to think of it as obsolescent. in the town of Alberobello the so-called Trulli (Fig. easy to rebuild. the Mediterranean Hellenization hardly reached a few kilometres from the coast and in the interior of the countries. The medieval Irish monks had built vaults with protruding stone profiles since the 7th century as. 1. between 2500 and 1700 BC. Now we are going to spend more time in every geographic spot where these limestone eggs have grown.Stones Resting on Empty Space Its hypothetical disadvantages. 1.

Inner view of the disposition and the symbolic central support (Ortega). In Minorca. General view. forming houses with interior courtyards packed with various rooms (Fig. Beehive house in Syria. great stone builders. A last question before ending: why the powerful ensuing civilisations went for less efficient systems? The Egyptians. The 80 cm thick walls support the staggered brick dome that rises up to an inner height of 3. whereas in Provence constructions of a large size and perfect carving are still being built (Fig. Each dome rests on a square base (sometimes round) of brick or stone whose inner dimensions go up to 5 x 5 m.40. Etruscan tomb in Montagnola.41. 1. 1. used advanced courses arches that ran along covering narrow corridors. Fig.36). due to researchers’ lack of interest. the Greeks had more aesthetic than technical sensitivity and the Romans discovered the voussoirs dome. Beehive house in Syria.39).The Great Structures in Architecture Fig.5 to 4. gives them more stiffness (Fig. 20 ]. though almost solely in Syria.37). 16 . Section of a dome. Plan of the whole building. Fig.39. Fig.5 m (Fig. When the piece is rectangular it is divided by means of a central arch that allows the support of a pair of domes. which they had in abundance. With this list of places it is not the intention to exhaust the subject. 1. 1. They gather in similar units of repetitive shape. ziggurat-like terraced constructions of great beauty are presently used (Fig.38. 1. considering it a pattern suitable enough to tirelessly repeat it. Etruscan tomb in Casale Maritimo. section and plan. The Babylonian empires went for mud. In the Middle East too. 1. 1.35). since there is little published about it. 1.38). A great construction uses four to five thousand bricks of 25 x 46 x 7 cm and a team of workers spends about 10 to 15 days in its building. the so-called Beehive Houses that are based on the same principles but made of bricks are still built [Ref. which is impossible anyway. 1.

Stones Resting on Empty Space Fig. General view of the temple of Bruvanesvar (Schlaich).43. 1. 17 . 1. Fig. Etruscan tumuli in Cervetery.42.

the Etruscans. Indian constructions are also built according to the advanced courses vaulting principle. Fig.The Great Structures in Architecture imposing inner support of symbolic character since it did not have any influence on the structure. 1. or the burial mounds of Cervetery (Fig.41) from 600 BC. Effects of the outward rotation of the base in a corbelled arch (Croci).44 its elevation and sections can be seen.47. Fig. Fig. 1. 1. mainly because of his work as a restorer. such as the South Asians in their pagodas and stupas and the Aztec in their temples. however tempting that task could be. whereas in Fig. finding that most of the problems arise from floor shifting.46. 18 .40). Besides. Variation of the shear forces in a corbelled arch due to rotation of the base (Croci). 1.47). which causes wall leaning (Fig. achieving such spectacular results that it is not easy to choose a single example. the Montagnola tomb (Fig. Fig. 1. 1. The thorough examination of the resistence principles of temples and stupas goes beyond the goals set by the author. Picture of 19th Century of the city of Varanasi. this fact leads to an increase of the shear stresses in the horizontal contact surface between the blocks (Fig. Only their predecessors. Crocci (Ref. Fig. Elevation and sections of the temple of Bruvanesvar (Stierlin).46). 1. put into practice part of the principles of the protruding stones.42). Other later important cultures.45.43 shows an impressive picture of the temple of Bhruvanesvar. 1. in some tombs like the Tholos of Casale Maritimo (Fig. 1. 1. made an attempt to connect with tradition. all of them with an Fig.45 shows a 19th century picture of the town of Varanasi. is the author who has most studied these types of monuments from the structural viewpoint. 10). 1. 1.44.

Stresses in a corbelled dry block tower (Croci). 1.51).52. (ii) deformable contacts and (iii) an explicit time-domain solution of the original equations of motion. 1. since he considers the structure working as Fig. Possible function of the iron beams in the Sury temple (Croci). Fig.50. carried out by Roberti and Spina using the Finite Element Method. Fig. 1. In the tholos considered. Possible layout of transversal chains and tie-bars to strengthen a tower (Croci). 19 .Stones Resting on Empty Space This last consequence forces Crocci to use strong metallic elements (Fig. The more precise analysis of a tholos in Sardinia (Ref. Today it would not make any sense using materially economic but labour intensive systems. But knowledge is a great pleasure that may have in those cupolas an exotic ingredient unknown by most people. it is a contradiction in structural terms that affects the system concept.48).49 shows in a simplified way. 50 reinforcement seems suitable. considers the following elements: Fig. 1. (i) independent blocks. Maybe other cultures thought something alike.49. it has been used as a method that considers the fabric stability as a rigid solid. 1. 25).48. the Nuraghe Santu Antine in Sardinia (Fig. 1. 1. Fig. 1. Nevertheless. If we took a nostalgic glance at so many techniques that were lost by ignorance or intellectual imposition we would find in the advanced courses domes a nonrecoverable example. 1. Fig. Velocity vectors and contact closures at collapse for the dome built without backfill. A bird´s eye view of the Nuraghe Santu Antine (Roberti and Spina). even though the Fig.51.

VELAZQUEZ BOSCO.. Portugal. 3. Revista de Archivos. Madrid. 1987. 1975. 1994. Computational Mechanics Pub. Akal.Universidad of Minho. 30. Manuales Arte Cátedra. Publicaciones de la Universidad de Las Palmas. 8. 1993. 15. Not published.Guimaraes. Gever. CHASSAGNOUX. BLANCO FREIJEIRO.ESCRIG. 2001.O. 1995. 12. 19. pp. 1980). 1981. 10. Salvat. CORZO SANCHEZ. “Los Trulli”. “Arquitectura. 14. “Cúpulas de Tierra”. “Arte Griego”.. Bibliotecas y Museos. Barcelona. Taschen. M. 9.SYRMAKEZIS. 23. “Arte Antiguo del Asia Anterior”. “Historias de la Construcción.719-727. 1995. Southampton. Investigación y Ciencia. “La antigüedad. 31. “El enigma de los primeros constructores”. “Etruscan and Early Roman Ar chitecture”. 29. 88 (Enero. Fondo de Cultura Económica. Master Thesis ETSA de Sevilla.. & HYMAN. 1998. Madrid. S. & SPINA. London.ORTEGA ANDRADE. “Arqueología social de los monumentos megalíticos”. Grecia y Etruria. 1984. Universidad. Historia del Arte en Andalucía”. & LEONHART. 1982. 42-52. Libroexpres. en Investigación y Ciencia.GARCIA LISON.G. “Persian vaulted Architecture: Morphology and equilibrium of vaults under static and dynamic loads”.TRACHTENBERG. Mesopotamia. pp. Madrid.C. 4. Museo Cretense de Etnología.CROCI. J. “Arquitectura Carolingia y Románica.MATA CARRIAZO. Libro Primero”. B. R. R. Egipto. “Discrete element analysis on the Sardinian Nuraghe” Historical Constructions 2001. A. & MULLER. G. L´ome i la pedra 2. “A history of Architecture”. BOËTHIUS. & MOULIN. 28. C.PIJOAN. J. Biblioteca Antequera. 16. Roma”. “Cámaras sepulcrales descubiertas en término de Antequera”. A. Temes d’Etnografía Valenciana. “Encyclopedia of World Architecture”. Butterworths. M. Aguilar. 13. 18. “L´habitatge temporal. F. CHILDE. “Domes and Towers in Architecture”. “Arquitectura de los orígenes”. 1989. M. Ed. T. CONANT. A. C. J. Tomo I. CARRIAZO.S. “Arquitectura primitiva”. BLANCO FREIJEIRO. A. 70-79. 1974. 19 ed.FLETCHER’S. “Arquitecture Prehistórica”. H.VERNICE. Cartillas de Arquitectura Española.G. 2004. 1982. 1954. 515-523.HEINLE. F. 11. Southampton. 1980. 1996. pp. 1974. ZARAGOZA CATALAN. Escrig. Madrid. Structural Studies of Historical Buildings IV. 17. G. Madrid. 48 (Septiembre.I. E. de la M. 1929. “ Tours du monde entiere” Livre Total. Yale University Press. 20 . “Los Dólmenes de Antequera”. Madrid.. 1998. D. 26. B.. Aguilar. “El gran arte de la Arquitectura. F. F. USA. pp. GONZÁLEZ. 2. HOLTZMAN.W. 1990. Madrid. “Los orígenes de la civilización”. 7. Caja de Ahorros de Antequera. 27. “Arquitectura Rural primitiva en Sec”. A.GIMENEZ REINA. 1989. Sevilla. 6. Cartillas de Arquitectura Española I. Computational Mechanics Pub. G. S. I. B. Sevilla. “Domes in Creta”.ROBERTI. 5. Institut Alfons el Magnanim.” Universidad de Valencia.DANIEL. COLL.LLOYD.STIERLIN.JARQUE.”The conservation and structural Restoration of Architectural Heritage”. 21. 22.RENFREW. WIT Press.GUIDONI. J. n1 9. 1980. M. De la Prehistoria a la Modernidad”. 25. C.J. 1984).The Great Structures in Architecture REFERENCES OF CHAPTER 1 1. K. Prof. E. 20.SOUZA GOIS.RIBA. R. Arte y Ciencia. México. “Arquitectura Prehistórica”. 1988 (in Greek). 1905.I. “Conjuntos megalíticos”. I. 1977. 1929. Primer Congreso de Historia de la Construcción. 800-1200”. 24. “Historia del Arte”. H.

For instance. in a certain way a prolongation of arches. 2. which were known by all the civilisations. THE INVENTION OF THE DOME Without doubt. according to the remains found in excavations. 2. in the Palace of Sargon (722 BC) or in Niniva (Fig. Fig. that is to say the revolutionary new form. That is why. the invention of the arch. though better organised. in true vaults and arches the semicircular shape is chosen from the beginning. Ishstar gate of the Palace of Niniva in Babylon. but certainly was a problem in more popular ones.3). In contrast. Reconstruction. The same system. From the arch to the vault there is only the requirement of a bigger framework. as in expensive civil works. There the earth has no end and dust and mud are the only materials that separate men from floods and that can lift them up closer to the sky. if not surprising. Mud and bushes are the only available materials to make the trousseau or the former means of writing and to build houses.The Invention of the Dome Chapter 2. and it was profusely used as an alternative to palm tree trunk beams or plaited reed beams. was used in the Khosabad sewers (Fig. whereas in false vaults and arches a pointed shape is required. which shows that the passage from the former to the latter is obligatory in the search of more harmonious geometries.1b. such as that of a palace. 2. The arch became the only feasible form for covering the empty space between two walls with a soft material. Previous state. must be attributed to any of the civilisations that developed in the Middle East.5) showed a skill in accurate stone carving that. 2. 2. Curiously enough. Physically constructed arches can be found in Khorsabad. none of them shows clear proof of the use of domes. 21 . 2. palaces and fortifications.1).1a. Ishtar gate of the Palace of Niniva in Babylon. is solid proof of a building maturity. of the vaults other examples can be found not requiring provisional support. in Fig.2 can be seen a small brick covering at Tell al Rimah (2100 BC). in which one brick supports the following one with the aim of saving the construction of shoring. Fig.4) and the Etruscans in Volterra (Fig. But vaults are linear elements. which could not be an obstacle in great works. 2. in addition to the building techniques. The Greeks in Olympia (Fig.

Schlaich (Ref. 2. dating from 700 BC. Fig.3. suggesting that some houses could have been covered with small domes (Fig. either in Egypt as in Babylon. Brick dome in Tell al Rimah. 2.2. Ishtar gate of the Palace of Niniva in Babylon. 2. wherein a domed village can be seen (Schlaich). but no excavation results lead us to that conclusion. 22 .4 Access to a theatre in Olympia. Fig. 2. 20) shows a picture of this relief. 2.6. among other things because the tight mesh of irregular reticules that formed towns did not go well with central covers and. Fig.The Great Structures in Architecture Fig. Fig. 2. Fletcher (Ref. 6) shows in his book a relief reproduction found in Niniva.5 Etruscan door in Volterra. Fig. reconstructive system.1b. 2. Relief from Ninive.6). Drain under Palace Plattform in Khorsabad.

following very normalised models. In the first place it is monolithic. Stabianas Thermae in Pompeii (García Bellido). That is the case of domed Frigidarium. 2. Fig. both in Pompeii. Fig. Anyway. We find them as parts of thermal buildings. Although this constructive system is not the optimum. when Romans had already exported those geometries. Present images of Middle Eastern villages are deceptive. 2.9) or the Forum ones (Fig. Otherwise. the dome has a problem in comparison with the vault: the wearing of a piece leads to the total collapse. The inferior hemispheric form and the 23 . all of them subsequent to the 4th century AD. Afghanistan (Minke). In Pompeii there was another group of thermal baths. which dating does not give rise to any doubt since it was not possible to make later reforms.6.7. 2.10. which receives all the weight. Therefore. it has evident advantages. 2. These vaults have a very stable structural behaviour because they are firmly supported by heavy walls and their thickness diminishes as it gradually approaches the headstone.8 show primitive looking images. 2. resistant and light. because of the need of a complete formwork.11). to get protection against floods it was necessary to compact the neighbourhoods and to close the streets with doors or lift them up on platforms. of which we do not know the layout. 2. since they may look as of ancient vernacular architecture. Earth block domes in Siestan.7 and 2. In principle there are no limitations for the space to cover.The Invention of the Dome Fig. Dating from the second century BC we can mention the Stabianas thermae (Fig. The ventilation and the illumination take place through the oculo of the headstone and the implantation on an orthogonal reticule is done by means of niches in the corners (Fig. 2. Figs. Fig.9. since it is based on a pozzolana concrete. vaulted Tepidarium and mixed up Caldarium. 2. 2. In addition. Sketch of the initial planning of the Roman domes (Escrig). it is difficult to deduct whether vaults have an Eastern origin or not. 2.8. there is no doubt that the first dated vaults belong to the Roman Republic. which does not happen in the case of longitudinal forms. very similar to that seen in Fig. the Central one. Forum Thermae in Pompeii (García Bellido). The model of thermal vaults must have been set long before and it practically consists of a hemisphere sitting on a cylindrical drum having the same height and radius. Fig.11.10). it is compatible with the introduction of brick strips. Earth block domes village near Alepo in Syria (Minke).

14b).12. In fact. the Domus Augusta (92 AD) constructed also with an octagonal plan in the days of Domitian and measuring 10 m in diameter. the Romans. 2. with and without oculo.17 and 2. This demonstrates that whether or not its inventors. not to mention the numerous examples that confirm small advances.13. In contrast. although its building does not force the rooms to spin diagonally and. 2. 2. When talking about the Pompeii thermae we must also mention that the caldarium had a mixed form. outer cap allow the inclusion of a parabola of pressures that makes it work specially well. being replaced by a form very usual at the back of Forums and Temples. but for the niches in the corners (Fig. a cylindrical vault ending in a quarter of a sphere that in the case of the Forum thermae even had a lateral perforation. 2.The Great Structures in Architecture PANTHEON DOME Complete dome Dome with oculo Fig.15). Here the vault concept has disappeared. is identical to the hemispheric one. is of a smaller and in a certain way more primitive complexity. 24 . 2. The solution consists on the intersection of four cylinders on an orthogonal plan. leaves less residual space. following a model that. shows a geometric purity only common in maturity. 2. 2. Fig. Thickness has been reduced to the minimum thanks to the counteracting barrel vaults. that they used and could afford to transform it at will.14a). But an important contribution that still has not appeared in the previous examples consists of the arches discharging on lintels and on the surfaces where weight is wanted to be transferred to the buttresses (Figs. 2.16). that is to say. so regular and with no marble or decoration. that being the reason why it does not cause flexions.18). therefore. Shrine of Hoessn Soleiman in Syria (García Bellido). Funicular working of the semicircular domes. 2.12 shows a drawing of the loads funicular within the section where it can be seen that this line does not exceed the third of the section. Fig. the system of illumination through the ceiling of the contiguous pieces is impressive and its inner aspect. The flat arches.13). otherwise. were first in dicovering the characteristics of the system. The modernity of the plan is characteristic of some of our contemporary architects (Fig. the horizontal courses that advance towards the empty space and a penetration through the big hollows that occupy 75% of the walls surface look as if the globes are floating in the air rather than a vault (Fig. whose stability is based on a powerful frontal diaphragm plate (Fig. The first problem that must be solved is how to fit it in a perfectly orthogonal mesh without wasting space. But the discovery and use of the vault are but the first step in benefiting from its great potential. Let us have a look at the Domus Aurea vault (70 AD) of 13 m diameter (Fig.

Inner view of the Domus Aurea.14b. 2. 2.14a. Fig. 2. Fig. 25 . showing its ceiling illumination system (Ward Perkins). Fig.The Invention of the Dome Fig. Plan of the Domus Aurea (Ward Perkins).16. Scheme of the dome of the Domus Aurea (Escrig).15 Section of the Domus Aurea. 2.

19). In our opinion it is a point of inflection. Fig. Perspective of the Domus Augusta (Ward Perkins). The same can be said of Baiae (Fig. 2. 2.The Great Structures in Architecture Between 115 and 130 AD.19. In the Leptis Magna (Libia) thermal building several substantial new features are introduced of which an architectonic ornament made up of sixteen layers. Adriano. built the Pantheon. in addition. This permits construction of the optimal formwork (Fig. Apart from that. Fig. eight of them cylindrical and the other eight gathering the lunettes of the windows. The system of curved lintels and three-dimensional arches not only did not have any precedent but. 2. Scheme of the Pantheon of Agrippa (García Bellido). are well known because this Apolodoro was a rationalist of its time. 2. walls and caps transmit the action by means of discharging arches superimposed (Fig. which at last is a result of the former. Fig. b) It creates an eastward tendency to the detriment of the Greek one. It is sophisticated because it is able to set up directionality by means of a hierarchy of hollows and cornices of complexity. so that when joining before arriving at the key. So much has been written on this building that it is a redundancy to expand on the matter. c) Concern for the constructive procedure predominates over the formal one.22). Section and plan of the Domus Augusta (Ward Perkins).20). 2. everything being finally gathered with a concrete layer (Ref. It is simple because it is supported by a perfectly circular drum with a cap able to keep within a complete sphere and responds to the first model found in Pompeii. become a continuous spherical cap. is not the least important. d) It gives way to new architectonic types. according to our arguments. in the Roman constructive technique in several senses: a) It demonstrates that the vault has a potential to cover wide spaces that do not have other types of vaults. The Pantheon is a way to take to the limit the thermal vault in its simpler but at the same time more sophisticated state (Fig. 2.22). or rather rebuilt it on a previous building made by Agrippa. Besides. 26 . The other innovation consists of a line of windows positioned between the drum and the dome that illuminates the interior instead of a central oculo and high enough as to overlook the contiguous rooms.18. The vault is really made up of a spatial lattice that is camouflaged as a reticular coffered ceiling.17.21 and 2. an emperor of oriental mentality whose arguments with Trajano’s. each one of the vaults constructed in the days of Adriano meant a step ahead with respect to the previous ones.3 m inner diameter and a similar height reveals an inventiveness that has never been used again. his mentor architect. 2. e) It turns height and ceiling illumination into a new spatial value. 16). that the constructive system used to cover a 43.

27 .20. 2.The Invention of the Dome 2 3 1 Plan and first stage Section 1 INTERIOR LAYER AND COFFERS 1 Interior layer and coffers 2 INTERMEDIATE LAYER OF MERIDIANS 2 Intermediate layer of meridians and parallels 3 AND Exterior layer made of concrete and relieving arches PARALLELS 4 One of the eight supports 3 EXTERIOR LAYER MADE OF CONCRETE 5 Brick arches AND RELIEVING ARCHES 4 ONE OF THE EIGHT SUPPORTS 5 BRICK ARCHES Level of the great cornice 5 4 6 Construction of the dome 10 5 9 11 7 6 7 8 9 10 11 Three tiers of relieving arches Meridian ribs made of brick Parallel ribs also in brick Relieving arches Continuous layer of puzolanic concrete Buttresses of the dome 7 8 8 Fig. Scheme of the construction phases of the Pantheon of Agrippa (Ortega).

where the directionality of the 26. 2.3 m in diameter space has been achieved by enlarging disproportionately the entrance hollow and by prolonging that of exit. the emperor gave absolute free rein to its fantasy and intuition. In Adriano’s villa.22. 28 . 2. Scheme of the dome of Baiae (García Bellido). 2.23. Group of thermal buildings in Leptis Magna in Libya (García Bellido). finding there an enormous variety of forms and solutions that seem impossible to remain standing (Fig. Fig.21. Fig.24). in Rome (García Bellido). resulting in the Palladian basilicas that we will see below. 2.23 shows a plan of the Horti Sallustiani in Rome. The most surprising are those surrounding Piazza d’Oro. Nimphaeum of the Horti Salustiani. Fig. 2.The Great Structures in Architecture Fig.

2. in Tivoly. in Tivoly. 29 . Fig. Fig. 2. in Tivoly. in Tivoly.25b. The lobed dome over its hall simplifies that of Baiae.26a Plan of the main building of the Villa Adriana. 2.The Invention of the Dome Fig. 2. although it maintains the illumination through the key and loses directionality. Piazza d’Oro in the Villa Adriana. Drawing of the hall of Piazza d’Oro in the Villa Adriana. But the fact of its remaining standing in spite of being supported by eight lunettes is a clear sign of its structural effectiveness (Fig. 2. Fig.24.25). Fig. 2.25a. State of the hall at the end of the XIXth Century. Perspective of the main building of the Villa Adriana.26b.

2. Piazza d’Oro prefigures constructions of wood or steel. There we have a winding form that nobody would think capable of being covered because of the complexity of its space and the limited dimension of its buttresses and columns of complete permeability. If we compared it with the Domus Aurea dome. And it was still more difficult in the arrangement of the 20 m side square on which was implanted a cramming of vaults and domes where even a toric dome could play a main role. was in its moment an innovation difficult even to think of. we could realise the enormous strides made by building techniques in a very short time.26). Bathrooms in the Villa Adriana.The Great Structures in Architecture Fig. makes up a real form exhibition. Sections. Bathrooms in the Villa Adriana. Fig. Fig.27b. to arrive at this filigree supported by slender columns. 2. in Tivoly. Here we find a dome that no longer is used to cover a circular. but nobody would dare to make it of stone or brick. Plan (García Bellido). There. as those later made in Byzantium. Although nowadays a 13 m diameter is not too much.27a. and hardly a half more. building a dome on columns balanced by attached dome sectors.27c. not even the gothic constructors who knew the static 30 . 2. not even polygonal. But it is in the main building of Piazza d’Oro where form has not been surpassed until the present time (Fig. it is appreciated as the ordered way to connect the elements of the whole and the independence to perforate the walls with great colonnades rather than as individual achievements. in Tivoly. Only a century and a half from the Treasure of Atreo to the Neronian construction. Bathrooms in the Villa Adriana. In the great baths of Tivoli the sequence of hemi capgroined vault-dome. 2. plan. in Tivoly in the actuality.

2.The Invention of the Dome laws and achieved height under the penalty of thick bundles of columns. 31 . State of the Temple of Medical Minerva at the end of the XVIIIth Century. Inventing the true drum as in the temple of Medical Minerva? (Fig. Fig.30). Plan of the Askleipeion of Pergamo (García Bellido). any of these works would contribute excellent new features.29b. is very well tied with bands of bricks in several threads (Fig.28. thanks to the perfect relief given by the brick arches (Fig. indeed. 2. 2. 2.27).29d. But if we analysed the constructive systems. with a 26. 2. What else can be done after the Tivoli Villa? Lightening the walls with deep lobes as in the Pergamon Asklepieion by Antonino.29)? Little more.29). 2.29a.5 m diameter (Fig. Constructive scheme of the Temple of Medical Minerva (Drum). The baths must be considered as a masterpiece also (Fig. Outline of the Temple of Medical Minerva (García Bellido). 2. with a 24 m diameter and a height of 33 m. The Treveris thermae have a hugely perforated drum.31). Fig. Present state of the Temple of Medical Minerva.29c. 2. 2.28). The 250 AD temple of Minerva. Fig. 2. 2. Fig. Fig. the Diocletian Mausoleum in Spalato has an interesting construction made exclusively of bricks placed as fish scales (Fig.

as the tomb of the Calventii of hexagonal plan (Fig. From that moment. of oval plan (Fig. 2. in Spalato. Fig. Inner view of the Mausoleum dome (Hébrand). 2. Fig. This. inaugurates a model of central plan only altered by a crossed access narthex repeated over and over again (340 AD).30b. 2. The Saint Constanza Mausoleum has only a 12 m diameter and a height of 20 m.35). 2.30a Scheme of the dome disposition of the Diocletian Mausoleum. This is due to the needs of the new Christian cult.The Great Structures in Architecture Fig.34) or Saint Gideon in Colony. but it is surrounded by a permeable gallery through a colonnade that duplicates the useful diameter (Fig. Plan of the Treveris Thermae (a) and present state (b) (García Bellido). 2. the changes are the consequence of an alteration in the type of plan. 2. together with the existence of a drum as the one in Treveris Thermae and even a columned peristyle.31.33). 32 .

33 Mausoleum of the Calventii (Renaissance Drawing). Primitive state of Saint Gideon.34c. 2. in Colony (Krautheimer). Medieval state of Saint Gideon.34a. Fig.34b. 2. in Colony (Escrig). Fig. 33 . 2.32 Mausoleum of Saint Constance (García Bellido). Fig. in Colony. 2.The Invention of the Dome Fig. Plan of Saint Gideon. Fig. 2.

Adriano’s empire was the largest one under a single administration during the whole Roman period and though the western provinces adapted very well to the official architectonic patterns.35b.37a. 2. in Rome (Krautheimer). Plant of Saint Lorenzo in Milan (Krautheimer). Fig. Fig.The Great Structures in Architecture as in Saint Lorenzo in Milan. 2. Perspective of the Basilica of Saint Peter and Saint Andrew (Krautheimer).36. Perspective of the Basilica of the Saints Peter and Marceline and Mausoleum of Saint Elena. 2. The innovation here lies in the fact that the circumvallation gallery has two floors.35c. the eastern ones defined their own types with a vigour. Fig. balanced by attached domes. mainly the former. 2. practically with the same size. Actual state of Saint Lorenzo in Milan (Krautheimer). 2. Fig. Fig. that formerly must have been covered with a groined vault (Fig. Those two examples inspired the Renaissance architects. now unrecognisable because of its baroque restoration. that helped Borromini to settle his Ivo della Sapienza scheme. Original pattern of Saint Lorenzo in Milan (Escrig). 34 .35).37b. 2. As is well known. Fig. 2.35a. Plan of the Basilica of Saint Peter and Saint Andrew (Krautheimer). Other complications appeared when a square enclosure without octagonal transit was to be covered.

2. whose shape we know thanks to the 1609 engraving by Callot. First. Fig. transepted basilicas. is the 33.The Invention of the Dome A very special example. the complex geometries full of colonnades that mix straight and curved lines.42. 2. with its nerved wood cover (Fig. Second. Precedents can be found in some constructions in Rome as Saint Peter and Marceline Basilica with its ending transept and crowned by the Saint Elena Mausoleum (Fig. 2. Fig. Fig. Fig. 2. . Anastasis Rotonda in Jerusalem in 1609 (Callot). seen below. Saint Minas. 2. in Abu Mira.41. Saint Babilas. 2.38) that introduced great variations. Fig.39. although could not hide their basilica or central temple origins. 35 . in Antioquia (Krautheimer). 2. This example would inspire the construction of the Dome of the Rock. Anastasis Rotonda in Jerusalem by de Bruyn in the seventeenth century.37). apsidal endings or diagonally spun spaces. Or as Saint Peter Basilica.36) with a 20 m diameter.40.7 m diameter Anastasis Rotunda in Jerusalem. Qual’at Siman (Krautheimer). combined with the Honorio Mausoleum and the Saint Andrew Rotunda (Fig. 2. 2. the predominance of stone instead of brick and the Roman cement. Fig. and Baptistry (Krautheimer).38a.38b. Saint Philippe Martiryum (Krautheimer). mainly because of its symbolical meaning rather than its structural content. copied then from the original construction still standing.

43) and the Church of Theolokos. all of them coming from Saint Lorenzo’s in Milan. in Abu Mira at 412.44). Martiryum of Selencia Pieria (Baldwin Smith). the vaulted basilical plan of the Saint Sergio Martiryum in Resaffa (Fig. 2. that due to its dating make it possible to know whether they exerted some influence over the Persian architecture or else were influenced by it. 2. dating from 484.46. 2. both coming from Saint Constance as well as the Selencia-Pieria Martiryum (Fig. the 1480 Qual’at Siman (Fig. 2. dating from 450 AD (Fig. Also. Fig. Saint Babilas’ in Antioquia (Fig.48) and some churches like those shown in Fig. Fig. the incipient Greek cross plans shown in Fig.42).39). Fig. there are other types of an unquestionable newness. the latter being more likely.40). 2. 2. 2. dating from 379 AD. Though the mentioned examples recall former ones. Saint Philippe Martyrium (about 400 AD) (Fig.47).46). 2.45. 2. 2. 36 . 2. 2. The parabolic dome of the Saint Joseph Martiryum in Zorah (Fig. 2.43. 2.45) or the Resaffa Martiryum (Fig. and its Baptistry (Fig.41).50.44. Tomb of the Virgin Mary in Jerusalem (Baldwin Smith). 2.49.The Great Structures in Architecture But no construction involves as much complication as Saint Minas. or the innumerable examples that repeat some of the models from the metropolis: The Tomb of Virgin Mary in Jerusalem. Martiryum of Resaffa (Baldwin Smith). 2. the Cathedral of Bosra (Fig. Fig. Cathedral of Bosra (Baldwin Smith).

2. Fig. In that movement the centralised plan schemes.The Invention of the Dome Fig.47. to the point that it is not possible to think that eastern architecture begins in the 6th century.49b. which was not developed until the 3rd century. Martiryum of Saint George. clearly inspired in these eastern examples and brought to the West by the pilgrims to Holy Land. Church of Bizzos. All this architecture from the Eastern plateaus would have an important future influence. Church of Il-Anderin (Baldwin Smith). Fig. in Ruweha (Baldwin Smith). the rotunda schemes. It seems that in the 1st century BC the Parthians were able to construct some domes of parabolic form on trumpet shells but there is nothing left. 2. In contrast. Fig. the schemes of cruciform plan. and finally.48. We owe these eastern constructors great inventions that the Romans pursued but were not able to shape: the pendentives. to be seen in the following chapter.49a. 37 . since even Justinian used it as a precedent for his great revolution. an innovation not to be considered in the West until the Gothic style. Martiryum of Saint Sergio. except for much more subsequent examples that must have been influenced by the portentous Roman technique. to be inherited by the Christian tradition during the Romanesque style. were used with absolute mastery. as well as those of the one or more naves basilical plan. All these constructions could be made thanks to the initiative and support of the Byzantine emperors. the greatest exponent of which was the Palatine Chapel in Aquisgran. in Zorah (Baldwin Smith). We must consider that the eastern dome. in Resaffa (Baldwin Smith). Also. the Roman experience was able to propose more rational global arrangements and the hierarchisation of the different architectonic elements. however true the fact that then starts a completely new movement. the trumpet shells and the control of the square plan. 2. 2. of which Romans were so fond. returned from Rome totally transformed and full of new possibilities that the Persian and Sassanid constructors developed with a clear autonomy and that later would exert influence over the Roman works in the bordering territories.

On the one hand.50h. 2.50e. in Ruweha. 2. in Ruweha. Baldwin Smith (Ref. 2. Plan of the Martiryum of Chagra.The Great Structures in Architecture Fig. Fig. 2. Fig. and later Hindu. Outer aspect of the Tomb of Bizzos.50c. Fig. Fig. The ivan was an access that would soon be adopted by Persian. Martiryum of Saint Elias. 2. Fig. Fig. 2. 50f. Present aspect of the Martiryum of Saint Elias. Fig.50f. Section of the Tomb of Bizzos. Fig. Fig.50e. Elevation of the Martiryum of Saint Elias. Fig. 2. Fig. 2.50b.50c. Fig. 50h. 2. Plan. 2.50g. architecture.50a. the palaces reticular arrangement with the access through a vaulted ivan of great magnitudes that reached 25 m span and 30 m height and on the other hand. 2. in Ruweha. 2. 50g. The Sassanid Persians gave place to certain types that would never be forgotten. All Figures belong to E. the way centralised spaces were crowned with a great variety of vaulted forms that looked from the outside like mountains in the centre of the whole. but was an inversion of the domes in half a cappet of sphere that covered the Roman temples. Plan of the Tomb of Bizzos. Outer aspect of the Martiryum of Chagra.50d.50d. 2.50a. 38 . we cannot but admire the magnitude of their palaces and the skill of their constructive solutions. 21) In spite of this debt to western culture. Fig.50b. Fig. Fig.

52. 2. Plan of the Palace of Firuz Abad (Upham Pope).The Invention of the Dome Fig. 39 .53. Fig. 2. 2. Building section of the Palace of Bijapur (Upham Pope). 2.51. Fig. Fig. Structural scheme of the Palace of Firuz Abad (Ortega). Plan of the Palace of Bijapur (Upham Pope).54.

Fig. which must be justified by other reasons apart from the structural counteracting. though the domes are of small dimensions they are cambered.57. Passage from the octagonal plan to the circular one in the Thermae of Caracal (Robertson). 2. The walls that support them have a tremendous thickness around 5 m. Fig. 2. There is no doubt that none of these sassanid constructions could have been built without the previous contact with the Roman culture.The Great Structures in Architecture The centralised dome on a square or cruciform plan was an optimal way to integrate in complex enclosures the circular plan that the Romans constructed without covering by its nature. Fig. Plan of the Palace of Sarvistan (Upham Pope). Ortega (Ref. Fig. nevertheless they are of an inconceivable primitivism as for the reception of light and the ventilation of the enclosures.51). 2. 2. 2.55. 40 . Resting point of the tonal arches (Upham Pope). dating approximately from 250 AD.58. probably with a cambered shape. the greater works constructed by the Sassanians. Fig. 17) has studied in depth this sassanid construction and makes an assumption of the palace that we support because. But this solution would not appear until the Byzantine Empire fused the Mediterranean tradition and the Eastern one. though not because the builders did not have the solution at hand.56.52 shows what must have been its geometric outline as well as a possible disposition. by Ardashir I (Fig. made of a single shell of variable section and must have surely been disposed in such a way that they do not need craddlings nor shoring. All of it perfectly ordered in a rectangular enclosure of 104 x 55 m2 that includes a great ivan and a courtyard. as for example Firuz Abbat Palace. Dome of the Palace of Sarvistan and isostatical lines of the dome intrados (Chassagnoux). was made up of a dozen vaulted spaces and three domes with an 11 m diameter. We have already spoken of the step forward represented by the domes on square plan. Thus. no matter how much their appearance is fully Eastern like. 2.

59. 2. The Sassanid Empire stereotyped these forms and from that moment on repeated them in a mechanical way without even paying attention to the great advances made by the Byzantine constructors. 2. as can be seen in the drawing by Piranesi of the Temple of Tosse in Villa Adriana (Fig. according to the drawings by Terenzio (Fig. 2.61).57). 2. A century later. constructed by the second member of the dynasty. Thus Mark [Refs. but they have a stabilising effect that increases the compressions and diminishes the cracking.8 kg/cm2.54). 22]. Polení’s study attached little importance to a fact that appeared systematically in its domes. 2. But also in this case it was built on a cruciform shape of square base. 2. This gave them a monolithic aspect that would escape those made of stone in the Renaissance and in behaviour closer to that of present day concrete domes. 2. despite the fact of being aware of the technology around them. its construction and its real form are but a supposition. with columns giving complexity to the space. the circular cylindrical one or the spherical dome. Chassagnoux [Ref. consisted of only a great dome.58. which caused force concentrations that had not existed to date. The Eastern architecture resorted very frequently to the multiplication of domed spaces in a repetition deprived of hierarchy. The dome would be an element to incorporate in the cultured posterior architecture and the Renaissance Fig.59 and obtains maximum efforts of 2. Modelisation by Finite Elements of the Pantheon of Agrippa section (Croci). meaning the loss of the main role played by the single space. The great success of the half-sphere dome. 41 . was due to its optimal structural behaviour.53) to the circular one requiring a dome of parabolic directrix. Without a doubt the builders did not know the pendentives necessary to arrange the joining of the cylinders intersection. Theoretically.55) that surely the Sassanians learnt from the Roman prisoners who worked on their constructions. Sarvistan Palace shared the same exposed characteristics and timidly started locating the illumination windows at the height of the drum (Fig. the efforts decrease by 20%.5 kp/cm2 traction (Fig. A 24 m diameter placed it close to the most spectacular Roman constructions. The Roman domes were built mainly of pozzolanic cement. Recent studies trying to interpret its few detected pathologies revealed that its easy construction is combined with a great geometrical rigidity. 12 and 13] sets out an analysis considering a cylinder of 5. That is why some mathematical attempts were relatively right. Anyway. It was like that to such extent that Bijapur Palace.The Invention of the Dome The other fully Eastern contribution is the accumulation of domes. 2. cracking must reach a height of 54º from the top and the reality verified in the work is very similar. Since there is nothing left of the vault. 2. They created too some original forms like the vaulted room of Fig. The Pantheon dome has been studied profusely. But it is possible to draw very accurate conclusions from the surviving ones. 1] made an analysis by finite elements in which there could be found a concentration of isostatical forces in the key of the openings that reached a 1. but they used a kind of course approaching that already put in practice by the Romans in the thermae of Caracal (Fig. they never used any other Roman solution like the groined vault.5 m thickness with the section of Fig.60) [Ref. 2. was done for the first time by means of the intersection of cylinders (Fig.56). of brick or of a mixing of both. The passage from this complex plan (Fig. Shapur I. with or without oculo and on drum or without it. although in many cases one of the forms stood out among the others. It is surprising that when the reinforcements are eliminated. Remarkably.

64. Using exactly the same techniques found in Tell al Rimah (Fig.66. 2. people build without a framework nowadays in Afghanistan (Fig.63) and everywhere in the islamic world there is an attempt to recover those old techniques as an identity sign. having to resort to means as basic as those seen in Figs.67). Fig. It would also be incorporated in popular architecture with a firmness that would make it irreplaceable as even modest constructions have no straight pieces to construct a flat formwork.65 and 2. 42 .60. and the Baroque would make such an extensive use of it that those two styles would be featured by their architecture of convex spatiality. in the Villa Adriana. Cracking state of the Pantheon of Agrippa dome (Mark). The complexity of the plans to cover with so scarce resources is illustrated in Fig. 2. 2.The Great Structures in Architecture Fig.2). Drawing by Piranesi of the Temple of Tosse. 2. 2.62 and 2. 2. The results are nevertheless surprising and meticulous even for several plans (Fig. 2.61.

of a Mauritanian house (Souza). Building process without framework of a rectangular plan vault and building stages (Souza). Building process without framework of rectangular plan vault (Souza). Fig. Fig. 2. 2.62. 2. Different building stages for the covering.The Invention of the Dome Fig.64. 43 .63. by means of domes.

G. Rome.ROBERTSTON.. HEYMAN.S. 1996. “Towers and Domes”. Wind and Structure”. 23. 1993.SCHLAICH. historia y restauración de estructuras de fábrica”.IASS. 2000. J. “Cúpulas de Tierra”. “Historia de la Construcción”. F.WARD PERKINS. Master tesis ETSA de Sevilla. Madrid. A study in the history of ideas“ Princeton University Press. “Kuppeln”. Catedra. Akal. 9. 5. J. 2. ESCRIG. 12. 2. Computational Mechanics Pub. M. Domed construction in a refugees camp in Afghanistan (Souza). La conservation des monuments d’Art & d’Histoire. “L’art de Batir chez les Romains”. R. J.I.SOUZA GOIS. 44 . “Arte Romano”.OATES. Madrid.Y. Aguilar. Leru. J. 1873. “The Art and Structure of Large-scale Buildings”.66. 1984. 11. FERGUSSON. 2. Cátedra. E. & SCHLAICH. CHOISY. 1934. 8. Fig. “Arquitetura paleocristiana y bizantina”. 1971.TERENZIO. Construction domed in several levels (Souza). R. ETSA de Madrid. Norton. “A History of Architecture”.I. “Babylon”. 1986. 1972. 1995.A. & HYMAN. Fig. KRAUTHEIMER. London. Libro Primero. 1995. From Antiquity to the Present”.MARK. Butterworths. 1995. M. 1998. “La restauración del Panteón de Roma”. 7. 25. “Arquitettura Romana”. 1859. A. “Historia de la Arquitectura”. A. HEINLE. & HEINLE. 21. París. A.TRACHTENBERG. Books I. “Teoría. Murray. E. 15. A. London. ETSA de las Palmas. “Arquitectura Romana”. 3. CHASSAGNOUX.C. Escrig. “The Dome. 1990. 4. “Arquitectura Griega y Romana”. 1.67. F. 19. II and III. 1988. 16. FLETCHER. “The Illustrated Handbook of Architecture”. Paris.ORTEGA. “Light. J. Kappa. WIT Press. 14. M. I. GARCIA BELLIDO. 24. 10. Structural Studies of Historical Buildings IV. 18. B. “Kuppeln. R. Prof. Domed construction in Afghanistan (Souza). 20.The Great Structures in Architecture REFERENCES OF CHAPTER 2 Fig. MIT Press. Thames & Hudson. CHOISY. 2. C.65. N. “Why Buildings Stand Up”. “Persian Vaulted Architecture: morphology and equilibrium of vaults under static and dynamic loads”. 17.MARTA. E. Southampton.MARK. “Arquitectura”.SALVADORI. MIT Press. 1996. Minar Sinan University. Not published. A. Computational Mechanics Publications. Aller zeitenAller Kulturen” Deutche Verlags-Austalf. “Earth Construction Handbook”. “Domes. Forni Editores. 22.BALDWIN SMITH. 6. 13. S. Istanbul. DeutcheVerlags-Austalt. R.MINKE.

45 . The mosaic and glazed decoration contributed to that effect. Fig.1). e) The support of the dome on isolated points. As early as 524. a perfect example of a good use of thrusts counteracting by means of two domes. Simultaneously the Byzantine constructors solved five problems: a) The dome is supported by great arches that left the frontal walls clear enough to be perforated by windows or passages. b) The use of pendentives like a perfect element of transition from a square to a circle. with a dome of 20 m in diameter and we guess that with a longitudinal scheme reminiscent of later examples. 4]. THE HANGING DOME Although the dome building tradition was never interrupted while the Roman empire existed. d) Constructions of great lightness. Interior view of the Church of Polyeuktos.3) and its completely pierced walls similar to those in later gothic cathedrals (Fig. We will not spend any time analysing it (Fig.2).1a. 3. 3. Ideal reconstruction (Harrison). with an imposing aspect because of its great transverse arches as wide as the lateral naves so as to contain the horizontal forces (Fig.The Hanging Dome Chapter 3. Ideal reconstruction (O´Donell). The formal and constructive search was of a fecundity never seen before in such a short time. Church of Polyeuktos. 3. which guarantees an even illumination and in a certain way dematerializes the weight of the dome. East and West. For that reason it is surprising that the VIth century was born with so many simultaneous innovations. The Eastern solution by means of trumpet shells was always an inelegant way of solving the problem. both sides. Fig. c) The suitable accumulation of domes and vaults to compensate the thrust. 3.4). Polyeuktos Church began to be built. continued repeating their usual styles with some small variations. Saint Irene is. in addition. The Western domes were supported by circular or polygonal forms with a high number of sides. The groined vault was fundamentally used on square plans. which looks as if supported by rays of sunlight. which allowed them to go from the drum to the shell without the need of important elements of transition. 3. Since this church has not survived it is based on an ideal reconstruction by Harrison [Ref.1b. 3. begun in 532 (Fig. The first fully finished example of this kind is Saint Irene in Constantinople.

3. Saint Irene.3.The Great Structures in Architecture Fig. 3. in Constantinople. Plan and sections (Ozsen). (Ortega). Section and plan. Saint Irene. Saint Irene. 46 .6. in Constantinople. 3.2. Structural scheme. Outer view. 3. Fig. Church of the Saints Sergio and Baco. (Ortega).4. Fig. Fig. 3. Inner view. in Constantinople. in Constantinople. Saint Irene. Fig.5.

3. clearly following a Roman model but solved with completely different proposals. Outer view of the Church of the Saints Sergio and Baco. Photogrammetric scheme of the Church of the Saints Sergio and Baco (Ozsen). have besides a centralised plan. Topographical plan of the dome of Sergio and Baco (Ozsen). Even if Justinian had not done anything else.12. 3.3. 3.10. Structural scheme of Sergio and Baco (Choisy). and of another dome like a cap of a quarter of sphere cap dome in the apsidal model.8. Saints Sergio and Baco Church. Fig.11. inherited from the Roman exedras and coming from the palaeochristians apses (Fig.9. he would have deserved a place in History because of this work. 3. 3. in every following work the complexity multiplied. Comparison of sections and floors between Saints Sergio and Baco and Saint Vital in Ravena (Choisy). Fig. 3. Inner view of the Church of the Saints Sergio and Baco. one of them having a circular shape 15 m in diameter and the other an oval shape with the dimensions of 12 x 15 m. Fig.7. In addition to the ambulatory. Fig. built in Constantinople between 527 and 536. in the line that had been 47 .5). Fig.The Hanging Dome Fig. It is remarkable that however difficult it may seem.

The shell is made up of lobes. Fig. Fig. in Ravenna (Escrig). Fig.13. in Ravenna (Mark).14.17.15. proposed in Saint Lorenzo in Milan. 3. Making up of the pieces of the dome of Saint Vital. Outer view of Saint Vital. 3. The dome is in this case ornamented. 14 ]. 3. in Ravenna (Escrig). Structural scheme of Saint Vital. 3.6). as can be seen in the drawing in perspective of the photogrammetric restitution (Fig.7) [Ref.16. it used a system of arches that make good use of this double skin for the relief of forces (Fig.The Great Structures in Architecture Fig. Plan of Saint Vital. Inner view of Saint Vital. in Ravenna (Ward Perkings). 48 . in Ravenna. attaching therefore a great structural importance to the reinforcement ribs. 3. The passage from the octagonal form to the circular one is also made by means of pendentives and the Fig. 3. although they are little apparent. 3.

The Hanging Dome

Fig. 3.18. Pieces of the dome and key of Saint Vital, in Ravenna (Mirabella and Lombardini).

illumination achieved by piercing the shell, according to the rules of Byzantine construction (Fig. 3.8), turning weightless the 18 m diameter dome. A feature inherited from the Romans is the modesty of the materials used, even more in this case since even the pozzolanic cement was not available. The whole building is constructed with brick and mortar obtained with the mixing of lime and crushed bricks (Fig. 3.9). This system, though seeming a disadvantage, has turned out to be the salvation of these buildings. Firstly because no later civilization bothered to dismantle what was unusable and secondly because the masonry obtained was elastic enough to adapt to the great movements suffered by the foundations as well as those produced by earth tremors. From 1600 AD to the present time, 89 earthquakes of an intensity higher than six have been registered. All these movements have produced geometric changes, windows breaking and render loosening. Paradoxically, what most damaged this building was the railroad that was constructed closeby in 1870. Nevertheless, during the war of the Balkans it was used as a shelter from the bombing because of its safeness. Fig. 3.10 shows the present state of the geometry and allows sight of its great distortions. Fig. 3.11 is a sectioned perspective showing how the approximately 2,000 tonnes of weight of the dome are absorbed. A later building following a very similar guideline is Saint Vital in Ravenna, also built during the Byzantine period, with a hemispheric cap cover on octagonal plan with ambulatory. Saint Vital is, in a formal way, much more complete for several reasons: it is much higher, reaching 30 m, whereas Sergio and Baco reached only 20 m. Fig. 3.12 shows the comparison between both

sections made by Choisy. It has a more formal coherence that becomes apparent in the plan, peculiarly turned 22.5º with respect to the Narthex (Fig. 3.13) [Ref. 2]. The inner space is of a grandiosity unknown until then, the result of being higher than wide. The different levels and the drum embedded in the cap with great dimensioned windows increase the sensation of height (Fig. 3.14). Instead of pendentives, small trumpet shells have been used simulating sorts of corbel supports that give horizontality to the springing level and allow it to interrupt in a suitable way the verticality of the main buttresses edges (Fig. 3.15). Its outer aspect has a clear volumetry, so legible with regards to what happens inside that such a clarity would not be found again until the Romanesque (Fig. 3.16). In this case, the weight of the cover exceeds 1,000 tonnes, which combined with its height requires a transversal reinforcement that experience has proved strong enough but that is not apparent, and that in the absence of more complete studies allows us to think that implies an almost limiting dimension. Many contemporary analyses, made by fitting methods of calculation, of big constructions such as the Pantheon, Santa Sophia and the great gothic cathedrals, disregard smaller structures like this one that seem far better dimensioned and in a more rational way. Because of its interest, therefore, we add the studies shown in Ref. 11. The perfectly hemispheric cover is about 16 m in diameter and its main particularity is that it is made up of horizontal tubes forming rings from the base to the key (Fig. 3.17). These tubes have approximately 14 cm of side plus a cone of 6 cm, a diameter of 5 to 6 cm and a thickness of 0.5 cm (Fig. 3.18). This allows an almost uniform thickness of the dome of 21 cm (Fig. 3.19). According to this and to the determination of the quality of the


The Great Structures in Architecture

Fig. 3.19. Section of Saint Vital, in Ravenna (Mirabella and Lombardini).

Fig. 3.20. Deformations of the dome of Saint Vital during the construction. On the left, construction with shoring; on the right, without shoring (Mirabella and Lombardini).

Fig. 3.21. Calculation of efforts and displacements 56º from the key when building by rings (Mirabella and Lombardini).


The Hanging Dome

materials, some interesting data have been obtained. Fig 3.20 shows the deformation of the dome with its proportions vertically doctored by 500, for different hypotheses of materials rigidity. This deformation ranges between 0.3206 mm in the case of maximum rigidity and 1.84 mm for maximum flexibility. In the left graphic is considered the construction with framework, whereas in the right one without it and by rings advance without shoring. These are the two possible forms to construct this dome. The calculation of the efforts and displacements produced by building by rings and without shoring is illustrated in Fig. 3.21 by means of the assimilation to sixteen states of course advance, in the zone corresponding to 56º from the key. In any case, the efforts are minimum (0.92 kg/cm2 of compression in the direction of the parallels and 1.43 kg/cm2 in that of the meridians). Neither this tension nor the maximum traction of 0.12 kg/cm2 appearing in other points are critical for the used materials.

Due to the thickness (1.25% of the diameter), the flexions are insignificant and we get a practically perfect membrane state. Paradoxically, in the calculations obtained, if the hollow tubes had been placed in the direction of the meridians, the structure would have behaved much worse unless it had been built on a framework removed with the mortar well forged, in which case the behaviour would have been similar. In any case, Santa Sophia is the most important work of Byzantine architecture in which all the technological resources were experimented with, giving rise to one of the most singular constructions. We have already explained how the plan is a combination of the greater Roman constructions: the basilical form of the thermae with its three longitudinal modules having material galleries to hide the buttresses (Fig. 3.22), and the centralized plan of Pantheon type with some transformations (Fig.3.23). In addition we

Fig. 3.22. Roman basilical plan (Escrig).

Fig. 3.23. Scheme of a central plan through an evolution from the basilical model (Escrig).

Fig. 3.24. Superposition of «A» Ste Sophia, «B» Basilica of Maxencius and «C» the Pantheon (Escrig).


The Great Structures in Architecture

find the previously mentioned innovations: the great transverse arches that serve as supports, the counteracting by means of sectorial domes, the dome resting on points and the thinness of this one due to its brick construction. Figure 3.24 shows the superposition of three main buildings where we can see that «A» and «B» have the same area and «A» and «C» the same diameter between main piers. The result is that of a hitherto unknown greatness (Fig. 3.25). The 31.2 m diameter of the dome, the 76 m of length and the 50 m of height were the greatest continuous volumes ever built before (Figs 3.26 and 3.27). The dome profile was not the present one but that represented in Fig. 3.28 having geometric continuity with the pendentives and being changed in the first reconstruction for the profile of Fig. 3.29. The complex with its collection of abutted domes is really difficult to interpret (Fig. 3.30), but it is based fundamentally on a dome that rests on four transverse arches of great magnitude which transition to the circular plan is done by means of pendentives. These transverse arches are not rigid enough to support the horizontal thrusts, they must be supported by auxiliary structures: in the north-western and south-eastern sides with two semi domes that in turn are compensated by other shells of apse, and in the perpendicular sides by four huge buttresses (Fig. 3.31), clearly illustrating all this Fig. 3.32. The problem is that these buttresses were not sufficient and the dome suffered frequent breaking almost from its inauguration and even partial collapse, it had to be reinforced with even greater buttresses (Fig. 3.33) and their great transparent walls had to be blocked up (Fig. 3.34). The dome, being continuous in the beginning, ended up being rebuilt with reinforcing ribs and even so its great elasticity made it so deformable that its aspect is quite irregular (Fig. 3.35) The causes of the bad structural behaviour, nevertheless, must not necessary be only looked for in its design. Also the constructive technique leaves a lot to be desired. The complete building was finished in five years and, to save expenses, the masonry was made up of bad quality brick walls and a mortar with joints of several centimetres and badly set while being loaded. To make matters worse, it is situated in a highly seismic zone. The question would not be why the dome collapsed so many times, but how did it manage to remain standing for so long (Fig. 3.36). Calculations done with modern technologies in this building are contradictory according to the different searchers.

Fig. 3.25. Engraving of the interior of Saint Sophia, in Constantinople.

Fig. 3.26. Inner space of Saint Sophia, in Constantinople.


The Hanging Dome

80,90 m.

Fig. 3.27. Section and plan of Saint Sophia, in Constantinople.

According to Mainstone [Ref. 7], the author of the most deep and detailed study of Santa Sophia, the problems originated in the scarce experience in the structural innovation represented by the supporting of a dome by means of transverse arches, having not made a symmetrical counteracting. The semi domes of the E and W sides proved to be an effective system, but the N and S buttresses behaved rather badly, letting the materials slip and triggering the dome denting. No matter how much it was enlarged, because its increase of rigidity caused a thrusts increment straight away and therefore an asymmetrical behaviour of the dome. The regularisation by means of tensors and hoops did not help. He doubts the quality of the foundations and of the capacity of the buttresses, hollowed out to have stairs and galleries, to absorb horizontal thrusts. The present cracks of the dome are not important unless its haunches get more separated.

Mainstone even says that the cracking of the rest of the structure is beneficial because it diminishes the frequencies of vibration in the case of earthquakes. The only real problem that it gives rise to is the progressive inclination of the buttresses. Fig. 3.35 shows the scheme of dissipation of forces according to this author. According to Mark [Ref. 10], who has made a finite elements analysis, the first breaking of the dome in 558 AD, eleven years after being finished and due to 553 AD and 557 AD earthquakes, and its conversion into a dome with a different profile was counterproductive. The first model used the pendentives distributing the efforts very regularly and concentrating them in the corners (Fig. 3.37a), whereas the second model, the


28. Outer view of the domes of Saint Sophia. Initial and present sections of the dome of Saint Sophia (Mainstone). Fig. 3. 3.32 Structural scheme of Saint Sophia (Escrig). Fig. Fig. Volumetric scheme of the domes of Saint Sophia (Mainstone). 54 . 3. 3. Initial design of the dome of Saint Sophia (Mainstone). Fig.The Great Structures in Architecture Fig.

39).34.33 Initial plan and successive reinforcements of the Church of Saint Sophia (Mainstone). Fig. present one. Fig. 3. the deformations are proportional to the least rigid and produce flexions in the shell.The Hanging Dome Fig. hardly had any result in respect of the displacements. the present dome is more stable than the primitive thanks to a greater curvature and to reinforced ribs. 3. Apart from the above. due to the sliding of the bricks on 55 . Topographical scheme of the domes of Saint Sophia (Hidaka). gives rise to important thrusts in the highest part of the buttresses. 1] contains revealing data that the dome is elliptical due to the lateral deformation of the southern and northern walls with a difference of 1 m in the main axes and that the collapse of the buttresses is at the present time of 0. When comparing his calculations with the real behaviour of the dome. because of resting on a plan that fundamentally rests on the transverse arches (Fig. 3. That is the reason why the considerable reinforcement made by Gaspare Fossati in the 19th century by means of metallic bundles.8 m (Figs 3.37b). 3.38 and 3. 12] the effect of the supporting arches is highly effective only when they all have the same rigidity. we lead to the conclusions that the constructive problems began during its erection. Filling of the tympanums for the reinforcement of Saint Sophia (Mainstone). According to Mungam [Ref. The thesis made by Cereto [Ref. In the opposite case.35.

3. and reaching even 10 kg/cm2 in certain cases. Descending loads in Saint Sophia (Mainstone). b and c . Tensional behaviour of the former dome and the present dome of Saint Sophia (Mark). obtaining efforts greater than 5 kg/cm2. and that has served as an authentic structures laboratory.36. 3. The works of Sinan in the XVIth century owe so much to the solutions of Saint Sophia Figs. the mortar and that the counteracting semi domes produce an inward thrust that magnifies the thrust toward the outside of the zone of buttresses whose role is passive. this is a problematic construction that survives as a result of the will of the successive cultures to keep it standing.40 shows the deformation of the original dome calculated both ways.37a. resulting in a non-uniform state of tensions. which is excessive for this type of construction. 56 .The Great Structures in Architecture Fig. Figure 3. In summary.

40. Fig. Fig. 3. Fig.The Hanging Dome Fig. Deformation of the actual dome in both ways (Cereto).38. 3. Pathologies of the buttresses of Saint Sophia (Cereto).39b. 3.39a Outward collapse of the closings (Cereto). 57 . Resting plan of the main dome of Saint Sophia (Mark). 3.

The Great Structures in Architecture Fig. Reconstruction of the plan (Krautheimer). 3. Drawing from a codex. 58 . Fig. 3.42. plan and outer perspective of Saint John.43. 3. Fig. in Efeso (Krautheimer). Church of the Holy Apostles. in Constantinople. Inner perspective.41. Church of the Holy Apostles.

that we could rightly state that we are before the prototype work of the eastern architecture.The Hanging Dome Fig. 3. b.41 and 3. in Périgueux (Escrig).44a and b. the same as the Pantheon is for the western one. c and d. they generate Latin cross plans covered with successive domes without a special hierarchy. and structural scheme (Choisy). plan and inner views of Saint Front. Influenced by the approaches of the great monasteries of the Middle East. The Holy Apostles Church in Constantinople (540-550 AD) inaugurates this tendency.45a. although there is no longer anything left of it. Plan of Saint Marcos. in Venice.42 show what this great construction. Figs. Outer view. which had sequels in Fig. 3. 3. 59 . The Byzantines inventions continued in other religious models.

The basic difference that can be observed is that of the illumination solution. 3. 3. 3. 3. 3.45). Such a long geographic distance in front of such constructive similarity is only explained by a cultural connection that must obviously have been provided by the crusades. 3. Angoulême (Fig. Inner view of Saint Peter. Saint John in Efeso.50) or Souillac (Fig. Cahors (Fig. Saint Etienne. in Angoulême (Conant). Venice or the Holy Apostles.44) in the middle of the XIth century.46. must have been. also in Périgueux (Fig. The same thing happens in the West. 3. 47). Plan of Saint Peter.48b.a. the East but many more in the West. In effect.49).3. Whereas in the Byzantine architecture the dome was an appropriation of the sky and therefore had to be drilled so that the light got in. in Angouleme (Escrig). to Aquitaine in France. It is interesting to observe how the patterns brought by the crusaders from the East recreate the forms but lose the subtlety that all Byzantine architecture and the later Muslim one breathes. Structural section of Echillais (Conant). 3. Echillais (Fig. closer to the Roman tradition.51) are merely some of the scores of examples of churches in the region that. where Saint Marcos in Venice repeats the formula (Fig. 3. Saint Etienne. 3. Fig. 3. light is looked for through the walls. in the XIIth.The Great Structures in Architecture Fig.46).48). from Italy. A good example of this can be found in Saint Front de Périgueux (Fig. in the Romanic.47. finished towards 565 AD (Fig.48. unlike most Fig. which plan is almost an exact replica of Saint Marcos in 60 .43) is an Eastern exact replica. 3. Fig. Fontevrault (Fig. where the same plan is used with less skill but more greatness. in Périgueux (Escrig).

General view of Saint Etienne. 3. Main dome of Saint Peter. in Cahors (Escrig).The Hanging Dome Fig. Domes of Saint Peter. in Angoulême (Escrig). 3. Fig. in Angoulême (Escrig). 61 .48dc.a. 3.49.48c. Fig.

3. of the Romanics churches.50 a and b. Fig. Plan and inner view of Fontevault (Conant). Outer view and inner view of domes of Souillac (Escrig). 62 . Structurally. but it is shocking to find this island of Eastern tradition in the Roman Christian whole.The Great Structures in Architecture Fig. in Cahors (Escrig). are not covered with a barrel vault. 3. 3.51a and b.49b. One of the structural advantages of these solutions is that they rest in points and therefore release the walls Fig. Inner view of Saint Etienne. in these cases we cannot speak of a contribution.

the dome of continuous mass already had experienced all the possible forms. 3. Below we will see how other ribbed Romanic expressions were also imported and that Gothic would have not taken place without the existence of the crusades. 3. From that moment only design polishing is left to be done. the ability for experimentation is inexhaustible. although in the interior that is not evident. in Constantinople (Krautheimer). 3.53) combines all the possible complications: lobed circular plan. These can be pierced with great hollows. that is what the Renaissance style did. At that moment. Structural scheme and main dome of the Dodrum Camii. in Salonica.52a and b. Saint Sophia in Salonica perforates a prismatic drum instead of the dome (Fig. The Dodrum Camii in Constantinople.53. but in a reduced scale new designs are tried. The Round Church of Preslav (Fig. of load.The Hanging Dome Fig. although a miniature. So. turning the domes into something different: the ribbed dome. At that moment. requires smaller buttresses. being presaged in other ways by what Gothic art would later do. Outer view and structural scheme (Krautheimer). 3. The power to make astronomical investments has been lost. Fig. being greater than in the usual Romanic construction. the interiors becoming unusually luminous for that time. Meanwhile other possibilities of a completely different nature are opened up.52). Saint Sophia. Still in the Byzantine ground. with hardly any side buttresses. 63 . circular ambulatory. It also implies that the centring of the loads on the supports. two levels. 3. churches were built of only one nave. is of an outstanding complexity (Fig. Round Church in Preslav. Plan and section (Krautheimer). hemispheric dome on pierced drums and drum buttresses.54). the massive construction created in Saint Irene was surpassed. Fig.54a and b. 3.

MAINSTONE. Manuales de Arte Cátedra. pp. “A temple for Byzantium”.R.. Spatial Structures. CERETO. Structural Repair and Maintenance of Historical Buildings III”. 5. Bath. nº 1-IV. I & TÜRKMER. “Late Roman Domes in Clay tubes. K et al “Photogrammetry of the Eastern Semi-dome of Hagia Sophia. 1995. Ed. A. 3. “The Structural Evaluation of Kuçuk Ayasofya Mosque”. 1989.A. Public Assembly Structures. pp. Leru. The MIT Press. KRAUTHEIMER. Ed. HARRISON.SANPAOLESI. CHOISY. W. 64 . “Historia de la Arquitectura”. M. MIRABELLA. Thames & Hudson. R. Sergius and Bakhus in Istanbul”. Computational Mechanics Pub. Southampton.ORTEGA. 1992. 800-1200”. M. MARK. 12. Istanbul. 16.. Libro Tercero. 3-14. Spatial Structures. Istanbul”. & LOMBARDINI. 13. Milan. P. 6. Ed. 7. “Structural analysis of Hagia Sophia: a Historical Perspective”.139. ETSA de las Palmas. “Hagia Sophia: A laboratorium monument”. 11. 3-64. P. “Arquitectura Paleocrisiana y Bizantina”. STEFANO. 1993. F. pp. 8. P.MUNGAM. Sevilla 1991. Palladio. London. 17. Sophia a Constantinopoli”. University of Texas Press. 4. 87-95. 1993. Heritage Present and Future. Officina Edicione. G. 33-45. 1997. St. Madrid. “Arquitectura Carolingia y Románica. 2. pp. Historical and numerical study of S. Southampton. “Structural Analysis of Historical Constructions”. Austin. & NASCE. Minar Sinan University Pub. CONANT. G. MARI. “Effect of the arches and semidomes on the Statical and dynamic Behaviour of the Central dome in Hagia Sophia”. Argentina. “Structure a cupola autoportante”. OZSEN. N.The Great Structures in Architecture REFERENCES OF CHAPTER 3 1. A . Spatial Structures. HIDAKA. 1253-1260. 10. 1989. IASS Symposium 1993. “La chiesa di S. Computational Mechanics Pub. Heritage Present and Future. Southampton. 1261-1270.L. MAINSTONE.SANPAOLESI. 9. Padua. pp. Vital in Ravena”. GONZÁLEZ J.ROCA. Padua. Bath 1993. Barcelona. Milan. & OÑATE E. 15. V. Rome.. Heritage Present and Future. Milan. “Architectural Technology use to the Scientific Revolution”. Madrid Manuales Arte Cátedra. R. Ed. “Hagia Sophia”. 1237-1244. Padua. “Historia de la Construcción”.. 14. Structural Repair and Maintenance of Historical Building II. 1995. Pp. pp. “The Structural Conservation of Hagia Sophia.. R. Structural Repair and Maintenance of Historical Buildings III”.MARK. 1995. pp. CIMNE. Computational Mechanics Pub.

to the minimum weight in the wake of the Pantheon. Only the Muslims. whose huge room was thought of as the maximum surface to be covered without intermediate supports. No civilization bothered less about the three dimensions than those empires that suffered from vacuum horror and felt forced to fill the buildings with reliefs. economy and an easy construction. many techniques had been experimented with. The thousands of Roman groined vaults could collapse in many points. which settled with a geometrical perfection. The Assyrians. and no case has survived. a surface was considered as a piece of fabric which is made up of threads that are woven or warped showing the fanciest forms and the most beautiful drawings. Villa Adriana. followers of a linear religion that did not even accept the existence of a hell. the Greeks or the Romans. THE RIBBED DOME In search of lightness. having a Fig. spaces and masses. despite their reduced dimensions. in Jerusalem (Valcárcel). That had been possible thanks to the use of a malleable material that nobody was able to reproduce. 65 . Observation and logic must have helped a lot to understand that every folding reinforced the surface. the Egyptians. but most usually kept intact in their pointed diagonals. the preceding chapters is the story of a progression from heavier forms. But very few times. 4. Minerva Temple or Sergio and Baco reinforced their surfaces with groins that proved to be pretty stable. and even the Indians later.The Ribbed Dome Chapter 4. required a specialisation and means that very few builders could achieve. The Byzantine mortar made of lime and brick powder was of not much use and the stonework.1. invented complex orders that had to cover everything. Dome of the Rock. the eastern and the western ones. shapes.

the Omeyas triggered the process. Where is the origin of the true ribbed dome that based on brick or stone courses that. finished in 691 AD.1 and 4. can be built with little shoring? Without any doubt. literature traced with only a winding line and representation systems of the simplest geometry. Nevertheless. all the mosques had a domed space that. that were constructed making use of previous buildings and with so scarce elements. without images and without imitating nature. But there is something that makes it different. the appearance of the Abasies in the East and even the coincidence of the literary. the ribs were nailed to a wooden planking on which to place the golden metal outward or the polychrome plasterwork inward. The dome of the Rock in Jerusalem. 4. The ribs of the covering framework are copied out of a ship structure. and many centuries had to pass before forming part of the structures theory. Its 20 m in diameter and 25 m of height imposed this type of light construction on a great power that. the constructive technique of some domes of the time. could conceive what turned out to be the most fecund way for architecture: the fibrous construction. but that of the great mosque of Kairnan. follow Sassanid and Byzantine patterns (Fig. dating from 879 AD. in Jerusalem (Ortega). as that of Ibn Tulum in Fustat. having military and ideological dominion over an immense territory. profusely imitated by close constructions such as the Virgin. hiding the structure (Figs.The Great Structures in Architecture Fig. Medina or Cairo would have domes that in no way correspond to the present ones and that did not allow to foretell what would happen. in 875. In fact. Structural and geometrical section of the dome of the Rock. logically. in a certain way tried to be more representative outward than inward. The mosques of Damascus. scientific and technical renaissances symbolised by Charlemagne in Aquitaine and Harum al Rashid in Baghdad. did not have its own model to follow. the only reticular precedent of the great convex surfaces. 66 .3). cannot hide the fact that the source was in Constantinople. The discovery of the fact that a form behaves by adapting itself to its inner resistant elements was really a result of intuition. are so important to explain what happened afterwards. that was the path opened by the builders of the ribbed domes.2. Also. was made of wood and followed the patterns previously seen in the central Roman plans as that of the Saint Constance Mausoleum. which both of them tried to control from the extremes of the civilised world. Probably imitating the Rock. Actually.2). as in the naval version. at least until the moment when minarets took over from it as the identifying element. 4. 4. the architecture of resistant lines. or the Martirium of Seleucia or Resaffa. That is why the first great mosques.

4. 4. Main dome in front of the mihrab. The Real Chapel. built by Al-Hakem II in 961 to 976 AD.6). Fig. 4. 4. Dome of the Great Mosque of Kaiman. Three other domes follow two different models of passage from the square to the octagon by means of ribs.5). The dimensions of 10 x 8 m2. beauty and efficacy. 4. polygonal spaces in a sumptuous way (Fig. 4. of an immense dramatism (Fig. 4. 4. Too many pieces of the puzzle have disappeared to speculate about the birth of ribs in the East. in Fustat. 67 . links alternate vertexes of the octagon (Fig.4. in the Mosque of Cordoba. hidden from visitors and lacking in ornaments is. The other two link each vertex to the third one from that (Fig.The Ribbed Dome Fig.4).8). for many reasons.7).6. with its serrated ribs. Fig. democratic and cultivated. The most beautiful of them.3. similar in its splendour to that of Baghdad. obviously materialises what in the Rock was hidden (Fig. in the Mosque of Cordoba. But we want to cite it here only because of its five domes on square or rectangular plan. the most beautiful jewel since Saint Sophia to the great Romanic cathedrals. the central one. The Mosque of Cordoba is. where the deposed Omeyas created a court from 750 AD to the beginning of the millennium. 4. being filigrees in brick that the Gothic style equalled but did not surpass and examples of inventiveness. but much more sophisticated.5. of the Chapel of Villaviciosa and its eight ribs permit it to cover some Fig. traced as the Chapel of Villaviciosa. Mosque of Ibn Julun. What does not leave room for discussion is what happened in Spain. Dome of the Chapel of Villaviciosa.

The remains underlying every village inhabited by the Muslims should be analysed one by one to find the innumerable links that competed with the northern religious architecture and with that from Byzantium. Nevertheless. but that.12) or of a piece of fabric (Fig.25). the small Christ of the Light Mosque. with the 1668 Saint Lorenzo of Turin. Spain held this tradition practically to the present time with no interruption. 4. very complex transitions from square to polygonal plans (Fig.21).15). 4. 4. Side dome in front of the mihrab. The Isfahan complex is as rich in dome solutions as any other monument in history (Fig. Dome of the Royal Chapel. Basically. 4. 4. in the Mosque of Cordoba. What was the difference among the solutions given to the making of an inlay (Fig. looking like mushrooms in the Fig. such modest constructions have been admired by all their past and present visitors.9). that is pretty obvious and was never intended to draw anyone’s attention because of its audacity. 4. transformed to churches for a different worship. Here we find starred domes (Fig. the magnificent dome of the Room of the Ambassadors in the Alcazar of Seville. domes on pointed transverse arches (Fig. of a latticework (Fig. 4.13)? The consciousness of newness led to the repetition of this model with infinite variations. forced by the poverty of the country that required the recovering of this cheap technique (Fig. Fig. 4.7. of a map (Fig. in the Mosque of Cordoba. are examples of the maintaining of something that not even the Christian conquerors of Muslim Spain thought of substituting.10. Fig. 4. they did not deal with a constructive problem. Nazari escritoire made of wood and ivory marquetry. made by artisans who were paid for carving different patterns in each work. As a good example. domes of polygonal patterns (Fig. 4. 4. that we cite only as a justification.24).10).17). 4.18).19).23). but with an ornamental one. inspired by the Cordoba mosque (Fig. Without hesitation. 4. once overcome the former prejudices. 4. dating from 1000 AD. 4. shows a coherence and a proportion that deserve deeper study (Fig. such as Our Lady of the Olive in Lebrija (Fig.16) or the Huelgas Monastery in Burgos (Fig. The Aljaferia of Zaragoza. 68 . domes with the ribs exposed to the outside view (Fig. Fig.26). still show those simple domes.11). reveals the very high levels of sophistication reached (Fig.22). 4. The other place in which the brick calligraphy reached refined levels was ancient Persia.20). of a tile (Fig. Even after the Omeya splendour had faded. There are complexes. dated about 1050 AD. 4. 4. 4. refusing to be integrated in which. 4. Guarini. nevertheless.The Great Structures in Architecture It is not worthwhile to consider their structural behaviour. In Toledo.27) and wooden domes.8. would culminate in the Gothic style. Just as thousands of mosques that today. the Taifa kingdoms were captivated to the point of affectation by the ornamental potential of such geometrical systems. which wooden work does not fit in this context.14). 4. is a collection of samples of different shapes (Fig.9. ribs embedded in the mass (Fig. 4. Nazari glazed tiles. 4. or Luis Moya in the XXth century.

closing them in rings without losing the stability in every round completed (Fig. This brought in a parallel way the pointed forms. But Isfahan was only a laboratory in which people worked along nine centuries. Even the rich wooden stalactites formations named mocarabes. all of them in full in XIVth century or even later.31 and 4. 4. Fig. 4.11. 4. it seems unquestionable that the Muslim architects were pioneers in using the ribs as geometry generators and the structure in the dome solutions. Fig. it would stay in full view.13. materialised in the recovering of the classic patterns. 69 . 4. 4. 4. Maghrebi nautical map. 4. or the fronts in apse or the Iranian and Indian ivans (Fig. 4.32). Almohade tapestry known as the Banner of Navas de Tolosa. According to chronology. The pointed shape of the bigger domes. as some previously mentioned or those found in Christian constructions in territories conquered to the Muslims (Figs.36). like a beach full with umbrellas in front of a non existent sea (Fig. The Iranian plateaus were full with the most varied domes.12. They introduced too the brick disposition as a structural value. But these discoveries do not end in this point.30). in Saragossa. Dome of the oratory of the Aljaferia. 4. distanced itself in an explicit way from the historic precedents. those ones exceeding 10 m in diameter. regarding architecture.34). There are unrepeatable examples of this. the most pointed of them shored up (Fig. Fig. We have already mentioned that a Christian resistance was opposed to the Islamic expansion that. in that sense.14.The Ribbed Dome middle of the desert. 4. in many cases. 4.28). For the same reason they could adapt to unusual plots and reuse previous remains with no scruples. even destroying and freely transforming them afterward.35 and 4. These wooden mocarabes would culminate in the superb Nazary constructions in Granada (Figs. Fig. are the result of the logical process of superimposing courses.29). seem to have been originated in the complex systems of trumpet shells used to make gradually smaller the span to cover (Fig. The Muslim art did not have prejudices against the geometries respecting certain proportions and. Marble latticework of the Caliphal period. We find no great dimensions and complex geometries obtained by means of poor materials and without expensive wooden cradles or shoring. constructive and ornamental since. the transverse arches and every sort of folding and fantasies in the space between ribs.33). In the smaller ones the hemispherical or the flat forms could be kept thanks to the great thickness that allowed the drawing of the funicular of its inner loads in a parabolic or pointed shape. It does not seem either that the designs were conceived as a whole and we can imagine an intentional accumulation of elements that avoid analysing the plans as proportional and even geometrical tracings.

4. 70 . in Toledo (Velázquez Bosco).The Great Structures in Architecture Fig. Details of the nine ribbed domes of the Christ of the Light.15.

The Ribbed Dome Fig. in Burgos. 4.16a. 71 . Parish church of Our Lady of the Olive. General view.17. Fig. in the Huelgas Monastery. Seville. 4. Seville. 4. One of its domes. Parish church of Our Lady of the Olive in Lebrija. in Lebrija.16b. Fig. Dome of the Chapel of the Assumption.

20. Fig. in the Alcazar of Seville. 4. 72 .19. by Guarini. Dome in Torrelavega. Room of the Ambassadors dome. 4. Fig.18. Main dome and dome of the presbytery of Saint Lawrence in Turin. by Luís Moya (Moya 1956).The Great Structures in Architecture Fig. 4.

21.The Ribbed Dome Fig. in Isfahan 11th-18th century (Upham Pope). 4. Aerial view of the Mosque Aljama.22. 4. Fig. Starred domes in Isfahan (Upham Pope). 73 .

74 . Outside of the hemi dome of the Isfahan northwestern ivan (Upham Pope). 4.23b. in Isfahan (Upham Pope). Fig.26. 4. 4. in Isfahan (Upham Pope). Southern dome of the Mosque Aljama. 4. Succession of domes in Isfahan (Upham Pope).23a. 4.27a and b. 4.24. Dome of the northern room (Upham Pope). Northern dome of the Mosque Aljama. Section and view of the Isfahan northern room dome (Upham Pope).25.The Great Structures in Architecture Fig. Fig. Fig. Figs. Fig.

Dome of the Mosque of Ardestan (Upham Pope). 4. Fig.30. Fig. 4. in Konya (Upham Pope).29a.The Ribbed Dome Fig.32. Mausoleum of Al-Safi’I. 4. in Cairo (Upham Pope). 4. 4.31. Madrasa of Ince Minare. Fig. 75 .28. Roof of the Pavilion of the Abencerrajes. Mausoleums of Asuan (Upham Pope). in the Alhambra of Granada.29b. Fig. in the Alhambra of Granada. 4. Dome of the Room of the Two Sisters. Fig.

with centred plan (Fig. in Isfahan. arches. 4. there are no concessions but to the imitation of the classical style. the decreasing geometries that link square and octagonal plans and the ribs to build the domes transept.33b. Free of complexes. Fig. the northern architects do not have any prejudice to accept Muslim elements and even hire their builders. in Sultaneia. Since 800 AD. Ivan of the Sanctuary of Masjid-i-Jami. groined vaults or Roman barrel vaults. Tomb of Oljeitu. starting with the reconquest of the conquered territories. From Aquisgran. together with the pilasters. Romanic that introduces the archivolts in the fronts similar to the eastern ivans. 4. South-eastern ivan of the Sanctuary of Masjid-iJami. in Isfahan. Fig. 4. 4.40). the Christians built in the Roman way in the territories bordering with those of their antagonists.33a. Also. In that moment first appears the Modern and later. This would last only until the moment when the balance tips in favour of the Christian side. 4. 4.34.37).The Great Structures in Architecture Fig. the transverse arches to support the cimborrios and the formerets to reinforce the vaults.39). is 76 . with basilical plans (Fig. Santiago of Compostela (Fig.38). as many other cathedrals. to the Asturian Preromanic. like advanced Romanic style as Ste Mary of Ripoll (Fig. 4.

inaccessible. showing that willingness to accept elements from other styles is only the verification of the structural efficiency not of a mental exchange.35. None of them were determinant for the new style. tormented. The key consisted in spirituality and on the effort to synthesise the Christian thinking in an order equivalent to that established by the preceding empires (Ref. heresies and councils. schools. Dome of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. its very high dome. were the counterpart to those of Toledo or Cordoba. architects and thinkers. The leap between the Romanic and the Gothic style was not sudden because the Cistercian order made a bridge toward simplicity in a still intuitive way. together with the great scholastics such as Albert the Great. its domes. workshops. pointed arches.41). Saint Abelard and Luis VII coincided in time.36. being evident this indissoluble dependency in the Gothic rigor. science. and the unbelievers were no longer seen as a culture to exterminate. its libraries. except in the political ground. There was something more interesting to obtain of all those circumstances. simple. 16). b) The order and the proportion of the whole. Their cultural superiority at that moment produced the transformation of western literature. this attitude was gradually relaxing. with its endless wood of columns. and its dozens of domes covering the radial chapels were more than a symbol of the power against Mahoma’s religion.The Ribbed Dome an example of the Romanic that combine all these elements synthesising the style. mainly after the crusades. investigation centres. and laden with a long history and a doctrine made up of accumulations. as an identification of the spiritual power over the chaotic 77 . legends. without contradictions or difficulties. a synthesis that will be repeated with few variations in all the rest of the examples. architecture included. but the acknowledgement and appropriation of his culture. as that of a mosque. No wonder that discontent and opposition to that ostentation grew among the most clear-sighted intellectuals. Saint Buenaventura or Saint Thomas of Aquino. 4. but the Cluniac monks had hidden it under the decoration. Its system of square tiled towers. etc. Cluny competed with Medina Azahara. saints. in Torres del Río in Navarra. Naturally. Byzantium or Cairo (Fig. deep. its polychromous stones. in Seville. Much has been written about the features that announced the Gothic style during the Romanic: fanvaulting. tapestries. The austere Romanic changed to be shockingly ostentatious. technique and the rest of knowledge. so that theological literature was conceived as an almost architectonic structure and architecture was conceived simultaneously by both Fig. 4. without a past. In this time of splendour. resulted in the aforementioned renovation. So architecture and philosophy developed together to such extent that the scholasticism and the Gothic are indissoluble. 4. contradictory. But the fact that the abbot Suger of Saint Denis. more powerful than that of the Rock. Chapel dome of Church of Saint Marine. sculptures. Fig. The extension of its church. Christianity was complex. however evident these elements could be. What was the use of prevailing on the opposite religion in the most superficial aspects? Why not attack it from deeper grounds such as spirituality and rigor? Islamism was a linear conception. which was based on a few principles: a) The inclusion of light as the soul of the built space. shining with sparkles and bells.

though obviously with very different results. stained glass windows. Building perspective of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela (Escrig).40. Outer view. altarpieces. Paradoxically. Roman or Byzantine architecture was of no use. threads and drawings that move architecture further away from the classicist temptations. d) The vegetal analogy by which the building turned into a living being with a luxuriant foliage and all sorts of living beings crouching in capitals. e) The symbolic transcription in graphical signs of all the concepts. buttresses. For all that. keys.39a. Fig. Scheme of the Palatine Church. Fig. in Oviedo (Conant). Fig. 4. the two opposite and in a certain way antithetic religions based their architecture upon the same elements. c) The complete fading of any surface under branches. Scheme of Saint Julian of Prados. f) The use of geometry to replace drawing and the replacement of proportion by trace. in Aquisgran.39b. Fig. resulting in ceiling roses. Saint Mary in Ripoll. Plan. choirs and altars. 4.The Great Structures in Architecture Fig. 4. 4. gargoyles. 78 . Saint Mary in Ripoll. fretworks and labyrinths. urban mess on which these building were settled. 4.38. and the examples more at hand for inspiration were the Muslim ones.37.

Nôtre Dame of Paris.44.42. one is rationalist and coherent. 4. 79 . General plan and perspective of the Monastery of Cluny (Conant). Fig. Fig. The Gothic style is luminous and the Islamic one ignores the light. Cathedral of Laon. 4.41.46. the other fantasist and arbitrary. Fig. Interior of the Cathedral of Durham.The Ribbed Dome Fig. 4. the former is light and the latter heavy. 4.43. Fig. 4. Vault of the Cathedral of Chartres.

4. Chapel of Saint George. Vault of the Cathedral of Gloucester. Fig.48. Fig. 4. Vault of the Cathedral of Lincoln.45.The Great Structures in Architecture Fig. Fig. 4. 80 .47.49. 4. but the Gothic style brought to the limit the stress capacity of the stones and forced gravity with immaterial effects. There is not a scale of values establishing a hierarchy. Cathedral of Toledo. in Windsor Castle.

reaching impossible heights. Chapel of Henry VII.The Ribbed Dome Fig. delicate chapterhouses in polygonal shape and side chapels with convex coverings carved in threads. Since 1130 AD the Romanic becomes an old fashioned style that does not adapt to the new concepts and must be substituted. If we followed the thread of our text only on the basis of the domes. 81 . 4. But all this would be embraced by the relentless rhythm of the naves. in Westminster Abbey. The singular elements of the Gothic style are rather towers than domes. There would be gigantic cimborrios over the transepts. even though these have spiral outer shape as huge cypresses or flames that ascend to heaven. we would find very little material in the Gothic style.50.

Interior of the Cathedral of Prague.52. Fig. in Saxony. Vault of the Church of Annaberg. Fig.51. 4.The Great Structures in Architecture Fig. 4. Vault of the Cathedral of Salamanca. 4. 4.53. 82 .54. Fig. Vault of the Cathedral of Segovia.

Vault of the transept of the Cathedral of Cordoba (Escrig). 4.The Ribbed Dome Fig.55. 83 .

In Spain they developed the vaults of secondary ribs. we can assume that they adopt the role of inner domes.56. 4.44).63): In the beginning. whose main framework is shown in Fig. Salamanca (Fig.60. is the most spectacular of all (Fig. But if we focus on concave spaces such as chapels and cimborrios. though made of wood. 4. 4.49 show some stone structures that look rather like slender steel bars or huge tropical leaves full of veins (Fig. we highlight some of the most important: those of Our Lady in Wells (Fig. In the XVIIIth century. Fig. 4. the keys are slightly pointed to obtain more convex forms (Fig. Chapel of Our Lady. More variety and innovations offer the cimborrios. But the six parts domes were too irregular and soon they were substituted by the four parts ones with a proportion 2:1.54) and Córdoba (Fig.4. and the result of suppressing the four main pillars of the transept until getting a polygon 25 m in diameter. the Gothic four parts vaults resulting from the groined vaults. among which the English ones stand out with dramatic passion. as in the case of Durham (Fig. The Cathedrals of Segovia (Fig. 4. 4.61. 4.46) or by the fasciculated ones as in Lincoln (Fig.55) are examples of it.58).42).47). we can see that. since it suffered serious structural deterioration through being made of wood. But the side walls of central naves were not coherent with the squares of side naves. Chapel of the Constable. though to the outside they are concealed. 12) has recently done a study of this structure that we find interesting to summarise. 4.57.50). 4. 4. the architect Essex added some elements to the point of turning it into the tangle illustrated in Fig. Its framework has undergone some transformations over the years. If we analyse the stability of these structures as a spatial net. the richness is even greater. 4.57) or the Abbey of Batalha in Portugal (Fig. 4.56). 4. result in turn in vaults pretty continuous.53).43). although its tracing does not relate directly to the different heights of the arches keys.45). which were able to stop the evolution of the imported 84 . 4. Later on. 4. in the Cathedral of Wells. 4. as in Chartres (Fig. 4. That of Ely. 4. although they fulfil Maxwell’s equation (Fig.59). in the Cathedral of Burgos. The moment when the central naves are covered with square patterns. Nôtre Dame de Paris is one of these first examples of six parts domes (Fig. Renaissance styles practically the moment they were substituted by the Baroque structures.48 and 4. In all of them the Islamic patterns are evident.52). As for chapels. Walsingham cleared it until getting the polished result that is shown in the Fig. having beautiful rectilinear patterns (fig. 4. Leon is a more perfect case of this kind (Fig. 4. 4.The Great Structures in Architecture Fig. All these examples refer to cylindrical forms. Figs. 4. In Toledo.51) or fanciful curves (Fig. What naturally follows is the multiplication of ribs like a spiders web making the skeleton much more complex. Heyman (Ref. the Constable in Burgos (Fig.62 diagram.

Octagon of the Cathedral of Ely.61.62. Fig. Fig. Wooden framework of the Cathedral of Ely octagon (Heyman). 4. 4. 4. Church of the Abbey of Batalha (Stierlin). 4. Fig. Construction sketch of the Cathedral of Ely octagon.58. Initial design of the Cathedral of Ely octagon (Heyman). 4. 85 .60. The left side is the invention of Essex in 1760 and the right side the Walsingham solution. Fig.The Ribbed Dome Fig.59.

The elegance of the ornaments and the effects of the ribs make of it a goldsmith’s work (Fig.5] F = – 6 This means that there are 6 extra bars.68). Heyman’s text is very detailed and worthwhile consulting. Another impressive cimborrio is that of the Cathedral of Lincoln (Fig. which centres are B and F.2] the structure is isostatic and there is a lack of bars. 4. N = 16. form in the middle an being n the number of knots and b the number of bars. for instance the BF. the bars have to be correctly distributed. 4. being these the horizontal traces of the diagonal arches and. Gilbert Scott.70). 4.63. radial ribs and a height over the nave that doubles the width. that cross in the centre C. to which should be directed their tensions. being pointed. Therefore F = 3n – b – 6 – s So. 4. In this case they are not and the whole can get deformed as shown in Fig.69). in a structure similar to that of Fig. has some specially valuable features (Fig. 4. In addition. following the tracing of the arch or formeret HLI. But Maxwell’s equation is a necessary but not sufficient condition. Perspective of the mechanism of the octagon of Ely. in duplicating the number of buttresses and stabilising everything by means of deadweight. It is a late work. Nevertheless. 4. and if 3n > b + 6 [4.67).66) which. though very modest. It too has an octagonal plan. which is made of winding brick and fill the hollows ECA. their diameters. with less analytic and more technical criteria. being in them and in the mentioned second body a group of windows similar to that of the first body.63. His solution consisted of increasing the heavy masonry of the outer circle. This would not have happened had the polygon been odd sided. draw over one of the diagonals. 4. Tosca made the following description of its tracing: “Being the octagon ABEN and C the vault plan: draw the diagonals. 4. On the diagonal arches is built the vault. if 3n < b + 6 the structure is hyperstatic.3] [4. But it does not have steel chains nor buttresses (Fig. over the cornisature and over the HI.The Great Structures in Architecture Fig. which arches work like formerets for the vault. but due to a structural paradox. 3n = b + 6 [4. at the same time.1] So many are the examples that for a deeper knowledge of the matter we advise you to resort to the references at the end of this text.4] If the whole is linked to the outside. before ending this section we should mention the Cathedral of Valencia whose dome. though having hardly 15 m of side. Mobility of the mechanism of the octagon of Ely. Besides. b = 24 and s = 24 And as a result of the equation [4.64. Fig. 4. resolves the square plan with this form until its culmination in a typically English solution. The cimborrio of the Cathedral of Burgos is one of the world’s most beautiful. Therefore. no matter how many bars were added. already built by the XVth century. the number of links “s” can compensate the lacking bars. ACB and C of the diagonal arches. got the whole stabilised. 4. in spite of its reduced dimensions. the curved wooden bars indicated underwent some effort due to the supporting of the tower and were unbearable for such a light material. the pointed arch BGF. as many as F = 3n – b – 6 [4. what was very suitable against the wind action (Fig. [4.64.5] 86 . Essex’s work did not have much use. which is equivalent to saying that the whole is hyperstatic. and the same is to be done in the rest of sides. which vault.65). Finally. It was the result of a careful study of the loads and the structure that has to conduct them (Fig. an even number implies serious damage for its behaviour.

according to Tosca. Transept tower of the Cathedral of Valencia. Present state of the octagon of Ely outside. Fig. 4. Outside of the transept tower of the Cathedral of Valencia. Set of nets of the lantern of the Cathedral of Burgos. Fig. 4. Vault of the cimborrio of the Cathedral of Lincoln.70. Fig.65. Plan and section of the cimborrio of the Cathedral of Valencia. 87 .The Ribbed Dome Fig. 4.66.69. 4. Fig.67. 4. Fig.68. 4.

Fig.The Great Structures in Architecture Fig. Geometrical generation of the plan of a church. by Gil de Hontañón. Church of Villascatín. Plan by Simón García.71. 4. copying Gil de Hontañón.73.72b. of a church with fan-vaulting. 4. in Chapter VI. 88 . Simón García transcribing Gil de Hontañón. Vault of the Cathedral of Beauvais. Fig. page 18.72a. 4. in Segovia. 4. Fig.

75a. Plan of a church of large dimensions. 4.The Ribbed Dome Fig.74b. Fig. 4. Simón García transcribing Gil de Hontañón. Simón García transcribing Gil de Hontañón. Gil de Hontañón. Church of the Vine. Chapter II. 4. Fig. page 7. Chapter II. 89 . Chapter V. page 75. Plan tracing of a church of large dimensions. 4.74a.75b. Simón García. in Burgos. Fig. Chapel of the monastery. page 12.

models that almost always can be flat. singularly when the plan has 6 or 8 sides. entering angle corresponding with the line QC: the same thing is made in every eighth side. because having such a high point is little its thrust. Cathedral of Segovia. almost without needing an extra abutment. Nevertheless. fully trusted the accumulation of experiences that allowed them to advance on the basis of previous projects. When Gaudi built the Holy Family 90 . these challenges could be assumed with such precision. We know that the Romans. It was enough making thread models. by Gil de Hontañón.75. From that point balance was achieved by means of weights. That is why what in the XIXth century was resolved with the help of a static graphic that demanded skill in drawing. they counted on a firm knowledge of geometry.c. the Gothic structures had an advantage over any other: they were linear. In any case. to get all the forces passing through the interior of resistant members. 4. so that their study reduced to that of the balance of forces and loads. the vault that is placed over the transepts AC and BC and fill the hollow. being concluded the work with much beauty and firmness enough. could before be experimented with a thread suspended between two extremes being the springing supports. which plan is the triangle ACB. But the massive and superficial structures that they constructed were too difficult until the XVIIIth century. as I show in the following form: Firstly. or even more”. this did not even require some knowledge of geometry. against which have very enough resistance the aforementioned collateral vaults. has enough abutments with the collateral vaults corresponding with the triangles ACE and the one of the other side.The Great Structures in Architecture Fig. much more advanced. Paradoxically. since Gothic naves or radial chapels can be reduced to the study of parallel or polar plans. We wonder how with such poor analytical means as we suppose existed in the Middle Ages.

For the tracing. evidently out of the period we are studying in this chapter. The Gil de Hontañón’s manuscript is dated between 1544 and 1554. pillars. Name of the elements of a fan-vault. The most important of all is that by Rodrigo Gil de Hontañón.71).77. 4.72 shows the great resemblance to page 18 of Chapter VI in Gil de Hontañón’s book to the church of 91 . But Ulm. Cap. as stoneworking had its own rules that were transmitted without exceeding the gremial limits. Whoever visits the Cathedral of Beauvais is impressed by the challenge of those 46 m high and fully holed naves (Fig. he simultaneously based on the theories of the classic proportion as an analogy of human body and the systems of the Gothic tradition for the geometrical tracing. IV. proud after having undergone all the disgraces that the Genesis threw against those ones that wanted to build a Ziggurat to ascend to heaven. 4. vaults and towers. Fig. dimensioning too had some rules that you should not infringe and that gave sufficient safety coefficients which surprisingly were not excessive. Its collapsing should have been considered a fair punishment. Otherwise. Project of tower for the Cathedral of Salamanca. Fig. c) Formulas for the dimensioning of the structural elements. page 105. though after waiting for some centuries. Maybe it is the first book about structures of history. 4.76. since it is a synthesis of all the knowledge gathered to the moment. Its name is “Treatise of architecture and symmetry of the temples” and is exclusively about dimensioning. In any case. It consists of three different parts: a) Calculation of the surface of temples. 4. It seems as if the slightest breeze or the minimum earth tremor could make fade all that glasswork as if it were made of smoke and. buttresses. it can be thought that some centuries ago construction followed those criteria. there it is. it cannot explain that the great constructions were made without minor precedents. The theory of proof and mistake does not prove valid in works of such a huge size and as much investment. Beauvais reached 156 m at its highest point and so challenged arrogantly all its neighbours who attempted to achieve similar feats in their towers. Strasbourg or Colony succeeded in materialising that challenge in stone. b) Establishment of the general tracing. so complex that it must be a compilation of many traditions. But. It is worthwhile to spend some time on these contemporary books of Gothic structures. For the calculation of the surface of temples. The existence of written treatises on dimensioning. Simón García transcribing Gil de Hontañón. he used demographic criteria. nevertheless.The Ribbed Dome he did but echo the Gothic tradition that still underlies that zone of the Mediterranean. but they are but few and little known. Maybe between 3 and 5. It is true that there were big disasters. but they were not proportionally bigger than those suffered nowadays by perfectly calculated works. Fig. which in masonry work is very advisable. maybe those written in code. there is no question that the thousands of Gothic churches and cathedrals resulted in an exercise of calculation and risk and. is beyond any hesitation.

Being a flat vault.7] ¦N . H buttress height. If it is bigger. he based it on the churches of hall.75 shows the equivalent for a cathedral and its materialisation in the Cathedral of Segovia. according to Gil de Hontañón. 4.78a.1 Q weight of the key in quintales (about one hundred pounds).1 for the dimensioning of buttresses. A buttress core.78b. 4. L span of the nave. L/28. 4. 4. ÓN length of the sustaining elements in feet. L/24. the media should be used. Fig. Towers: H height of the tower. H height of the nave.77 shows the project of the Cathedral of Salamanca. Rule n. ÓS length of the sustained elements in feet. 4. E 92 H 2 C HA A 2 H 4 [4. This is of use if the pillars height equals the span of the stretch. A width of the tower. As for the dimensioning. E thickness of the wall. which always used dome shaped vaults. If the span of the stretches is different. C thickness of the buttress. as an example of the proportional tracing that is also illustrated in Fig. 4. ÓN addition of the halves of the ribs that take hold of the buttress lengths. 4. Fig. Keys: Q P ¦R ¦S [4.The Great Structures in Architecture Villacastin tracing. following the outline of Fig. Ribs: Bond-stone arch Transept arch Secondary ribs Arch of shape L/20.9] . The dimensioning rules advised were: Circular pillars: HL A 2 D pillar diameter.73. L/30. Drawing of the Rule n. Fig.8] Fig.76. A length of the stretch. A c 2 C buttress side.74 shows an outline of the geometrical tracing of page 7 in Chapter II and its resemblance to the Church of La Vid in Burgos. Fig. dating from 1522. this dimensions should be increased. this will increase or diminish in the same proportion. P weight of the transepts in quintales. dating from 1529. D Buttresses: C 2 2 H 3 3 [4.

2 for the dimensioning of buttresses. Fig.82).80 [Rule III] and 4.78 [Rule I]. 4. 4. whereas Rule IV is valid for every sort of arch. Drawing of the Rule n.79 [Rule II]. some other treatises about structural matters have been written. Rule II for flattened ones.79a. according to Gil de Hontañón. 93 . Since that moment. up to the present time.2. 4.3 and its interpretation. Fig.The Ribbed Dome Fig. Besides. Rule III allows the dimensioning of buttresses of variable section. according to certain rules illustrated in Figs. Rule n. the manuscript spends some time in a series of graphic considerations to the dimension of the buttresses that correspond to different kind of arches.81 [Rule IV]. Rule n. 4. which due to its simplicity was the most used (Fig. We want to highlight Durand’s rule for the dimensioning of buttresses for every kind of arch. Rule I is only of use for circular arches. 4.80.79b. 4. 4.

They cannot be disdained as simplifications made by people who ignored calculation. 4. The answer is rather complex. it once again reached a predominant situation with steel and concrete. To be true. and although it was buried by the builders of the Renaissance. Fig. Rules of Sanabria and Derand. the Baroque and the classic style. these buildings have survived in spite of disasters and wars. their dimensions could have been improved making them depend on the materials quality and the geographical zones. making possible nowadays the largest known structural designs. But in short.4. which cannot be said of some present constructions dimensioned in the limit. The ribs based construction was one of the great discoveries of architecture.81. 94 . 4. or magnified as the elixir of experience. Rule n.The Great Structures in Architecture We may wonder about the precision of these methods and their justification. Fig.82.

Ediciones Cátedra. 12. 15.HUERTA. HISTORIA 16. ACLAND. R.MARK.TAYLOR. 13. Princeton Univ. Thames & Hudson. Taschem. G. 1500-1800”. A.T. 4. Instituto Juan de Herrera.D.SIMSON. 1961. MIT Press. 2004. 1982. & PÉREZ VALCARCEL. 2. “Traza y Simetría de la Arquitectura”.VIOLLET LE DUC. 1972. M. 1992. GOMEZ RAMOS. & GRABAR. ADAM. Thames & Hudson. 14. 1985. 16. BARRUCAND. K. “Persian Architecture”. 1993.PANOFSKY. Thames & Hudson. “The construction of Gothic Cathedrals.GIMPEL. “The Cathedrals of England”. E. 19. “The Gothic Cathedral”. A. A. El Viso. de Madrid. Madrid. J. Press. Editions du Seuil. 1992. CLIFTON . 1967. 1863-1872. J. A. R. E. París: A. Las Artes Islámicas en España”. Its History and Social Meaning”.HEYMAN. Edi.S. Universidad de Sevilla.MICHELL. “Arquitectura Carolingia y Románica 800-1200”. Arte Hispalense nº 60. Seis puntos de vista sobre la arquitectura medieval”. “L´Architecture Medievale II”. Origins of Gothic Architecture and the medieval concepts of order”.UPHAM POPE. 17. J. Universidad de Sevilla.JIMENEZ MARTIN. “Arquitectu ra Islámica en Andalucía”. 23. Morel. 1978. A. Petite Biblioteque Payot. J. Cambridge. historia y restauración de Estructuras de Fábrica”. 1987. A Study of Medieval Vault Erection”. Thames & Hudson. Xarait.A. “Les Bátisseus de Cathedrales”. “Diseño Estructural de Arcos. 11. Servicio de Publicaciones de la Universidad de Sevilla. “La Iglesia de Sta. O.RUIZ DE LA ROSA. “Entretiens sur l´Architecture” 2 vols. “Rodrigo Gil de Hontañon. & BEDNORZ. 18. Latrobe. 22. 1990. “A Gothic Architecture and Scholasticism”. 1957. Gótico y Renacimiento en la Arquitectura Española del siglo XVI”. 1986. E. S. 21. ETTINGHAUSEN. J. “Experiments in Gothic Structure”. Serie Arquitectura nº 10. 7. E. CONANT. 1995. C.WILSON. 95 . 8.HOAG. ESCRIG.”La Mo dernidad del Gótico. J.H. María de Sevilla”. 1965. 10. 1992. Bóvedas y Cúpulas en España. 3. 20. DODDS. “El Arte Islámico”. Historia del Arte nº 15. “Teoría.D. F. 1956. J. Otto von “The Gothic Catedral. “Medieval Structure: The Gothic Vault” University of Toronto Press. J. R. FITCHEN. 1992. “Arte y Arquitectura del Islam 650-1250”. 5. Tésis no Publicada.The Ribbed Dome REFERENCES OF CHAPTER 4 1. “Architecture of the Islamic World. “Al-Andalus. ETSA Madrid. Oxford at the Clarendon Press. 9. J. 6.

was perfectly documented. In fact. extinguished the last embers of that unity. Venice’s case is different. it was possibly understood that the localist ornaments provided enough freedom to make people claim a disconnection of the classic rules. or the Modern Style. new nationalisms were born. the Gothic style did not shake the foundations of the birthplace of Classicism. This unity survived for longer than the Empire itself. The Gothic style. The Italian Romanesque always had a luminous and tidy appearance that could not be found in Santiago or in Maguncia.Chapter 5. despite the many transformations undergone along the history. the skill was not lost. which seemed impossible given the scant capitalisation of the cities. resources. meant an outline of orders and ornaments renowned as classical. From England to Sicily or from Galicia to Germany. the Roman patterns. since it lived on others’ illusions. capitals. echoing protohistorical periods of legends and epic poems free of the influence of the Roman dominion. gathered thanks to their commercial vocation. This ostentation of autonomic fervour spread quickly all over a geography that. saw in that imaginative style that had no prejudices and was free in its interpretation. in this case unification did not have a military but an economic nature. But despite its undeniable appeal. pagan and oppressive. the Eastern Empire survived until the XVth century and the permeability was absolute. while the new nations are taking shape and history is being rewritten. its determinist techniques and its similar results. Venice could not be unaware of what was happening elsewhere. from the literature to the plastic arts. It is common knowledge of the huge difficulties faced by the great pioneers of new international architecture to see their works recognised before the end of the First World War. The Classicism had been invented there. mainly the regions of Toscana and Campania. Modernism. Since that moment. all over Europe there was a certain stylistic coherence that materialised in the Romanic and kept on ruling the architectonical interventions. which brought a certain stability to the nations' borders. showing through it the deep renovation and the knowledge of the control 96 . In summary. on this occasion. not having roots of its own. torn apart by his children who consolidated a systematic confrontation among the European regions that is still dragging on. a good chance to turn it into its own creation. Any dusted off classical text was celebrated with great acclaim from the intellectuals that were making that national consciousness. UNDER THE SHADOW OF BRUNELLESCHI While the fiction of the Empire was alive. as was then named. The XIXth century. It constructed Saint Marcos. Secession. shaken by the Napoleonic dominion. always reluctant to join the Empire. had been planned from Rome and had proved able to unify cultures as distant as the Persian and the Mauritanian. The Gothic style was born with a huge strength in the North of France and matured with its interventions. and the economic fact that the Empire was fictitious and that every little portion of its territory had to survive on its own initiatives. in spite of the fact that Charlemagne tried to repromote it under his military and moral control. reproduced in shafts. a literal copy of the Saint Apostles Church in Constantinople. The Renaissance. with a passion that extended to the building of the sumptuous medieval palaces and the Renaissance churches of the initial times. His heritage. can be traced crouching in periods of political centralism that necessarily required again a calling for the imperial system until the extinction of those periods. wanted too to be a local self-assertion connected to a story that. In an opposite way to that proposed in the Middle Ages. Only the region of Lombardy. to renounce its own culture to join the commotion of the vegetal architecture. Venice was a patchwork of different cultures. circular arches and spherical domes. to the nationalist dream of the medieval Renaissance. accepted the new style with a relative conviction. The XXth century itself resorts to decorativism in any of its known aspects (Art Noveau. A PLANIFIED REVENGE. The Gothic style crossed Italy leaving but a patina of modernity that could not conceal the classical substrate. It was impossible for the central zone of Italy. etc). The different orders kept a certain purity and the marble slabs showed a Roman cut. Despite its formal unity.

in Ravenna (Escrig). 5. When we talk about the Renaissance.2. had it not coincided with that historical moment. In the moment when Florence decided to be the driving force behind the classic Renaissance. 5. the Eastern Empire had also crumbled and a tribe of conquerors had succeeded in rebuilding it with a dimension never seen before. the great works kept on being the representative churches. who were at war among themselves. Venice were ahead. It was a coincidence that in that moment three giant personages. We want to focus on the necessity of creating a sphere of proposals that are recognisable for their unity and language and that appeal to precedent Roman constructions. Francisco I and Henry VIII confirmed in the new style their longing for universality. That is why it was a logical decision to elect him to project and build the most important work of the XVth century.4). Even in Central Africa there was a phenomenon unthinkable of in that continent except in the Nile proximity. Italy in that moment.1. At the same time. Sienna and. its beauty and its technique. Neither in Florence were there old remains to take as a model. but their colossal dimensions matched the magnificence of the Empire. In painting it was Giotto and in sculpture the Pisano’s school.3). 5. What was left of the Gothic period was several churches: Saint Francisco in Asisi (Fig. All of them have a medieval background that floats over their great innovations. Saint Anthony in Padua (Fig. behind the Roman works that survived in the ancient capital city and in Ravenna (Fig. Persians and Byzantines sharing the same yoke. Under the Shadow of Brunelleschi mechanisms. Saint Vital. a similar explosion was taking place in the Far East. Fig. in the XIIIth century. The Italian Renaissance architects themselves never hid their admiration for the constructive quality of those monuments and even Leonardo’s notes show that he had found in them an inspiration for his proposals. May be literature. in Milan (Escrig). No big works that stimulated the self-esteem had yet been undertaken. The fact that Charles V. The Renaissance was no more a western matter. The Renaissance could have been only a trend. facilitated its diffusion. the latter was superior in both fields and finished drawing Fig. had to fight against their own disintegration. as well as some time later in India or much sooner in Mesoamerica with a culture so advanced as the Aztec one. 5. Saint Lawrence. 5.2). Milan. 5. Finally there was a mixing that nowadays gets us amazed at its unity. this city was not the most powerful in the Italian peninsula. together the best artists of the time around him. Saint Petronio in Bologna (Fig.A Planified Revenge. we will not refer to Vitrubio’s resurrection note to the collectors of ancient pieces of marble. Pisa had. unfortunately destroyed in only a night by a swineherd from Extremadura.5) and Saint John and Saint Paul in Venice (Fig. The great Gothic works were 97 . as in previous years. Nevertheless. 5. was fully ready to assume a new important role. In architecture. Its classical ornaments and its two domes would be a reference to imitate until the arrival of the Baroque. the most qualified monument. Undoubtedly.6). The great works of the VIth century built by Theodosius were claimed as undeniable autochthonous precedents. Donatello. it was here where that national consciousness took shape. That is why we must set 1400 as the magical date in which the decision on the competition to build the doors of the Florence’s Baptistery separated the vocations of Ghiberti as a sculptor and Bunelleschi as an architect.1) or Milan (Fig. Massacio and Alberti were his fervent admirers. della Robia. 5. was the trigger of the new classicism. of course. In symmetry. The Ottoman Empire was forced to straight away invent another universal style to have under strict control the dispersion to which tended Egyptians. It was not necessary to look for very long. Maybe they were not as rich as the Islamic filigrees. under Dante’s and Petrarca’s leadership.

6. in Padua. because Florence also started building a gigantic Duomo under the leadership of the main sculptor and architect of the time. beside Saint Mary of the Flowers. 5. 5. to be started very late. that could be built to scale on the new church (Fig. 5. Here you could be amazed at the sight of the Saint John Baptistery. The rivalry among the three competing architects is well known: Talenti. Sienna was an economical power that could afford that luxury. 50 metres from the floor. The Cathedral of Milan hardly had got its galleries finished in the XVIth century (Fig. mostly sculptors with little experience in architecture. in Asisi. Saint Petronio. 5.3. In the Monastery of Pavia the great architects of the XVth century still worked (Fig. 5. constructed in the XIIth century. Thus it was decided that the shy projected nave would be ended with a powerful octagonal rotunda and three counteracting thick arms. To cap it all. Saint John and Saint Paul. can we find the perfectly delimited foundations of Classicism (Fig.7).13). it was no surprise that they could not solve the problem of building an octagonal dome 42 m in diameter. transverse arches and a dome over the three naves by means of resting on an hexagonal plan (Fig.5.9): semicircular arches. The dimension of the walls is explained by the need of avoiding the serious variations that started appearing in the ambitious works of Sienna and even in Giotto’s Campanile.10). Saint Anthony.4. It is obvious that the failures of Sienna were seen by the Florentines as successes. Since the middle of the century scale models and proposals followed each other. Saint Francisco. Fig. Orcagna and Lapo Ghini. whereas they did not agree about the modifications to do in Arnolfo’s first works.12). a counter power to Florence that tried to do the same but failed. in Bologna. Only in the Cathedral of Sienna. 5. 5.11). the lengthening of the main nave and its conversion from 98 .8). in Venice. Fig. pilasters with Corinthian capitals. 5. 5. 5.The Great Structures in Architecture Fig. Arnolfo of Cambio (Fig. Being the three of them. Fig. finished in the XIVth century. The final result was decided by a popular vote and was immortalised in a picture (Fig. 5.

Talenti had invented a complete shoring system that was excessively expensive and the successive master builders did not go above the drum. The silk guild had to trust this architect of hardly forty years.A Planified Revenge. 5.7. Fig. by which it was remunerated. in that moment. because they did not find a satisfactory solution to keep going.9. The common proposal of Brunelleschi and Ghiberti was based on two fundamental contributions: the possibility of lifting the drum twelve metres more and the solution of vaulting without wooden cradles. In spite of that. although Ghiberty and Battista d´Antonio were designated to help him. We have spent time with these descriptions so far from the Renaissance period because they lead us to deduce the debt that Brunelleschi owed to the past. Brunelleschi. is of so refined a classical style (Fig. When he won the competition in 1420 he was a sculptor with a vast culture who had visited and studied the main Roman remains. Cathedral of Sienna (Escrig). That is why his first important work. 5. It seems 99 . Under the Shadow of Brunelleschi Fig. Cathedral of Sienna (Stierlin). a complete madness that was based on the knowledge of the Pantheon and the Temple of Minerva Medica. the spring line. 5.8. State of the Cathedral of Milan in 1773 (Creve). the portico for the Hospital of the Innocent. there is a shortage of information about this phase in which the works of the cathedral were continued.10. elaborated a scale model that scrupulously respected the image assumed by the city reflected in paintings and sculptures.14). 5. During three years there was a continuous debate on the way to close that gigantic crater located at the top of the church. His ability was demonstrated by being able to show with his model that it could be constructed without a wooden cradle. Fig. in the confusion of a competition in which nobody proposed a solution of common sense. the number of ribs and the building systems. generated some thrusts stronger than expected. Fig. 5. In order to avoid surprises a contract with twelve clauses was signed to define the shape. We can think that the genius of Brunelleschi was universally recognised but at that moment he was one architect among many who competed in Florence doing all type of tasks. that had to be counteracted with metallic struts (Fig.15). never seen before for a monument of its dimension. the constructive materials. but had to be resolved with a medieval shape and in keeping with the contract clauses. five modules to four. 5. Monastery of Pavia (Heindereich and Lotz). It was. the thickness. This contract probably reflected Brunelleschi’s own choice.

Maybe Mainstone is the person who has described the difficulties of this work in greatest detail. Starting from the knowledge that the dimensions and the shape were imposed. Painting by Andrea Bonaiuti. Fig.14.15.11. Metallic struts in the nave of Saint Mary of the Flowers. Portico of the Hospital of the Innocent. Superimposition of the former and final projects of Saint Mary of the Flowers. worked with the maximum of secrecy.13. 5. If the dome had a basically medieval aspect. perhaps because he saw it with an engineer´s eyes. Saint John Baptistery. very self-confident and mistrusting his competitors. in Florence (Escrig).12. Fig. Fig. it is not surprising that everything that has been written on the dome is based on suppositions. that Brunelleschi.The Great Structures in Architecture Fig. 5. in Florence (Escrig). including the project of Saint Mary of the Flowers chosen by popular consensus. In the first place it was built on an octagon 42 metres in inscribed diametre. Therefore. in Florence (Borsi et alt. 5. we are going to describe the components and solutions of so singular a work. 5. 100 . 5. The workers themselves had to be lodged in the work place and the plans were destroyed as soon as they were used.). also the atmosphere in which it was being built seemed medieval. placed 55 metres high from the Fig.

Final sketch of the dome of Saint Mary of the Flowers. 5.17.19. Building set of the dome of Saint Mary of the Flowers Fig.A Planified Revenge. Profile tracing of the dome of Saint Mary of the Flowers (Battisti).18. 5. 101 . Under the Shadow of Brunelleschi (Escrig). Fig.16. Fig. 5. Sketch of the ribs of Saint Mary of the Flowers (Battisti). 5. Fig.

3 metres in width (Fig. in addition. on a drum of 12 metres (Fig. The profile is that of the “quinto acuto” pointed arch.73 metres.21). the points at the same height could be linked to the horizontal brick courses. all kinds of safety elements could be placed as handrails or similar. from the Domus Aurea how to solve an octagonal dome. All this results in a weight of about 7 tonnes per square metre of dome unevenly distributed. In addition.19). with a thickness of 2. If the author wanted to keep secret his method he succeeded since nobody could find it out later. All that is complemented with two laminar sheets of cylindrical tracing. The bricks of these two shells must logically be horizontal since there is no simple geometric method to draw them up radially.22). The most admissible hypothesis is the simplest and has been described in one of my previous works. By means of the level. We know that in the years previous to the building order. 5. anyone will find it very difficult to explain how the big bricks could be properly laid. 5. at the edges. But they had a stabilising role regarding the rheological and seismic behaviour.20): building stones with metallic staples.2 metres. From the Pantheon he learned the value of the ribbings to lighten the weight of the whole. With respect to the masonry. Never before had a building of these dimensions been constructed in that way. From the life-sized drawing he drew the curves of the formerets that were going to be the framework for one of the ribs. The dome is formed by eight main ribs of circular tracing. except for the author and his collaborators. verifying their geometry from platforms at the height of the drum crowning (Fig. We must take into account though that Florence had contacts with Eastern artists due to the commercial exchange. From the Caracalla Thermae he learned the techniques of massive construction and the advance of courses. 5. so he was forced to use the knowledge of the Gothic techniques that did have a solution for these problems.000 tonnes. That way the ribs could be made with a gradual increase of height and a radial tracing of the brick courses. there are 9 parallels that together with those in the base and the crowning make up a very rigid space reticule.The Great Structures in Architecture ground. Their effectiveness is in question when we consider that their breakage or destruction did not affect the dome. 5.24). 5. On the outside.8 metres in width and sixteen meridian ribs on the sides with an elliptical tracing 1.25). that were made by means of courses. the workers must have been placed on climbing scaffolds to lay the bricks. Some hypotheses use the criterion that the author wanted to build a circular dome inserted in the octagon and therefore the courses had to be successively closed so that they acted as compressing rings. that is to say following the patterns established by the authors of the previous century tracing.73 metres. with a gap between them of 5. the courses are not flat since they are the result of the intersection of a cone with an elliptical cylinder (Fig. 5. most possibly because they were very few. or some of the Eastern constructions. 5. such as that of the Treasure of Atreo. This is the most effective form to make good use of the possibilities of the construction. They practically continued the drum and were used to intersperse all kind of horizontal tying elements (Fig. But still there are other advantages. The merit of Brunelleschi consisted of constructing it without the aid of wooden cradles nor shoring.17 metres (Fig. the disposition of the bricks in the dome was too similar to that of the old Eastern Empire. four metres thick in the base and rather thicker in the key. Few could interpret those lines drawn with lime on the ground and the wooden stakes. Having a constant radius. If only the ribs were sustained by a framework. metallic bars. The first 8 metres. On this work. it has prevailed over the other as the official one.18). The accidents during this work are not documented. wood belts. along its horizontal cut the workers could walk and do their task at the level of their hands without having to crouch or use sawhorses (Fig. as well as in the interior.17).16). The total weight of the structure is 20. which consists of dividing the diametre in five parts and taking the fourth segment as the centre of the curvature (Fig. And after all. It is documented that for the construction Brunelleschi levelled the sandy area around the Arno to make the working tracing and to measure to life-size scale.20 metres and another external of 0. The materials would be lifted by means of machines fixed to the 102 . It results in a cambered form with a slope of 67º in the key that turns into 62º because of the existence of an oculo 5 metres in diametre. 5. Nevertheless. and it was possible that some craftsmen had moved to Tuscany to enjoy its temperate climate and its standard of living. with a thickness of 0. But in this case the ribs were excessively high and too heavy. And he could not have known of other smaller domes.23). However complicated this hypothesis could be. from the Temple of Minerva Medica how to turn an octagonal plan into a circular one and how to insert ribbings in its interior to make the interspersing of masonry in between easier. 5. placing in the established intervals the reinforcements of the inner ribs to link the two sheets. where these scaffolds would advance hanging on the void (Fig. This hypothesis complicates immensely the construction method since floating centres are needed for the tracing of the surface and. what Brunelleschi was constructing was a Gothic dome of ribbings (Fig. What is more. The first 14 metres were made of stone and the rest of brick. the architect had been in Rome studying the classic remains. an inner one of 2. once loaded with a heavy lantern. made of stone did not cause problems. 5. we can only conjecture about the following procedures. he only had to make sections of a easy-to-use length and place them in their point. reaching a height from the ground of 90 metres. The fact of using a pointed profile helped much in the solution. the rest could rest on them. a radius of 36 metres and 8.

the Fig.26).27). 103 . 5. according to the floating centres hypothesis (Borsi et al. This would mean that they could spend two months walking over previous courses. there would have been tractions in the base greater than those that could have been absorbed by the brick and the mortar (Fig. that proportion produces compressions in all the mass. Along the first few metres the stability of the whole would not depend on the collaboration of all the parts. All this would happen with a circular plan. but as this became necessary the courses would be closed before advancing to the following. with a thickness of up to five centimetres took much time to harden. The period of one week calculated by some historians to place a brick course all around the octagon must be lengthened due to the more than eight courses that had to be laid to reach the height of the workers waist. corbels that perforated the dome and were used later in the rendering and in the tile roof. Having been pointed.22. Hypothetical scaffolding system of the dome of Saint Mary of the Flowers (Battisti). If the profile had been hemispheric. The mortar used at the time. 5.). this made it a necessity to advance in horizontal layers instead of vertically in order to be able to walk along the previous layers.A Planified Revenge. 5. Under the Shadow of Brunelleschi Fig.21. 5. As for the structural behaviour. There is evidence of the ability of the authors of the work to invent mechanisms because nowadays some of them are still in the Duomo Museum (Fig. Building progress of the dome of Saint Mary of the Flowers. As the plan was octagonal. much has been said about the thrusts produced in the different rings.

e) We put forward another theory that is not in the bibliography. Before the dome is damaged.24.25. also undergo horizontal thrusts. edges of the cylindrical sheets resulted in an arch like behaviour of the great corner ribs. Finally we have returned to the calculation of the whole like that of a dome with eight ribs propped up in the key. In this case they have to be necessarily straight. Hypothetical climbing way without scaffolding. 5. this is not true and the curving disposition that appears in so many plans of the base can perfectly have been invented. These were expensive controllers that could have been substituted by a simple rope. when Brunelleschi still did not have enough prestige to change the criteria of the contractors. 5. c) A third theory says that they serve to stabilise each one of the stretches that. If these do not move the stability of the whole is not in danger. among other things because they were mentioned in the contract and were in fact made. d) A fourth one simply says that they do not serve for anything and can even be detrimental because they force to behave as a whole something that has to have a certain independence. according to the author (Escrig). The bundles were in the contract and they were to be placed in the beginning of the works. 5. In order to rigidise the traction on a straight element. a curved cable makes the result worse because it introduces flexions. 5. About this matter several theories have been formulated too: a) A first theory says that these elements are traction rings compensating the outward thrusts. Much importance has been attached to the spring bundles.The Great Structures in Architecture Fig. Fig. 104 . Fig. due to their complicated network of ribs and internal arches. b) A second one says that they play a checking role for the whole working. Winch in a drawing by Francisco de Giorgio (Battisti).26. The stability of the whole is based on the behaviour of those Gothic ribbings.23. these controllers would break. Building proposal by the author (Escrig). Ribs according to Salvadori (Escrig). Fig. Not having a circular plan.

apart from the fact that it has twelve ribbings instead of sixteen (Fig.28).37) until the systematic application of the chambered domes of Byzantine origin. Fig. in the resolution of other smaller domes he always used ribbings except for those with circular profile. on the first cornice.29). were known then(Figs. In practice we can see that the cracking that appeared in the centre of the stretchers and in the joining with the ribs confirms the most sceptical hypotheses (Fig. 5. The analytical verifications that have been done by every investigator are interested in their own hypotheses and tend to demonstrate them.35 and 5. 5. It cannot be said that these were technical adventures. replaced here by sectioned plans of the dome. and the fourth one that of the dome (Fig. In the churches of Saint Lawrence (Fig. Tractions in the base of the dome of Saint Mary of the Flowers. 5. 5. As we have already mentioned. The solution of the Old Chapel of Saint Lawrence is similar to that of Sergio and Baco in Constantinople.36) and even in some of the stonework (Fig.30).42) he perfected the basilical plan until giving it the invariable features that have survived to date as examples of religious architecture. double skin linked by ribs and a great dimension (a crowning 54 m high. 5. therefore putting an end to the geometrical style of the Gothic. 5. The same author also analyses the advantages of the pointing and comes to the conclusion that the “quinto acuto” used is the ideal combination between its own weight and the displacement in the base (Fig. with a similar technique. Each rib works at this moment in an independent way.32 and 5. The existence of the four horizontal levels is clearly evident. in the hemispherical and pointed hypotheses (Escrig). pointed brick dome. In the Pazzi Chapel. 105 . absolutely ignored or at least not used by the westerners. The fish bone disposition would be used in practically all later brick works (Figs. although nobody did anything to prevent them.28. but they emphasised proportion. Brunelleschi must have known them well.33).31). that of the naves.27. 24 m in diametre and the same “quinto acuto”). Thus the calculation by finite elements of Kato. Fig. Out of this calculation we deduce that the traction in the base of the whole barely reaches 1 tonne. Fortunately. from then on would be common place.34).40). Nevertheless.41) and Holy Spirit (Fig. who considers the masonry a homogenous and continuous material. the third one that of the drum. that of the transverse arches. The new aspects were the ornaments and an order that. in contrast to the few on the construction. 5. 5. the second one. Too many chances to have been discovered separately (Fig. including Michelangelo.). The first one. Under the Shadow of Brunelleschi From Leonardo to Fontana. 5. Brunelleschi surpassed what could have been only a technical challenge and began to design with great rigor and modesty other works in which the technological challenge did not exist but that set out an intellectual adventure. 5. 5. Mainstone mentions the Oljeitu Mausoleum for its great resemblance and for being dated at the beginning of the XIVth century: octagonal plan.39). we have given enough hints as to its lineage and position as a landmark and the culmination of the medieval proposals. The studies of Blasi demonstrate that the evolution of them have much to do with the temperature changes (Fig. 5.38). he timidly sets a Greek cross plan (Fig. however it was as the initial planning. The large amount of writing generated by those cracks is amazing. Another important aspect is the fish bone disposition that confirms that the Eastern techniques of construction. Considering the importance attributed to the great dome as the architectonical beginning of the Renaissance. 5. since there are many similarities with works placed along the route of the caravans. The cathedrals of Milan and Pavia tried to emulate what presumably was the recovery of the monumental Gothic. 5. 5. many gave their opinion.A Planified Revenge. Present cracking state of the dome of Saint Mary of the Flowers (Borsi et al. a practically insignificant one (Fig.

106 .The Great Structures in Architecture Fig. 5.29. Analysis by Finite Elements of the Dome of Saint Mary of the Flowers (Aoki and Kato).

Analysis of different shapes for the same dome (Aoki). Fig. 5. 107 .30.31. Under the Shadow of Brunelleschi Fig.A Planified Revenge. Present dome cracking (Blasi and Mark). 5.

Fig. 5.43). Bramante does the same thing in Saint Mary of the Grace in Milan.47).31b. with 20 m in diameter (Fig. Oljeitu Mausoleum. 5. Michelozzo in SS. of the dome fish bone disposition.34a. renewing the contributions about the temples of circular plan. 5.32. 5. 108 .46).44). never finished as shown in the medal of Mateo of Pasti (Fig. Fig. in Iran (Escrig). Fig. 5. Drawing by Antonio de Sangallo the Young.33.The Great Structures in Architecture Brunelleschi would still do new contributions in his approach to classicism. 5. tries to crown a new temple with another gigantic rotunda.45). Alberti in Saint Francisco of Rimimi (Fig. Saint Mary of the Angels recovered the thermal type of the paleochristian baptisteries and opened a fruitful new path in the following years (Fig. Structure of the dome of the Oljeitu Mausoleum Fig. Fish bone disposition in Isfahan (Upham Pope). It seems that it was Alberti who suggested to him to leave the square and take the compass. 5. The proposals to extend and enlarge innumerable churches spread all over Italy would be born here. 5. 5. Anunciata crowns a basilical nave with a rotunda identical to that of the Temple of Medical Minerva (Fig.

A Planified Revenge. 5. Dome of the chapel of the Anet castle. 5. Drawing by Antonio de Sangallo the Young of a minor dome for Saint Peter’s. Fish bone building of a Vatican room (Souza. Fig. 109 . not published). 5.35. Fig.36. built by Philibert de l’Orme in 1549 (Blunt). Under the Shadow of Brunelleschi Fig.37. built in fish bone (Mainstone).

2) Focality. 5.54). the Cathedral of Pavia. said or drawn and would open the full Renaissance in its entire splendour. Old chapel of Saint Lawrence. 110 . This is something that defines the Agrippa Pantheon and that is not repeated until the Shrine of Saint Peter in Montorio. by Francisco de Giorgio (Fig. Nevertheless. with a dome 17 m in diametre that collapsed just after being constructed (Fig. are the quattrocentist prototypes of this proposal made by Brunelleschi. To get all this.48).52). of a central type towards an inner point or of a vertical type towards the key of the dome by where a flood of light can enter. 5. the most gifted architect of the transition the XVth century. the characteristic impatience of the inventor made him leave any project that required much time and he was never able to go beyond the paper stage in architecture. the valuation of the drawing and the perspective for their character of virtual definition of the work to construct. with the intervention of Bramante (Fig. not finished (Fig. this time perfectly defined. d) Recovery of a technology alternative to the Gothic based on the wall and not in the rib. At the end of the XVth century the ideal synthesis had been reached on the basis of some principles objectively enunciated: a) Reinvention of Classicism having as a reference the Roman times. and the rising of the artist to the rank of an intellectual. the synthesis of all the plastic arts. On the other hand. in which the building is projected in a pyramidal shape towards the pinnacle of the dome. 5. b) Elaboration of a formal language usable as a universal language with strict rules of application.The Great Structures in Architecture Saint Mary of the Flowers would be the new incentive for the new great transept domes: Saint Petronio in Bologna. had taken everything that had been done. Very usually Leonardo has been considered an innovator for having proposed the bubbles plans (Fig. c) Definition of a catalogue of basic models to be used according to their function. 5. Saint Sebastian in Mantua. Bramante. Fig. or Santa Maria delle Carcerei in Prato. But the complexity of these designs hindered the clarity that the new style looked for. in Florence (Battisti). 5. 5. the Greek cross plan. Fig. Of a longitudinal type towards the back of the nave.38. e) Importance of the introduction of urban-planning and definition of the urban space from architectonic elements. Also Alberti had opened the doors to a new model. 5. In the Renaissance buildings we are going to find certain constant elements that make them easy to identify: 1) The unity of the building.39. were counted on.50) from previous drawings by Leonardo (Fig.51).49) and the Cathedral of Milan. Axonometry of the old chapel of Saint Lawrence. 5. in Florence (Heindenreich and Lotz). by Giuliano de San Gallo.

5.42.). Church of Saint Lawrence. Holy Spirit Church. Pazzi Chapel. Under the Shadow of Brunelleschi Fig. 5.A Planified Revenge.41. Fig. in Florence (Stierlin). 111 . 5. in Florence (Heindenreich and Lotz).40. Fig. in Florence (Borsi et alt.

in Rimimi (Heindenreich and Lotz). in Florence. Drawing by Leonardo of Saint Mary of the Flowers. 5. 5. Fig. 5. Proposal by Michelozzo for the extension of the Anunciata chapel.45.44. Fig. in Florence (Heindenreich and Lotz). Fig.43a.The Great Structures in Architecture Fig.43b. Work of Alberti in Saint Francisco. 5. 112 . Drawing by Brunelleschi for Saint Mary of the Flowers.

a Greek cross plan as that of the Pazzi Chapel and a circular plan in Saint Mary of the Angels.Continuity of the outside order towards the interior. The orders are of use for the signalling of the modules. . lost in the Gothic style. 5. Saint Mary of the Grace.Hall plan with buttresses embedded between the lateral chapels.Barrel vault in the main nave with lunettes that concentrate the loads on the pilasters.Descending balance of the loads with no need of buttresses. 113 . Fig. In spite of the wall based structure. which is ended by a lantern. .47. . The structural and functional advantages of these types are the following: Longitudinal Type: . 5) Modulation.Use of low quality materials. Under the Shadow of Brunelleschi Fig. . that is used in the ground plan and in the elevation and replaces the regulating plan of the Gothic. in Rimimi.Illumination at several levels. the constructive systems allow the opening of great hollows in the high parts of the naves and drums. Alberti’s project for Saint Francisco.Perfect buttressing of the dome with hardly any need for additional reinforcement of the supports. . .46. 3) Luminosity. The dome recovers the oculos. in Milan (Escrig). 5.Transverse arches connected with the masonry.A Planified Revenge. Greek cross type: . This means in practice three types with many variants that Brunelleschi constructed as if he was writing a treatise on architecture in a stone similar to that written in paper by Alberti: a longitudinal plan as that of Holy Spirit. 4) The domed ending as an essential element for the control of the inner space and for the identification of this from the outside.

One of the features of the Italian Renaissance is the absence of towers that destroy or hide the unity of the whole.Planned as an autonomous urban element and as a unitary inner space. in the cases where the space unity is turned down.It allows an organic growth in draughtboard form. 5. The high domes replace them. Fig.It has many structural advantages when buttressing on or linking.The Great Structures in Architecture Fig.It allows implementation of the old or Eastern constructive systems.It is a highly symbolical form except for the Christian faith that finds in it an excess of Christian references. in Bologna . This feature can not be extrapolated to other regions. 114 . . . Fig. . . 5.49b.49a. Circular type: . 5.48. Model of the Cathedral of Pavia . Peruzzi’s proposal for Saint Petronio. Cathedral of Pavia (Stierlin).

Proposal by Francisco Giorgio for the cimborrio of the Cathedral of Milan (Pedretti). 5.A Planified Revenge. Fig. 115 . Leonardo’s sketching for the cimborrio of the Cathedral of Milan.51.50. 5. Under the Shadow of Brunelleschi Fig.

Saint Mary of the Imprisoned in Prato. Alberti’s project for Saint Sebastian. 116 .52. in Mantua (Heindenreich and Lotz). Fig. by Giuliano de Sangallo (Escrig). 5.The Great Structures in Architecture Fig. 5.53.

b. c and d. Under the Shadow of Brunelleschi Fig.A Planified Revenge. 117 . Bubbles domes for centralised plan proposed by Leonardo.54a. 5.

5. Fig. f. 118 . 5.54e. Dome sketches for the Milan Duomo by Leonardo. g and h.56. Bubbles domes for centralised plan proposed by Leonardo.The Great Structures in Architecture Fig. Bubbles domes for longitudinal plan proposed by Fig.55. 5.

MIT Press. HIDAKA. Madrid. 23. & GUSELLA. L. H. "Renacimiento. "Structural Stability and profile in the Dome of Sta. BLASI. Academy Ed. Vance Bibliographies.MAINSTONE. Paris. Design and Innovation”.MARK. 18.G. “Why Buildings stand up”. Bologna. “The Renaissance: from Brunelleschi to Michelangelo: The representation of Architecture”. 16. U.A.Electa. “Leon Batista Alberti”. STREMA. 11. 20.PRAGER.A Planified Revenge. 19. “Historia de la Arquitectura del Renacimiento”. Cambridge. AKAL. BENEVOLO. “Brunelleschi”. “Le Coupole del Brunelleschi”. & MAGNANO. BULGARELLI. "Filipo Brunelleschi. Istanbul. “Brunelleschi: Studies of his technology and inventions”. T. Computational Mechanics Pub. 7. La naisance de l´architecture moderne".. FANELLI. “Leonardo Architetto”. 17. C. Electa. 119 .KLOTZ. L. K. The Coupola of Sta. BORSI. Norton. ARGAN. 2. Cambridge. Milan. 13. Taurus.KATO. C. “Filipo Brunelleschi: The early works and the medieval tradition”. Under the Shadow of Brunelleschi REFERENCES OF CHAPTER 5 1.PEDRETTI. Southampton.HEIDENREICH. W. Mass. 21. 4. H. L. & LOTZ. Hª de la Arquitectura 1420-1720”. 12. Electa. F. S. Manuales Arte Cátedra.K. Scala. “All´ombra delle volte: architettura del quatrocento a Firence e Venecia”. P. CASTEX. Computational Mechanics Publications. "Historical evolution of the Cracks of the Brunelleschi´s Dome in Florence: Experimental Data Analysis and Numerical Structural Model". 14. & SCAGLIA. Florence". London. Southampton. L´Equerre. "Filippo brunelleschi". KIDAKA.G. 5. “Structure in Architecture: History. Monticello. "Brunelleschi". T. 8. 3.SAALMAN. “The outline of the Italian Renaissance”. J. “Arquitectura en Italia 1400-1600”. S. 6. Thames and Hudson. Ashgate Publishing Ltd. F. "Brunelleschi and his perspective panels". “Architectural Technology”. Milano. V.MILLON. G. 22.ROSSI. CABLE. Firence. 10. R. N. "Structural Role of the wooden ring of the dome of STA. AOKI.. BORSI.SALVADORI. "Filipo Brunelleschi: 1377-1446.C. IASS Symposium 1988.. H. M. V.H. MIT Press. Mª del Fiore". R. Mass. Mª del Fiore. Barroco y Clasicismo". Madrid. London. & KATO. C. London. Monticello.MURRAY. Milan.DOUMATO. Mª del Fiore in Florence".Y. 9. Vance Bibliography. Madrid. 15. Electa. K. & AOKI.A.

Belonging to the Doric order. Vignola and Palladio. Michelangelo. Nonetheless.2. Rosellino’s project for the Basilica of Saint Peter (Millon and Magnano). All the architecture of the Renaissance can be found in this small piece. Rome had again become the capital of the Christian world after the return of the Pope from Avignon and his pretension to turn it into the greatest city of the known world. an experienced architect but with almost no work built in Rome. Although his personal architect was Giuliano de Sangallo. 6. This Tempieto of Saint Peter in Montorio is the paradigm of the new classic perfection.6. THE CENTURY OF THE GREAT ARCHITECTS Brunelleschi and Alberti had placed architecture on a level that only required enough wealthy patrons and experienced architects. Alberti convinced Nicolas V of the the idea that the choir begun by Rosellino behind the old basilica of Saint Peter. the order was made to Donato Bramante. who after his arrival to the pontifical throne in 1503. Both circumstances happened to to be found together in the dawn of the XVIth century in the times of their great successors: Bramante. 120 . 6. insisted on continuing the same project so that it was finished in the Holy Year 1475. 6. As for the patrons. placed on a peristyle rotunda and covered with a hemispheric dome.The Great Structures in Architecture Chapter 6. it is curious that his most remarkable piece has a minimum dimension: a shrine. Pablo II. Fig. it was an exercise of formal precision that could only be built in the dimension of a small model (Fig. fully changed the planning.1).1. Fig. this initiative did not succeed because his successor. lacked the greatness that the initiative of the construction of the new temple of Salomón exiged (Fig. But it was Julio II. Bramante’s projecto for the Shrine of Saint Peter in Montorio (Millon and Magnano).2).

whereas Fra Giocondo showed a clear preference for a basilical one (Fig.4. he proposed to spin the plan ninety degrees. 6. Bramante’s drawing of the Saint Peter’s project adaptation to the pre-existing construction (Thoenes).5). tried an alternative proposal of a centralised plan based on Bramante (Fig. 6. When he received the order to continue the building of the great basilica he was therefore an artist who had earned the respect of people even greater than that earned by his teachers. In his hand dated drawing dating from 1505. not even of making use of some of Leonardo’s proposals. Bramante never had the idea of constructing a temple of Greek plan.3. which all the alternative proposals would conserve.5. 121 . his competitor. 6. His problem was that he had to start off from a plan that gave shape to his own plan and from a pre-existing building that indicated the axis.4). There is no doubt about the fact that Giuliano of Sangallo.3). 6.The Century of the Great Architects Fig. we see at the same time the plan of the former Saint Peter. Sangallo’s project for Saint Peter’s (Thoenes). 6. But his 1506 project is well represented by the innumerable drawings of his assistant Peruzzi. was to bevel the hard corners of the part constructed by Rosellino to Fig. Fig. Fra Giocondo’s project for Saint Peter’s (Thoenes). 6. The great contribution of Bramante. Contrary to what is the traditional opinion. the part constructed by Rosellino and his first idea of adaptation to the pre-existing construction (Fig.

6. 6. Caradoso’s medal of the prior solution (Lotz). as much in width as in length. maybe on the basis of a proposal that has not reached our times and that we know thanks to an idealisation by Serlio (Fig.8.10 illustrates in a disordered way this attempt in Bramante’s drawing and Fig.8). and the idea of making some projected pendentives of a spherical trapeze type. extend the size of the dome and thus give it a diameter equivalent to the three naves.7. his effort was aimed at the creation of a base. are already found in the first outlines of Fig. firm enough to support the gigantic thrusts that were supposed to be generated. Whereas the medal of Caradoso illustrates the dome concept (Fig. as had been done in Florence and Pavia.11a and b. in composition with a Peruzzi’s elevation (composed by Escrig). Parchment plan solving the rear part of Bramante’s project. 6. 6. For that. Foellbach’s hypothesis of Bramante’s second project adapted to the the paleochristian plan and to that built by Rosellino (Millon and Magnano).6).3. all we know is that he wanted to crown the basilica with a hemispheric dome identical to that of the Pantheon. 122 .7) seems to be the last attempt to establish the definitive plan of the back part. There are no surviving important plans of Bramante’s project. Fig.9) which makes good use of the parchment plan to make it equivalent to Giuliano’s proposal. as is shown in the Foellbach hypothesis (Fig. the aspect Fig.The Great Structures in Architecture Fig. The plan in parchment (Fig. 6. 6.6. The project is so reasonable and perfectly adapted to the plan of the paleochristian basilica. 6. Fig. 6. 6. 6. That.

Fig. the financing of the works of the Vatican being a main objective of those. Drawing by Bramante of the dome support (Thoenes). Antonio of Sangallo inherited the direction of works at the death of Rafael in 1520. Leon X. who revealed the cracks that appeared in the great pillars of the transept as they rose.14). and it was naturally Michelangelo.13 and 6.11c). 6. 6. Evolution of the shape of the great pillars in the Saint Peter’s successive projects for the transept: Bramante. 6. Bramante’s approaching to the final plan (Thoenes). Peruzzi.10. the sacking of Rome was made by the armies that defended the religion. The drawing by Scorel illustrates the state of works at this moment (Fig. disciples or admirers of the teacher. 6. Bramante died in 1514.The Century of the Great Architects Fig. just a year after a Florentine pope. of what he tried to do. and the architects who followed him. political and religious problems and changes of ideas.15). permanently in conflict with him. made the necessary changes to make possible his great dream (Fig. In 1527. In 1520. 6. Serlio’s interpretation of Bramante’s dome (Kraus). changing architects. 6. The ambitious work advanced slowly in the middle of a succession of different popes. Lutero was excommunicated for preaching against the simoniacal uses of Church.11a. In 1529 Soleiman laid siege to Vienna after Belgrade had already fallen. 6. 6.9. Fig. Rafael or Peruzzi reinforced the main pillars and consolidated the basilical plan (Figs. b. Giuliano. the state in 1532 (Fig. Rafael and Michelangelo (Bruschi).12. Nevertheless he had great problems in respect of this aspect. whereas those by Heemskerck. and during ten years he elaborated for the first time a complete and unitary project to solve the difficulties of a dome that nobody had dared to design. It is no wonder that between 1521 and 1534 the works 123 .16).

although the cupola was not started until 1568 and was not finished until 1606 (Fig. Although it was only 12 m in diameter. Cola of Caprarola began the Church of the Consolation in Todi in 1508.13. 6. in addition to the Chigi Chapel. summarising thus Bramante’s ideal that a church had to be preceded by two towers. The only thing that Sangallo could do was to study the problem. In 1564 the only one of its two projected bell towers was finished. The examples of Bramante and Alberti had many followers and the temples of central plan are the alternative trend to the basilical plans.15. 6.12. 6. it was the first great dome finished in the XVIth century. a symbiosis between the last two models. 6. had already experimented with Alberti’s scheme in Saint Eligio. Antonio of Sangallo the Old began the Chapel of the Madona of Saint Biagio in Montepulciano in 1518. Bernardino Zaccagni began the Madonna della Stacata in Parma in 1521. 6. Meanwhile the Italian architectonic panorama had much changed. Giuliano de Sangallo’s project to continue Bramante’s work (Millon and Magnano). Rafael. Its 15 m in diameter and its unitary space confer on it a moving inner spatiality. Drawing by Scorel of the state of the vatican works in 1520 (Lotz). 6.17). Rafael’s project to continue Bramante’s work (Lotz).The Great Structures in Architecture Fig.14. Although it only had a 14 m span.18). it was too big a work for that architect. Fig. on a plan by Salustio Peruzi (Fig. practically stopped. Fig.19). Fig. since it combined the cylindrical tubes with apsidal conoidal vaults and he even left planned four towers framing the dome (Fig. 124 .20) or four cupolas instead. 6. who was replaced by Sangallo. Peruzzi’s project to continue Bramante’s work (Thoenes). 6. though with a minimum dimension of hardly eight metres. which was built quickly and finished in 1529 (Fig. to take notes and to prepare itself for better moments.

Fig.16.The Century of the Great Architects Fig. 6. by Cola of Caprarola (Escrig). 125 . by Antonio of Sangallo the Old (Tafuri). Chapel of the Madona in Biagio. Church of the Consolation in Todi. 6.18.17. Fig. Drawings by Heemskerch of the state of the works in 1532 (Millon and Magnano). 6.

21.20. Fig. by Bernardino Zacagnii (Escrig). 6. Madona della Campagna in Piacenza. by Tramello (Lotz) (Escrig).The Great Structures in Architecture Fig.19. Drawings by Rafael for the Church of Saint Eligi (Tessari). 6. 6. Madona della Stacata in Parma. Fig. 126 .

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Tramello and Corregio. In 1531 the work must have been very advanced since Parmigianino was asked to paint the dome. Tramello began the Madonna of Campaña in 1522 (Fig. 6.21), that repeats the previous model but replaces the conoidal vaults with sections of cylindrical vault and really materialises the corner domes. In this case it was a Nordic decorative model, as it corresponded to Piacenza, but that complicated the centralised plan a lot. The ideal of a centralised design, as planned by Brunelleschi in Saint Mary of the Angels, was the

Roman temple, and for reasons that have not been clarified, although it seems that the stability of the ground had an influence on the decision, the Florentine pope Leon X put out that model to a tender to build the church of Saint John of the Florentines in Rome, in which Rafael, Sangallo the Young, Peruzzi, Julio Romano, Vignola and Sansovino took part, the last winning the tender (Fig. 6.22). This happened in 1518 and the work was not executed. But it generated a bibliography for fifty years worth of proposals. Better known was the project of Sangallo (Fig. 6.23). Peruzzi’s project can be seen in Fig. 6.24. Rafael’s, in Fig. 6.25,

Fig. 6.22. Sansovino’s project for Saint John of the Florentines, in Rome (Millon and Magnano).

Fig. 6.23. Antonio de Sangallo’s project for Saint John of the Florentines (Millon and Magnano).


The Great Structures in Architecture

is rather similar to the project that was being analysed as a solution for the Saint Peter dome. In 1559, Michelangelo, then architect of Saint Peter, was asked to also offer his plans (Fig. 6.26). The temple was never constructed but it was an example for successive accomplishments, as that of Sanmichelli in Saint Bernardino and the Madonna of Campagna, both in Verona (Figs. 6.27 and 6.28). The afore mentioned details help us to understand the transformations that Saint Peter was going to undergo

in the hands of Bramante’s successors. Rafael and Antonio of Sangallo the Young still were designing the basilical plan. But the first project of Michelangelo was already fundamentally centralised. In spite of the reluctance that, according to Vasari, he showed before the enormous Sangallo project, without this the final project would not have been possible. Both Sangallo and Peruzzi had collaborated with Rafael, Peruzzi left us the most valuable information about the constructive advances of the work and Sangallo provided us with a

Fig. 6.24. Peruzzi’s project for Saint John of the Florentines (Millon and Magnano).

Fig. 6.25. Rafael’s project for Saint John of the Florentines (Millon and Magnano).

Fig. 6.26. Michelangelo’s project for Saint John of the Florentines (Argan and Contardi).


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Fig. 6.29. Sangallo’s project for Saint Peter’s (Bruschi).

Fig. 6.27. Saint Bernardino in Verona, by Sanmicheli (Lotz).

detailed project (Fig. 6.29) that was materialised in one of the wood scale models, real works of art of the architecture (Fig. 6.30). It seems that both architects, competing permanently for more than ten years, were forced to work in tandem by Clement VII, eager to reduce the initial budget at any price. Also, the first project of Sangallo did not succeed, but his rigorous comparative studies with the Pantheon revealed an attempt to materialise, in a reduced version, Bramante’s project. Fig. 6.31 shows the section of the Pantheon with measurements and three possible solutions for Saint Peter numbered in the drawing, whereas Fig. 6.32 shows the result of solution 3. From 1530, both architects chose a centralised plan solution, with a portico of access of huge dimensions. Peruzzi’s project can be traced through a series of drawings (Fig. 6.33), whereas Sangallo’s later reaches a full definition as a centralised one, which would not be clearly seen until the order to make the scale model in 1539, after the death in 1536 of Peruzzi who Pope Paul III had every trust in. Maybe that was the reason why Sangallo was forced to adopt the Greek cross plan (Fig. 6.34). His final project can be seen in Fig. 6.35. In this project, there are some aspects of great interest. We have said that Sangallo knew Bramante’s project well, as well as its Roman and Florentine precedents. He knew that the stability of the Pantheon

Fig. 6.28. Madona della Campagna in Verona, by Sanmicheli (Lotz).


The Great Structures in Architecture

Fig. 6.30. Sangallo’s project model for Saint Peter’s (Lotz).

Fig. 6.32. Sangallo´s Solution n. 3 of the previous drawing for Saint Peter’s (Bruschi).

Fig. 6.31. Sangallo’s authographed drawing with the Pantheon measures and several solutions for Saint Peter’s dome (Bruschi).

dome was based on the thickness of the base and that the “quinto acuto” of Saint Mary of the Flowers increased its stability and allowed a construction without a wooden cradle. That is why his last project had such a Gothic profile and had only a ribbed sheet . The drum was reduced to the minimum to hide the excessive height of the dome and the outside was reinforced with two floors with columns, imitating two drums superimposed. The dome is one of rotation with 32 ribs that can be seen from both inside and out, and are connected by horizontal rings. Thus, besides not needing wooden cradles, the construction would start with these ribs, making up something similar to a


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Fig. 6.33. Preparatory drawings by Peruzzi for Saint Peter’s project (Millon and Magnano).

reticular structure, as must have been done in the Pantheon. The other main aspect refers to the definition of the profile, a little extravagant (Fig. 6.36). Not agreeing with any of the precedents of great domes, he planned a section of 42 m in diameter and 30 m of height. That was the result of projecting on a plan the curve resulting of the Fig. 6.37 tracing. It is a curve with a big resemblance to a catenary that gathers different advantages: it hardly has any flexion on its profile and does not generate horizontal thrusts in the base. Let’s say that Sangallo got, in an empirical way, an ideal curve. The comparative result between the domes of Bramante and Sangallo is that of Fig. 6.38.

Fig. 6.34. Preparatory project to the final one by Sangallo for Saint Peter’s (Lotz).


132 . Fig.35b. Final project by Antonio of Sangallo for Saint Peter’s. Sangallo’s dome profile proposal (Bruschi). Drawing by Antonio of Sangallo for Saint Peter’s. 6. 6. Fig.35a.The Great Structures in Architecture Fig.36. 6.

37. 133 .42.39. 6. Fig.41. Force lines obtained from the previous model chains scheme (Kraus). Graphical definition of the pendentives in a Bramante’s drawing for Saint Peter’s (Thoenes).38.6. (Kraus).The Century of the Great Architects Fig. Michelangelo’s modifications to the works made by his predecessors (Argan and Contardi). 6. 6. 6. Sangallo’s dome profile geometrical tracing (Millon and Magnano). Forces model with a Fig. Fig. Fig. Comparison between Bramante’s and Sangallo’s domes (Mainstone).40. Fig. 6.

134 .45. Michelangelo’s project elevations. for the Saint Peter’s dome tracing (Argan and Contardi). Fig. Fig. 6. according to Duperac (Argan and Contardi). according to Duperac (Argan and Contardi). 6. Michelangelo’s project for the Saint Peter’s plan. 6.43.The Great Structures in Architecture Fig. Autographed drawings by Michelangelo.44.

6. in which graphical expression of Fig. 6. 6. Michelangelo expressed in those years his doubts about Bramante’s technical ability and honesty. the divine Michelangelo succeeded him in his post.9). 6. State of the drum at the time of Michelangelo’s death (Mainstone). which must be reinforced with buttresses instead of columns (Fig. the date of conclusion of the scale Fig. since he was more worried about other ordered works. According to Krauss and considering that the dome rests on some projecting pendentives (Fig.41) as Della Porta made later. 6. The only experimented element was the lantern.35 can be seen that the dome base has been reinforced by means of a periphery colonnade. Bramante did not have a solution to finish the Basilica and his project was so academic that it did not guarantee the stability of the supports even before the dome was built. he would have had problems. As for Sangallo’s project.40).The Century of the Great Architects Fig. because it was an identical copy of the Tempieto of Saint Peter in Montorio. Wooden scale model presented to Pope Paul III (Argan and Contardi). But most probably. 6. was made by his collaborators. always in conflict with everybody and disagreeing with his predecessors and contemporaries. without the help of Pellegrino. model in wood (Fig. After the death of the architect in 1546.46. the most problematic section is that corresponding to the drum (Fig.47. 6.29) and that from 1546. this project.39). 6. Peruzzi and Sangallo. As for the rest. 6. we are going to differentiate between that confirmed by his hand in 1538 (Fig. it seems that we are faced with a mimetic reposition of the Pantheon. which compiled the contemporary schemes of Bramante (Fig.30). it would be useful to analyse the two domes proposed to then. According to Serlio’s drawing. signed the year of his death. mainly by Antonio Labacco who used to boast about 135 . Before starting that chapter.

44).46). therefore the double sheet which would be hemispheric inward and slightly cambered outward to support the lantern (Fig.42). In his drawings. his idea had an outstanding power since.The Great Structures in Architecture presented to the Pope. And between them some meridian ribbings to connect them. he had a clear and well dimensioned scheme. Council of Trento did not make a clear statement about the shape of the temples. which is very difficult for me. As both projects have nearly the same profile. Over a square there was a superimposed cross. 6. the state of the trades or by a structural challenge. nor its expression in the sheets of Fig. The responsibility of crowning it would be for others'. Also he was not Brunelleschi. Sangallo’s project would need. The previous year. being the author. The rest was masonry. 6. 6. 6.48. very medieval like. wanted to change Michelangelo’s design he.48). any possible type of dome would increase in elevation. it would cost more than one hundred thousand crowns. He reinforced the central supports and made a model for the conclusion of the whole that was 136 . besides. But he also learned from that drawing that it was not enough. to the point that when in 1565 the continuator of the works.45). we can only differentiate them by the existence or not of ribbings. in 1546. we find evident differences. eliminating the light from the rest. since the remains and the existing foundations would not be of use. 6. 6.36. That is why his successors tried very hard to eliminate this stimulus to independence. The shape was not determined by the resistant behaviour. an architect had made a categorical statement about a centralised plan (Fig. filling the whole space with corners for delinquency. that some wanted to compare with Saint Mary of the Flowers. Analysing his proposal. The character of the Divine can be found from his arguments with the ecclesiastical hierarchy. Michelangelo tried desperately to lighten the loads. The shape was an act of self-assertiveness of the ideas over the practice and of freedom over the rule. For the first time. the constructive system. Not being able to fight against the Master’s authority.47) which authority would maintain his presence after his death. He prepared the first plan of Saint Peter without confusions. By diminishing the plan. What was the contribution of Michelangelo to inspire such confidence? For a start. because of that additional crown. Argán emphasises this concept and the fact that the followers of the academical rules of Vignola found this behaviour repugnant. a drum and a dome that reflected Alberti’s spirit (Fig. despite the fact that he was in charge of the work for only fifteen of the almost one hundred and fifty years spent in the transformation of the paleochristian basilica and in spite of the over fifty architects who took part. but disguised as classical order (Fig. they hid Fig. 6. Thus I understand it and someone should convince the Pope of that. West wing at work. It had to be constructed. the destruction the chapel of Saint Paul. he put a firm belt in the drum. starting off from the truth to surround it with a crown of darkness and. which were advised against for being of pagans. We will never know how Michelangelo’s scheme would have worked. 6. he answered that the mission of the Church was to look for the money. He made sure that it was immutable by means of the construction of a wooden scale model (Fig. he could be generous with his memory and make good use of it to change the decisions of his successors: “It is true that Bramante was the best architect of any time. his planning referred basically to the plan and to the inner illumination. His great skill in his first interventions was increasing its aspect of grandeur by diminishing its size (Fig. and above it all. There happened the paradoxical fact that the section is bigger in the key than in the base. When he was asked to explain his project. 6. Sixteen ribbings that corresponded to each one of the buttresses form the solid part of the dome.” When in 1546 Michelangelo received the order to continue Sangallo’s work. A drum crowned by a hemispheric shell. luminous and isolated not to interfere with any part of the Palace of the Popes. Piero Ligorio.35. can analyse it impartially. despite its 42 m diameter. by Michelangelo (Argan and Contardi). unlike the Pantheon which model Bramante copied . the Sixtine Chapel included. the final project was his. was immediately dismissed. except for those of circular plan. Neither the drawings of Fig.43). There were no corners any more. have the polished design characteristic of one of the best architects of the Renaissance. so when closing it in the afternoons. Only the drum did he see finished (Fig. Vasari and Duperac were guarantors for his project. Nevertheless. Anyone who had continued with his idea. he was a mix of Alberti and Bramante. more than twenty-five men were needed to vacate with a great effort the building of those who were hiding. Twenty-two years after Bramante’s death. In addition. 6. The first decisions taken by Michelangelo were drastic. To absorb the thrusts. whereas he would be in charge of the rest. as Sangallo did. He did not previously have an overall idea as Sangallo had. the rooms of Piombo and many other parts.

51. by Dosio (Argan and Contardi). by Dosio (Argan and Contardi). Section in perspective containing the drum. 6.52. Section in perspective of the dome. Fig.The Century of the Great Architects Fig. Fig. Fig.49. 6.50. 137 . 6. Drawing made in Duperac’s atelier of Michelangelo’s idealised project (Argan and Contardi). Drawing by Dosio of the section and the lantern of the dome (Argan and Contardi). 6.

138 . 6. It is true that the construction only lasted three years and that. Lifting the outside dome almost eight metres. It is amazing that of such a singular work. 6. also by Fontana. As for whether the inner ribs went along the whole meridian. dating from 1773.45). decided to keep a modified project in use that he did not make clear was so. which is doubtful since the geometrical planning was very different. it was due to the fact that Della Porta and Vanvitelli did not complete the lacking material when cambering the outside sheet. Some.The Great Structures in Architecture the tests. the inner ribs turned into excessively heavy real walls. We have already seen how Piero Ligorio was dismissed without any consideration. Framework proposed by Fontana for the dome construction (Mainstone). 6. There are contemporary representations that go the same way. made in a moment in which so many artists were transforming the city and drawing systematically its evolution. which must have hooped any tendency to radial opening.54. copy graphics of the time. But. by Zabaglia. deduce that it used a framework similar to that of Fig. but the drawings by Duperac and Dosio’s sphere guarantee that.51 clarifies it and. if they were interrupted at half their height in the later wooden model. the work stopped. at least in its definitive version. would the circular design have worked? The mathematical analysis cannot preview possible constructive solutions that could have made it viable. The solution was diminishing their width while increasing the height. claim that it was the same process as in Florence. Even so. in 1588. there have been speculations on whether the outside shell was in “quinto acuto”. supports this thesis. for trying to change the drawings. he chose two hemispherical domes (Figs. there is no justification for the lack of information that makes us work with hypotheses.52. There are different opinions about the constructive system used.54.50 . Fig. considering the amount of wood bought in 1589. although infantile. Fig.53 shows a comparison between both projects. Comparison between Michelangelo’s dome project (left) and della Porta’s (right) (Mainstone).49).55. At the same time.56. during the process it must have been a mess of planks. 6. That matter is discussed below. lost his drawings and modified the scale model until Della Porta and Vanvitelli succeeded in making the others believe that their project was Michelangelo’s. The image of Fig. the drawing of Fig. made every doubt disappear and even set the concept of façade that Michelangelo had in mind. drawn from the original wooden model. 6. Fig. probably. or Figs. such as Salman. 6. 6. 6. The dome construction was not restarted until Della Porta. Fig.44 and 6. When he died in 1564. This implied that in the higher part. 6. Mainstone justifies these aspects in detail. by Fontana. Fig. some metallic rings were placed on the drum at a medium height.53. 6. protecting canopies and gross bricks. the model of which was lost. As a result of the autographed drawings (Fig. 6. whereas another. he approached the tracing in catenaries that could guarantee perfect stability. there is no drawing of the construction process.

in part. have separated the buttresses.55. having 1.38 m in the base and slightly diminishing toward the key with good bricks placed as a fish bone. 6.57). In any case.58) reveals how little the buttresses section is. besides the fact that the metallic rings did not work. It seems that the existing cracks had increased in size causing alarm over risk of the collapse of the structure. That way. could have been built less tall and increased later. 6. for some slight modifications made in the supports. in a minimum term. every crack generated in the stretches agrees with that analysis. in one of his descriptions. having below and above the profile of the two layers. that had to be very deep in the key. 139 .The Century of the Great Architects Using the same logic that we used on the dome of Florence. It seems more probable that they were exhausted by the weak resistance to compression. that the structure is not laminar. Resting on them the circular sectors were made. 6. though. The cracks in the drum base show an insufficient bracing by the tubes of the naves. in addition. He has the merit of the construction. The 1730 earthquake forced the insertion of crack advance controllers. Fontana himself.57. Della Porta had succeeded in finishing. Section of the same scaffolding used for the furring.57. Taking a good look at Fig. 6. their weight would not rest totally on the framework during the construction. to Michelangelo. also in a drawing by Zabaglia (Mainstone). two ribs could have been built at a time and afterwards the wood used for the other two (Fig. Drawing by Vanvitelly with marks where the dome damage appeared (Mainstone). we think that the frameworks drawn by Fontana refers basically to the sixteen main ribs and that the rest could have been made with hardly a planking or hanging of a rope. It seems unlikely that in that moment anyone attached a big importance to that phenomenon. Drawing by Fontana (Zabaglia?) for the dome construction (Mainstone). but a set of sixteen powerful ribs with an edge of seven metres. linked by a skin much more fragile. in September of 1591. though the design belongs. The sixteen ribs were first constructed and were not loaded until being properly hardened. It was Vanvitelli in 1730 who did the first detailed report with graphics that signalled the position of the damage (Fig. 6. As for the buttresses. is rather explicit: “The tall walls grow like arches until the lantern base in sixteen ribs that close the space. The ribs.54). We must not forget. Even Bernini was accused of being responsible. Fig. 6. only an insufficient section of the base could be dangerous. Fig. Besides. the work had reached the starting of the lantern. According to Mainstone’s analysis. all the cracks were initially due to the radial thrusts that. The mosaic ornament was initiated the following year and the mortar for recovering was used too to seal the fissures and cracks that appeared because of rheological effects.” In no more than 21 months. and they have keys to insert the stretches of shell until getting their complete shape. if they had opened they would have had cracks in the opposite way. Fig.56a and b. But Saint Peter’s adventure had not yet finished. Rondelet’s drawing (Fig. 6. without doubt. a huge task about which others had been previously getting nowhere.

In Fig. 6. Fig. Drawing by Rondelet explaining the damage and showing the weaker section of the drum. with and without the cracked buttresses. which did not satisfy the cultivated Benedict XIV who asked thee famous mathematicians to prepare a deeper report. Two alternative hypotheses. Jacquier and Boskovich and proposed reinforcements (Mainstone). In the first case. Obviously.60. Analysis of the parabola of pressures. 6. the consideration of the buttresses without cracking (above. What were the analysis and the dispositions of the contemporaries? In a report dating from 1742. 6. Jacquier and Boskovich presented him their opinions that were published in a document of maximum scientific interest.62. were based on it. Le Seur. Vanvitelli proposed the conventional solution of introducing four metallic rings for bracing.59 can be seen the result of the visual check (central drawing). 6. they deduced that there was a safety margin big 140 . Reinforcements proposed by Poleni. from which the breaking lines are obtained. Spatial analysis by Poleni. 6. right).61.58. Flat analysis of the dome behaviour by Le Seur. the analysis was flat. Fig.The Great Structures in Architecture Fig. Fig. since there was still not enough knowledge to do a spatial calculation. 6. left) and with the existing pseudovertical crack (above.59. made by Poleni. In both cases hinges were placed where cracks had effectively been found. Fig.

62. 6. 6. finished in 1557. 6. his line of arguments were speculative. greatest among the great. surpassing Villa Savoie or the Cascade House.The Century of the Great Architects enough even without working the chains placed during the construction. From the parabola of pressures of Fig. by Siloe (Fig. though this had been rather arbitrarily deducted. The Divine Redeemer. The proposed solution was a new chain. by Vandelvira. But we have overlooked what happened elsewhere. His religious architecture. since it meant that the dome had to have already collapsed. The decagonal dome of the Cathedral of Granada. Only one.61. there is little to tell about Italy. Plans by Palladio (Wundram and Pape). where Diego of Siloe. brilliant but tending to the Gothic in his development. even from a structural point of view. keeping sane in the middle of insanity. we have seen how Alberti’s ideal is taken up by Bramante. As a conclusion. Nonetheless. C. Saint Peter's sums up everything that happened in the XVIth century. also shown. The solution a) is Fig.67) and dating from 1562 or the group of vaults of so many Andalusian stonework churches that can be seen in Fig. that report must not have convinced the builders or the Pope. as defined by the later non-Italian architects. maybe. 6. the dome of the Real Chapel in Seville. he determined the point in which the hinge L must be produced. very few of his contemporary architects were able to escape his personal influence and almost none in the following century. by another great mathematician. 6. In the second case. 6. A second report.64. though around it can be found great architectonic contributions. and above all by Sangallo. in the XVIth century. the most successful house and the best known in history. he does it with his characteristic terribilitá. from Saint Giorgio Maiore (Fig. Saint Giorgio Maggiones. basic contributions to architecture. the state was problematic even with the chains working.63. in Venice. and set out a spatial analysis in Fig. 6. 6. Plans by Palladio (Wundram and Pape). who reinvents the ancient ideal.63) to the Divine Redeemer (Fig. Andrea Palladio reached the perfect architecture – at least. 6. has a greater importance because of its solid line of arguments. His complex works are such a prodigy of obvious simplicity. 6. is not a structural wonder. B.68. only to mention two of the most important (Fig. but it is a wonder in simplicity. since Vanvitelli already had taken care in placing the chains A.65). succeeded and saved the situation. From 1591 to 1624. who favours Brunelleschi’s way. When Michelangelo appears in the architectonic scene. as in Spain. Villa Rotonda is.66). It is in civil architecture where he expresses with more serenity the difficult balance between the complexity of the programmes and the clarity of the solution. Fig. Hernán Ruiz and Andrés of Vandelvira made. John Poleni. in Venice. 6. This second case was very pessimistic. In short.60. and is betrayed by Peruzzi. 64). by Hernán Ruiz (Fig. Nevertheless. 141 . since the cracking did exist. he suggested the exact point in which should be placed the chain of hoops and even its value. D and E in addition to the primitive ones n and u of Fig.

the Italian. otherwise.67. his Palladianism is ascetic and bare and his structural capacity remains dubious after his numerous constructive mistakes.66. with the ribs standing out. 6. 6. by Diego of Siloe. The e) and f) solutions. Juan de Herrera has not the value of invention of the others. is a mixed one. The solution c) is found too in Saint Juan Bautista in Chiclana. 6. From Leonardo to Serlio. However.The Great Structures in Architecture found in the Cathedral of Jaen that. as we can see. brought big contributions. Villa Rotonda. The solution b) was frequently used by Juan Bautista of Toledo in El Escorial. In terms of importance. Dome of the Real Chapel in Seville. they are the best of the century.69) and Primaticio (Fig. Diaspora.70).65. is a repertoire of almost every solution. can be found in Our Lady of Consolación in Cazalla (Seville) or in Azpeitia (Guipuzcoa). Fig. but is difficult to find at a considerable scale. in Vicenza. In France. de L’Orme (Fig. Fig. The d) solution that. 6. however. 6. Plans by Palladio (Wundram and Pape). or by Vandelvira himself in Saint Salvador in Ubeda. Dome of the Cathedral of Granada. is exquisitely represented in the treatise by Vandelvira. 142 . Fig. though his participation in El Escorial gives him a certain pre-eminence. by Hernán Ruiz (Escrig).

The work of Serlio and Vignola was better known outside of Italy than that of Michelangelo. a little bigger and with more ornaments. 6. Primaticio’s project for the Chapel Valois. Whereas in Italy. in his Book V. Solutions through stonework vaults made by Vandelvira (Cobreros). Serlio. Therefore. In its second version in Saint Anne of the Grooms. 6. in 1590.72). the modulation of orders is in direct conflict with the difficult geometry (Fig. caused the construction of the little temple of Saint Andrea in Rome by Vignola. 143 . It is one of those scarce examples of architectonical rotundity that summarises a whole programme in a little model measuring 10 x 7 x 2 m. 6.73). in St. published in 1545. by Philibert de l’Orme (Blunt). another great treatise writer and architect. His book. (Fig. no wonder it turned out to be a pattern for the biggest constructions of this type. plans the big dome of Saint Giacomo degli Fig. developed the fundamentals of the elliptical plan tracing and several architectonical proposals (Fig.The Century of the Great Architects Fig. Volterra.68. Chapel of the Castle of Anet.71). 6. 6.70. The Italian Renaissance and its national branches still produced new models that we have to highlight if we intend to understand the Baroque. 6. Fig.69. Denis (Blunt).

77). 6. 6.75).73. measuring 26 x 19 m (Fig.71. explains a good systematisation of the 144 .The Great Structures in Architecture Fig. by Ascanio Vitozzi (Lotz). Incurabili. It is in Spain.75. 6. Saint Anne di Palafreneri. Fig. from the books V and VII (Gentil).72. in Rome. 6.74). Oval tracings by Serlio. Vitozzi begins a risky and troublesome construction in Saint Mary de Vicoforte in Mandovi. where some projects of this greatness are finished sooner. Alonso of Vandelvira’s treatise. by Vignola (Escrig).74. 6. Fig. by Volterra (Lotz). are the forerunner masterpieces of elliptical plans. in Rome. Fig. dating from around 1590. 6. by Vignola (Escrig). The Capitular Hall of the Cathedral of Seville. Saint Mary in Vicoforte de Mondovi. 6. Saint Andrea in Via Flaminia. Saint Giacomo degli Incurabili. 6.76) and the Cathedral of Cordoba transept. with the same plan but started in 1557 (Fig. 6. measuring 36 x 24 m (Fig. Fig. begun in 1569 by Hernan Ruiz (Fig.

Capitular Hall of the Cathedral of Seville.77. 145 . Dome of the Cathedral of Cordoba. by Hernán Ruiz (Gentil).The Century of the Great Architects Fig.76. Fig. by Hernán Ruiz (Gentil). 6. 6.

6. 146 .79. Elliptical domes tracings by Andrés de Vandelvira (Cobreros). 6.78. showing the final solution of Fig.The Great Structures in Architecture Fig. 6. Drawing from the Treatise of Vandelvira.78 (Palacios). Fig.

6.82). In the mathematical model we can see how logical the efforts in each meridian are but are not constant in each parallel. since it has been well studied.78 shows the three basic patterns that correspond to the name of the treatise and Fig. the low parallels stand out in traction and the shifting matches with a great precision that found by photogrammetrical methods (Fig.80).80.The Century of the Great Architects a) STRESSES DUE TO SELF WEIGHT b) GEOMETRY FOF THE MODEL DEFORMED SHAPE DUE TO SELF WEIGHT Fig. 6. Finally the repairs. independent of the foundation reinforcement. The maximum momentums are developed in the short axis. and large deformations of the meridian in the long sides. these domes are very flat in the base and undergo much flexion and cracking in their lower part. 6. 6. Saint Mary of Vicoforte has been studied more since. and the conclusions are rather similar: strong tractions in the base parallels. Hernan Ruiz´s work can be of use. 6. it has had to be reinforced recently (Fig. stonework quartering for this sort of work. 147 . consisted of a ring hoop that.81). Efforts developed in the elliptical dome of the Capitular Hall of the Cathedral of Seville (Cobreros).79 is an example of the rigor with which he set out the stonework construction of this new structure. due to differential settings. in practice. 6. In the model. had to be applied by sections and with a variable prestressing. being elliptical. to illustrate the structural behaviour of these shapes (Fig. being followed by the rest of the Spanish architects mentioned. We know that. bigger in the short axis. as we will see below in Vicoforte. Fig.

148 . 6. 6.81. Fig. Photogrammetrical analysis of the dome of the Capitular Hall in Seville (Gentil).82. before its restoration (Pizzeti and Fea).The Great Structures in Architecture Fig. Phogrammetrical analysis and pathology of Saint Mary in Vicoforte de Mondovi.

K. 4. WIT Press. 13. città. 8. M. Catedra. ESCRIG. 7.KRAUS. architetti”. Madrid. Milano. B. “Visionary Spires”. Southampton. “Baldasare Peruzzi”. Milan. “Tecnología en los Edificios Históricos”. W.GENTIL.MAISTONE. BRUSCHI “Bramante”. Laterza. Electa. & CONTARDI.M. “”Francisco di Giorgio Architetto”. 9. 22. M. Milano. BLUND. J. Madrid. HEYDENREICH.PALACIOS. “Ricerca del Rinascimento.MURRAY. F.C. Aguilar. Sevilla. 10.The Century of the Great Architects REFERENCES OF CHAPTER 6 1. FURNARI.LOTZ.TAFURI.C. CREVE. & VAZQUEZ.TAFURI.PALACIOS. ARGAN. 3. W. 20. “Atlante del Renacimiento”. Peters Cathedral in Rome. 15. ESCRIG. A study using experimental stress analysis techniques”. Thames and Hudson. 5. “Arquitectura en Italia 1400-1600”. ”The Renaissance: From Brunelleschi to Michelangelo. 12. STREMA. Ashgate Publishing Ltd. M. FIORE. G. London. F. “The sail vault: A survey of constructive techniques to stalilize a sophisticated structure”. J. Electa. Milan. M. 17. S. Southampton. Design and Innovation”. 16. “Roma del Rinascimento”. Electa. E. 11. “La traza Oval y la Sala Capitular de la Catedral de Sevilla”. 2.TESSARI. COBREROS. “Bramante's Design for the Dome of St. Electa. Einaudi. Bari. Electa. & MAGNANO. Ed. R. WIT Press. The representation of Architecture”. “Rafaello Architetto”. “Arte y Arquitectura en Francia 15001700”. STREMA. A. 19. & TAFURI. L. “Trazas y Cortes de Cantería en el Renacimiento Español”. Southampton. C. “Architecture in Italy” Yale Univ Press. M. ETSA Sevilla. Catedra.A. ETSA. ”La arquitectura del Renacimiento Italiano”. 149 . “Miguel Angel Arquiteto”. F. Milano. U.. STAR nº 2. Waterstore.PORTOGUESI. 18. 6. P. J. 14. Consejería de Cultura de Andalucía. 21.P. H. “Towers and Domes”.V. Principi. Milan.MILLON. WIT Press. “La cantería en la construcción del Renacimiento Andaluz”. “Structure in Architecture: History. Ministerio de Cultura.Torino. F. C. & LOTZ. Electa.

very summarily.The Great Structures in Architecture Chapter 7. what happened in Turkey. From our perspective of being at the centre of the universe. the Taj Mahal. India and some other regions.1a Mosque of Sefereli (Goodwin and Stierlin). Together with an economic and political flowering there were similar manifestations in several regions of the civilized world. 150 . but we do not deny the universality of the phenomenon. Bayaceto II took Constantinople after having controlled the surroundings for one hundred and fifty years. In 1453. 7. that Fig. the mosques of Istanbul. Ottoman Turkey was born in the XIVth century. when conquerors descended from the mountains to put an end to the Eastern Empire. Now we are going to see. Their great merit. the Forbidden City in Peking or the Lama Palace in Tibet seem to us wonderful curiosities. THE OMNIPRESENT SINAN We have already explored how the Renaissance was not a phenomenon limited to the western world.

7. Obviously. Complex of Fatih. the Seljukians knew well the Byzantine and Persian constructive traditions and were able to mix with their own models the brilliant features from Byzance and Isfahan.4a) takes place. but it partially reminds us of the Pantheon.5). by the same architect. The architect Hayreddin appears as the master forerunner of the new Islamic spaces. The Complex of Bayaceto in Edirne. It was 26 m in diameter. caravasars and palaces. dating from 1440.3). is of gigantic dimensions. The Fig 7. Its plan is identical and has the same counteracting system.1b shows the finite element model with stresses due to its own weight.The Omnipresent Sinan The Serefelli Cami (Mosque of Serefelli).1b Finite Element Analysis of the Sefereli Mosque (Escrig). where the total recovering of a space similar to that of the Church of Saint Sophia (Fig. the engraving by Lorish shows its former aspect.1a). 7.4b).2). since the present building is the result of a reconstruction (Fig. 7. Finished in 1488. allowed a stability lasting until the First World War. is the first model produced by the great new architecture. was to found an infrastructure system that bound the whole territory and gave power to the cities. 151 . Its only dome. though at a scale one half (Fig. madrasas. 7. The Complex of Fatih overcomes this problem by introducing a drum with openings for illumination. 24 m in diameter. Fig. 7. in an engraving by Lorish (Goodwin).2. 7. has a mosque with an unitary space that is reminiscent of the best Florentine creations (Fig. It is in the Mosque of Bayaceto in Istanbul. 7. In that system were included all the public buildings such as mosques. 7. In the drawing by Lorish it rises majestically on one of the hills (Fig. Fig. It is still clumsy in its resolution as well as dark and spatially squat (Fig. that made of architecture a political and administrative activity.

in the way that the Roman 152 .3.4. educated in the army. 7. in Edirne (Stierlin). since it has the same dimensions as the Mosque of Fatih. which best guaranteed the counteracting of thrusts (Figs. Complex of Bayaceto. thought of offering the caliph his services. 7. when the successor of Bayaceto. his big mosque resorts again to the unitary space. Fig. Complex of Bayaceto in Istanbul (Escrig). architecture did with its own. setting a centralised cabinet that had to export Despite this acknowledgement of the superiority of Justinian’s architecture. gathering much data and. during the period of Soliman the Magnificent.The Great Structures in Architecture Fig. Mimar Sinan. This allowed him to visit many places. wandering from court to court. 7. This official architecture was going to be reproduced all over the huge territory with the same patterns. A military engineer who was going to revolutionize architecture. Selim I.6). We do not know why. would gather the decorative and the utilitarian arts. was head of the military engineers and appointed Head of Architects when fifty years old and is the best known of the eastern architects. Hayreddin decided not to keep on experimenting after his first successes. more important. must face the disasters of the 1509 earthquake. He started off from the lower ranks of the army until being appointed Head of Engineers in 1536. We must refer to the fact that in Florence there was also a great prince of the arts who was magnificent and that Leonardo himself. But he had opened a door that.

7. His first great work was the Mosque of Sehzade in Istanbul (Fig.5. for their part (Fig. the cornice.8.6. 7. Mosque of Selim I (Goodwin). though in his own way. at the same time. would stabilise the diagonal thrusts. Fig. counteracting these caps by means of other smaller ones (Fig. including the planking. that would allow putting holes all over the walls. 7. building a high central dome equally balanced with caps in all four sides and. Fig. Mosque of Sehzade in Istanbul (Goodwin). Interior of the Mosque of Sehzade (Stierlin). the transverse arches with the spherical Fig. 7. He recovered with it the ideal of a centralised plan in a Greek cross.The Omnipresent Sinan Fig.8b). acting as a counterweight. The inner space has a level hierarchy that Brunelleschi had established. 7. solutions for the constructive problems of the whole Empire.a. 7.7).8a). Complex of Bayaceto in Istanbul. 153 . The dome would therefore have four perfectly supported transverse arches. 7. by Lorish (Goodwin). Four short but massive towers.7.

7. Displacements and thrusts of the main arches by Finite Elements (Karesmen). Fig. Discretisation of the dome of Sehzade by Finite Elements (Escrig).8e. 7.8c. 7. 154 .8b.8f.8d. Sections in height of the Mosque of Sehzade (VogtGöknil and Güngör). Fig. due to their own weight and to the seismic actions (Karesmen). according to Crocci (Escrig).The Great Structures in Architecture Fig. Fig. 7. Fig. Reactions in the supports. Seismic behaviour of the dome of Sehzade by Finite Elements. 7.

The scaffolding may rest on the cornice of the drum base and be outstandingly light since it hardly has any weight to resist.8e). 7. very high and close to its limit. the perfection of the half-sphere. though innovative in respect of the space unity. an edging ring is always skirting around them. that on the outside looks like such. but inside forms part of the same shell. deduces that the maximum compression is 3 Kp/cm2 in the key and that the tensions in the meridians are very uniform. This way.3 Kp/cm2. First. the drum. 7. Karaesmen. This scaffolding will be that used for the positioning of the ceramic decorative elements. Its 19 m dome is not spectacular for the dimensions but for the harmony of its shape (Fig. The analysis of these domes by finite elements has obtained movements as those shown in Fig. The maximum cutting effort in these supports is 3 Kp/cm2. This work. Their thickness is around 60 cm. in accordance with the shell theory. and even less when the bricks are placed in completing rings. who has intensely studied the behaviour of these structures. the 24 supports of the dome on the drum have an important role in the seismic behaviour. This shows the displacements and thrusts obtained for their own weight. thus avoiding the orthotropism of the rib domes that had caused so many troubles in Florence and Rome. 7. There is so much luminosity that none of these mosques was planned to break with an oculo or a lantern.The Omnipresent Sinan pendentives. Nevertheless. it happens that those resting on the transverse arches do more work than those resting on the pendentives. 155 . the drum and the dome.8d. around 1. Sinan always considered this construction his masterpiece. To balance the thrusts better. 78c). since they absorb Fig. On the other hand.8f the reactions from their own weight and to earthquakes. The lightness results too in the occupation of the resistant elements in plan. and are formed by a single layer.9a. that there could be obtained only small tractions for snow loads. and Fig. the secondary arches are provided with iron struts that absorb 28% of the seismic effort. As for the small counteracting domes. The flexions are insignificant because of having a behaviour very similar to that of a membrane (Fig. one of the most complex aspects of these domes is their dimensioning. they play a main role in the seismic behaviour. so that the openings in it act as supports on which rests a flattened hemispheric dome. For its own weight they are fully in compression. since they absorb much of its energy. due to the flexibility of these. follows the constructive techniques in vogue that proved so effective. Therefore.7. Mosque of Suleiman. which makes them very light. The angle of the arch of complete circle rarely surpasses 120º and it means. Compare the relation between the useful surface and the constructed surface with the large western Renaissance structures to see the point of economy reached.

Meanwhile.9b. Sinan had already begun the construction of the second of his great works. being 24. 7.9).10 and 7. Perhaps all this explains the great stability of these works in such an unstable situation in case of earthquakes. Mosque of Suleiman. Its dome rises to 54 m of height. Its thickness goes from 0.5 m in diameter and having a cap 8. working to 38 Kp/cm2. The work was finished in 1548. 7. In order to finish with this analysis.4 m in the key to 0. it must be said that the four large inner supports are apparently over dimensioned. the Mosque of Suleiman.6 m high. Horizontal sections (Goodwin. Figs. a measure that we must accept with reservations for being excessive. much closer in its solution to the Church of Saint Sophia (Fig. 7. Vogt-Göknil and Güngör). 17%.The Great Structures in Architecture Fig. although this includes the flexion efforts.11 testify to the similarity between the two 156 .8 m in the base.

was completely called into question in a later work of extreme simplicity. is the mosque of Selimiye.12). rises plumb vertical on vertical plans that seem to defy the laws of thrusts (Fig.The Omnipresent Sinan Fig. The construction took place between 1550 and 1557. rising up to 37 m of height (Fig. 7. which he would surpass in later works. relatively reduced. 7. It surpasses in dimensions Saint Sophia since it is more than 31. Although stone is used abundantly in the walls and supports. In this case the dome is 20 m in diameter.10.17). due to the combined actions. triggers some reactions that are expressed in Fig. 7. the resources 157 . the domes are made of bricks stuck together with a mortar made up of brick dust mixed with lime oxide that has a good setting capacity. Inner view of the Mosque of Saint Sophia in the same ways (Stierlin). 7.16. For that reason.13).11. Its dimensions. comparing them from the same point of view. because of its unity and its structural firmness. churches. Its domed plan is a perfect square with walls pierced by the light in all their extension (Fig. he did not follow the path opened by Sinan with its amazing Sehzade Cami. where the earthquakes have been considered as 15% of the vertical loads. Although the total plan is rectangular. to analyse the behaviour of this structure. 7. the transverse arches are pointed. in Fig. 7. the perfection of its structural system.5 m in diameter and 44 m high (Fig. which he repeated in the Mosque of Suleiman. 7. The counteracting system of Saint Sophia. finished in 1560. Its density is 1. This period matches with that in which Michelangelo was developing the definitive version of his Great Dome in the former capital of the other Empire. The Mosque of Mihrimah in Edirne. The only difference is that. Surely the most impressive structure. The supports. It seems that Suleiman’s decision of linking its architecture to the Byzantine one had to do with his will to recover the Eastern Empire at its time of greatest splendour. are balanced by a greatness that gives it the coherence of design. work under 42 Kp/cm2 according to Karaesmen and without considering the rigidity of the closings that are otherwise small. The weight of 890 tonnes of this dome. finished in 1574. The regularity of its shape.14).15 it can be seen how for more than two thirds of its height it rises on a square formed by fragile walls. Fig. It is worth the trouble to detail the constructive systems and the characteristics of the materials. in this case.8 Ton/cm3and its average resistance to compression is 40 Kp/cm2 and to traction is practically non existent. 7. Inner view of the Mosque of Suleiman in two perpendicular ways (Stierlin).

paradoxically ending sometimes with domes on an octagonal or hexagonal base. We can see that the eight powerful buttresses finish and become hardly visible from the outside. Fig. it is worth noting the existence of the mausoleums of circular or polygonal plan.14. 7.19 can be seen the setting of the dome on eight transverse arches and its alternate rate of a flat stretch and a curved stretch. as well as their dimensions and their supporting system. 7. In both of them a narthex or access is included and they have only domed space.20 shows the decreasing system of the masses expressed by means of a successive reduction in height. 7. 7. 7. As we have seen in a few examples of Sinan’s greater works.12. Fig. 7. optimisation and the beauty of its decoration are but some of the many arguments to name it the most outstanding work of Ottoman art (Fig. Axonometric sectionning of Mihrimah (Freelhy and Burelli).24 that of Selim. 158 . Mosque of Mihrimah in Edirne (Kuran and Stierlin).22 shows the main projects. In Fig. Fig.The Great Structures in Architecture Fig. 7. In Fig. 7. imitating the shrines and recovering the paleochristian baptisteries and tombs. Plan and vertical section of the Mosque of Mihrimah in Edirne (Vogt-Göknil).18). 7. They would dignify by Fig.21 explains its structural and seismic behaviour. his patterns always consider a rectangular plan. Fig. 7. Since we have pointed out the coincidences with western architecture of the time. and instead are continued by eight massive towers that give the whole a characteristic aspect.23 we can see that of Suleiman and in Fig.13. square in some rare cases.

Horizontal sections of the Mosque of Mihrimah. Tiziano himself painted two pictures of Suleiman. as happens in any culture.26 shows one of the few architectonic representations that have been conserved. We know that Saint Sophia was constructed in five years. When Bayaceto asked Gentille Bellini to paint his portrait in the Palace of Topkapi. 7. A subject for discussion would consist of finding out whether any sort of verbal or literary instructions existed. that could become an object and the degree of freedom of master builders and masons. in Edirne (Güngör). considering the strict Koranic prohibition. since the lack of knowledge about the flat projection systems and the use of perspective must have been compensated with three-dimensional figures. Bayaceto asked Leonardo and Michelangelo to project the building of a bridge on the Gold Horn (Fig. the almost five hundred documented works by Sinan were not possible under his exclusive design and direction. themselves the Eastern architecture. it is surprising that the representation of human figures was a characteristic feature of the whole empire. In contrast. Reactions in the base of the arches. due to the gravitatory loads and the seismic action in Mihrimah (Karesmen). It is the Mosque of Suleiman scale model. 7. It is possible that the scale model replaced advantageously the plans. 7. In any case. Most probably. The Sultan’s head architect must have been in charge of a centralised cabinet that would supply the whole empire. 7. and its directives must have had a graphical format. the 159 . Fig. Fig. of which we have a serious lack of documentary information. In so brief an account. had the gigantic constructions that we have described not existed.The Omnipresent Sinan Fig. cultural and constructive concepts. we cannot expand more on the panorama of the classic recovery. the Mosque of Suleiman in seven and that of Selimiye in six. In fact.27). which is paradoxical for the official painter of the biggest Ottoman Empire enemy. Maquiavelo defended Bayaceto as a true Renaissance prince. It is inconceivable that in a system of cultural transmission as permeable as this one that allowed for the West being aware of the Islamic works. this last met with Patriarch Gennadios Scholarios to explain to him some concepts of the Italian art.16. There is a copious bibliography on our architect that offers numerous biographical data. the Emperor Carlos V. For his part. ordered by Murat III as late as 1582. describing the characteristics and the number of his works but failing in depth on the graphical.15. there would not develop the inverse phenomenon.

18. 7. Inner aspect of the Mosque of Selimiye (Stierlin). Plan and vertical section of the Mosque of Selimiye (Vogt-Göknil). Fig. Outer aspect of the Mosque of Selimiye (Stierlin). Fig.17. 7. 7. 160 .19.The Great Structures in Architecture Fig.

21a. building of Saint Peter took 160 years. not published). The unity and the communication provided by the Islamic religion facilitated the fact that in very distant 161 . contrary to what happened with western art. from Twine to Bernini. great constructions were built on which we will not expand because they no longer brought innovations and because they get out of our temporary frame. the religious tensions between the Sunnis and Shiites were an unbearable burden in which the intransigence and dogmatism ended up winning. Fig. not published). Fig. 7. Thrusts (Kp/cm2) obtained for the Mosque of Selimiye (Sánchez. Horizontal sections of the Mosque of Selimiyem in Edirne (Güngör).21b. 7.21c. Basically. The Ottoman art of the XVIIth century lost all its vitality and was not able to be revitalised. not published). forty. After Sinan. This alone proves the huge capacity of organisation of the work processes in the eastern art. 7. 7. and Saint Paul in London. Deformations (in black) over the initial geometry (in grey) of the Mosque of Selimiye (Sánchez. Mosque of Selimiye in Edirne. Fig.The Omnipresent Sinan Fig.20. through discretisation by Finite Elements (Sánchez.

21c Mode 9 of vibration obtained for the Mosque of Selimiye (Escrig).24. Fig. Plans of some works by Sinan (Güngör) Fig. Mausoleum of Suleiman (Tanieli). 7. Fig. 7.The Great Structures in Architecture Fig.22. 162 . 7.23. 7. Mausoleum of Selim (Tanieli).

Fig. since these huge elements are not used for worship. It is not a structure of great dimensions but is very subtle indeed. as in other later ones. parts of the world architectonic developments of large dimensions simultaneously took place. Plans of some mausoleums. fountains and by the water.28). The tomb of Humayun (Fig. In India. 7. ordered by Murat in 1582 (Kuran). 7. would be difficult to understand. Drawing of the Mosque of Suleiman scale model.The Omnipresent Sinan Fig.29). otherwise. works as beautiful and coherent as those of the best Italian Renaissance were constructed. In this sense. 7. dating from 1560.25. The Taj Mahal (Fig. could have been a beautiful palace had it not been a burial monument.26. under the Mogul empire. The pilgrimage to Mecca and the fact that the Jesuits began an evangelisation campaign all over Asia explain certain manifestations that. with its bulbous domes and its white marble 163 . It is in the mausoleums where the domed spaces acquire a personal meaning. we are going to point out only three important works. The first two are are of Suleiman and Selim I (Tanieli). 7. In this work. the architecture is complemented by gardens.

with a constant thickness of three metres. It is not placed within a basilica. Fig. The centralised plan is reminiscent of the bubbles proposal by Leonardo.32). The inner flat dome takes control of its thrusts by means of the weight of thick ashlars in the outer dome (Fig. In this case. A square is divided into nine square parts. otherwise habitual in these domes.The Great Structures in Architecture Fig.30).33).29.27. 7. on which rests a dome with transverse thrusts of one thousand tonnes. the system does not change. Bijapur is in the south of India and represents the last period of the mogul conquest against sultan Muhammad. This avoids the existence of the transverse arches that gave their supremacy to Italian architecture. It must have been a task more impressive than the construction of the three great Italian domes. The only bracings are the towers in the corners. does not have superfluous elements that make it smaller and does not add any special constructive ability. The four corners absorb the thickness of the walls. maybe the most ambitious work of all (Fig. guarantee their own survival in times of neglect or looting. In this case. in which the mass rises over the void. as flat as a floor tile.28. named ivans. The third Hindu work of interest to us is the tomb of Goal Gumbaz in Bijapur. The other four lateral squares become triumphal arches. 164 . The interior practically keeps its dimension to be covered with the great dome that to the outside emerges taller than the towers.31). 7. Fig. 7. Taj Mahal (Stierlin). These systems. it is more amazing for the geometric richness than the structural dimension. 7. each one supporting a small dome. It is simply a cube on which has been put a hat (Fig. The dome is a perfect semicircle. the Romanic trumpet shells or the Islamic faience stalactites (Fig. 7. who ordered the construction the building to be eclectic and different from the prevailing architecture. has a peculiar section. since the rest of it is a long wall of 50 m of length and 4 m of thickness. 7. a small stylistically subtle work but structurally. Drawing of a bridge for the Gold Horn in Istanbul. by Leonardo. The passage from a square plan to the circular one of the domes is solved by means of a fractal fragmentation of the ascending parallels and complex geometrical ornaments instead of the Renaissance pendentives. stonework. which frame the accesses. Tomb of Humayun (Stierlin). 7.

Axonometric sectionning of the Tomb of Gol Gumbaz (Stierlin).32. Fig.33. 165 .31. 7. Nonetheless. Fig. We contribute. a construction of this magnitude was not undertaken.34). Section of the Taj Mahal (Stierlin). In this case it has two levels. one with a vaulting fan in a style close to the Gothic. and the superior in hemisphere completely smooth and bare. Passage from a square to a circular plan (Stierlin).30. that seems to belong to another building due to a corridor three metres wide interposed between both levels (Fig. the bare interior gives the feeling of belonging to another world. Fig. 7. to this text our own analysis by finite elements of a possible behaviour of the tied ashlar stonework of this complex device (Fig. The fact is that this work. It is an immense space of 1700 m2. 7. 7. is something too singular and simple within the Eastern culture.35). therefore. Until the arrival of concrete.The Omnipresent Sinan Fig. Tomb of Gol Gumbaz. dating from between 1626 and 1656. How was it constructed? How has it lasted so long without deformations? As we do not have further information. 7. 7. in Bijapur (Stierlin). wider than that of any Italian dome. we will not deliberate on this matter.

7. 7.36.34. Discretisation by Finite Elements of Gol Gumbaz (Compán. Gallery in the dome spring of Gol Gumbaz (Stierlin). Discretisation by Finite Elements of Gol Gumbaz (Compán.The Great Structures in Architecture Fig. 166 . not published). 7. not published). Fig.35. Fig.

“Turquía. Southampton. 3.The Omnipresent Sinan REFERENCES OF CHAPTER 7 1. GÜLER. KURAN. Southampton. Arthaut. 5. Computational Mechanics Pub. París. Universidad de Granada. KAMESMEN. A. “Sinan: architecte de Soliman”. Colonia. G. GOODWIN “A History of Ottoman Architecture”. 7. Butterworths. 167 . “A study of the Sinan's Domed Structures”. Computational Mechanics Publications. De los Selyucidas a los Otomanos”. London. 6. STIERLIN. BANISTER FLETCHER “A History of Architecture”. A. “Sinan: el maestro de la arquitectura otomana”. Thames and Hudson. E. TANYELI. 2. London. Ed. Taschen. “Structural use of Iron in Ottoman Architecture (From the 15th to the early 19th)”. 4. H.

A subtle cover raised with its cresting and certain Fig.1. the Ming style is different to the previous ones. Relief representing a palace from the Han Dinasty (Metropolitan Museum of New York). For that reason. 8. Strong plinths supporting a simple wall structure with special features for each work. and the second one extremely baroque. EVEN FURTHER The Ming culture. The correlation between them is similar to that between the Romanesque and the Gothic.The Great Structures in Architecture Chapter 8. has an amazing constructive quality in marble and wood. complementary to those mentioned in the preceding chapters and with a value still not acknowledged to the present. But we must remember that this style does not have any link with the Roman tradition nor the Islamic one. what happened during the Ming dynasty (1368-1644) can be clearly expressed as a contemporary Renaissance. cannot be separated from the landscape. developed in China between the XVth and the XVIIth centuries. increasing in the Yünng dynasty (1279-1368). the Tang (581-907) and the Sung (9601279). Peking by itself is a compendium of very diverse styles. as in India. The first one is very sober. although being a continuation of a thousand-year-old tradition and a compendium of gigantic buildings that. As Bussal says. although to western eyes they may look very similar. None of these cultures arrived in China before the XVIth century. 168 . They share the same characteristics: Rigid axial symmetry.

At last. Relief from the Tang Dinasty (Bussagli). since they work almost exclusively under their own weight.6. The façade level is usually columned. An engraving from the Tang dynasty.7 and 8. contemporary of the Roman Republic and Empire. The best thing that we can say about the structure of the system is that the great spans of the cover are solved with impossible squares. having one or many levels with its characteristic curved edges that unequivocally show the magnitude of the building. A drawing of a fortification. 8. abounds in this description (Fig. So that. even uses colours (Fig. where the span of the sections were shortened by means of a successive advance of the beams. 8.2). drawn in the Forbidden City. like the solution represented in Fig. a cover of a great spread is superimposed. A relief conserved in the Metropolitan Museum of New York (Fig. - monotony. My own sketches from life. supports the western thesis that the Chinese architecture is no more than a slow evolution. smooth or forming terraces. There is also an only religion. 8. signed by the official Li Chieh in the XIIth century. the elements of artificial landscapes.2. In Fig.5). curiously the same scheme was used by Leonardo three hundred years 169 . 8. Perhaps the repetition of this system. lions. 8. from the same dynasty. The basic style of the construction consists of a strong plinth of stone or bricks. with simple or multiple corbels that allow making a good use of the existing wooden squares and covering wide spans by means of that particular lintelled system. that gives an ideological content to whatever is done.4). 8. where a great part of the descriptive ornamentation is placed–dragoons. 8.9 the beam corbelling system can be seen with more detail. We must not think only about the construction. as well as innumerable other drawings.1). In civil engineering this architectonic system also opened possibilities as in the Bridge of Liling in Hunan (Fig. 8. a plan from the Sunj dynasty. Finally.11 for the bridge of Kainfeng. of which old plans have been conserved. 8. wheels–including words with initiation information to understand the building. The short squares also would be used for big arched spans. mainly in public buildings of importance. lakes and hills are proof of an elaborated theory reached with consensus. 8. Buddhism.8). plumes. dating from the Has dynasty.Even Further Fig. give abundant information about the slightest changes in style (Fig. The buildings are settled in urban environments almost as important as them and designed as the architecture itself: the net of axes and streets. 8. reveal this evident complexity (Figs. describes this system perfectly. any of the plans of the Ming period made by Stielin can seem familiar (Fig.3).10).

Present constructive elevation plan (Stierlin). Plan drawn by Li Chie during the Sunj Dinasty (Bussagli). 8.3. 8. Fig.The Great Structures in Architecture Fig. Fig. 170 .6.5. 8. 8. Fig. Drawing of a fortification in the Big Wall from the Tang Dinasty (Jeannel and Koryrepf).4. Shrine in the Forbidden City (Escrig).

8. 8.8. Fig.9. Bridge of Liling in Hunan (Pirazzoli). Detail of the eave of the previous shrine (Escrig).Even Further Fig. Fig. Fig. Detail of the previous shrine (Escrig).10. Corbelling system of the cover beams (Pirazzoli). 8. 8. 171 .7.

Drawing by Leonardo for a bridge built with short squares. Fig. 172 . 8. 8.The Great Structures in Architecture Fig.12. Fig.13. 8. Prayers Room in the Temple of the Sky in Peking (Escrig). Bridge of Kainfeng in a picture from the Song period (Pirazzoli).11.

It is paradoxical that the high elements even lose their symbolic value in the classic periods. General plan of the Forbidden City (Jeannel and Kozyrepf). the most famous Chinese pagodas were built before the Ming period. undergo their fading or a loss of quality during the Ming dynasty. illustrate this sufficiently.13) or the Forbidden City complex (Figs.15. 8. 8. later in numerous drawings. A greater explanation is required for the towers that.Even Further Fig. For that reason. 8. 8. as he must have considered it an extremely important discovery (Fig.12). like in the European Renaissance. Fig. 8.15).14. The Prayers Room in the Temple of the Sky in Peking (Fig.14 and 8. General view of the Forbidden City. 173 . from the Coal Hills (Escrig).

8.16. the islands do not need castles but coastal artillery batteries and a defence fleet. We find here a great ecological respect that is reflected in the fact that Japan has kept its vegetation. there was a tendency toward an organic plan in which the structure did not condition the construction. Wright or Neutra made a religion out of its simplicity. In the XVIth century. including Hindu India. this interest is based fundamentally on the fact that they have penetrated contemporary architecture to the marrow. the ceiling frameworks had to manage to adapt to irregular plans in search of the only place to rest on. The Yahushi-ji Pagoda in Naran (around 700) is an example of the special structural complexity of using little wooden squares. 8. Isozaki or Ito.16). delimited along history: that existing today. without a structural function. we are speaking of a remote time. the complete lack of furniture and gardens empty like deserts. must have belonged to the sturdiest tree of the forest (Fig. Its landmarks were ancient and extinguished from year 1000. no matter how much plastic value it has. gathered some particular features of interest. Fig. this must have been done with small wooden sections. always with a minimum geographic space. a subtlety represented by the paper walls. Constructed in 1580. The central mast. whereas in China the big reconstructions of the XIXth century were made with wood imported from the United States. For that reason. In accordance with this and to make good use of the residential surface. However. it is an example that did not go further. developed a kind of picturesque castle of which Himeji is like a new city of Urbino (Fig. Japan is the only country that. 8. 174 . The network of temples of the Heian period (794-1185) gave rise to a massive transference of Chinese technology and design that would be evident in very similar buildings with a certain baroque style. Ando. rules were immediately promulgated to lower the profile of the cities to a maximum of 31 m and modules of construction based on the tatami (918 x 1837 cm2) were established. Nonetheless. In fact. the contour. Therefore. For that reason. In addition. 8. Pagoda Yahushi-ji in Naran (Heinle-Leonhardt). The Japanese developed their practice from their continental architecture. the arrival of western civilization and the strong military boost by the dominant class. However.17). This is the great merit of Japanese architecture: not the Chinese or the western greatness but the extreme subtlety. led to a personalisation of the style.18 Fig. the attempts of the emperor to get rid of the interferences of the Buddhist clergy that arrived with the architecture.The Great Structures in Architecture We are not going to speak here about the excessively ornate and imaginative sculptural architecture of Southeast Asia. devoid of the continental part. the introduction of firearms. that is kept alive in some great contemporary architects like Tange. we understand that those decorated accumulations were seen as archaeology from the XVth to the XVIIth centuries.

from 1602. shows the Castle of Nijo. Castle of Nijo (Stierlin). cultures of the highest level thrived. We cannot link this phenomenon to the global phenomenon of the Renaissance because of the lack of communication between that world and the western and eastern civilized worlds. 8. Though it might seem that these are piling systems similar to those in Mesopotamia. 175 . despite their representing stellar moments for architecture even from the point of view of their structural richness.26). in Japan (Jeannel and Kozyrepf). Nevertheless.Even Further Fig. Fig. with a superposition of levels that included large closed spaces (Fig. when Hernán Cortés entered Tenochtitlan.18. Castle of Himeji.17. are not to be considered in this section. 8. 8.24 and 8. the reality is more complex. In the remotest place in the world.25). in an unknown continent that without doubt had been permeable to Asia through the Pacific. amazed by wide spaces of the layout of the American Venice (Figs. a recent people like the Aztec were developing a new architectonic refinement that fascinated the conquerors. For that reason. whose image does not match with that of a castle. the Inca or the Mayan culture. 8.

176 .19.The Great Structures in Architecture Fig. (after Inayama 1995) Fig.20. Structural plan and mathematical model for the calculation of a pagoda (Hanazato). 8. 8. Unlinear diagram of the restituted rotational coefficient and semi-rigid model of knot with a beam going through (Hanazato).

Even Further

Qy: Ultimate Strength of Dowel K: Stiffness by Embedding of Dowel into Block and Shear Deformation of Dowel
Fig. 8.21. Model combining a dowel and a support for the studwork complex (Hanazato).

Translational Spring

s: Translational Displacement due to Embedment of Dowel into Block and Deformation of Block è: Rotational Angle due to Column Rocking Resistance

Rotational Spring

Fig. 8.22. Model of the behaviour of the arms knot system (Hanazato).

Fig. 8.23. Seismic and wind behaviour of the tower in its different storeys (Hanazato).


The Great Structures in Architecture

Fig. 8.24. Reconstruction of the lacustrine city of Tenochtitlan (Gendrop-Heiden).

Fig. 8.25. Religious zone of the city of Tenochtitlan (Gendrop-Heiden).

Fig. 8.26. Building piercing of the great pyramid of Tenochtitlan (Lavallée-Michelet).


Even Further


1. BUSAGLI, M. “Arquitectura Oriental”. 2 Tomos. Ed. Aguilar, Madrid. 2. FLON-GRANVAND, CHR. “América Precolombina y Colonial”. Salvat Ed. 3. GENDROP, P. & HEYDEN, D. “Arquitectura Pre colombina”. Ed. Aguilar. 4. HAWKES, N. “El genio del hombre”. Debate, Cir culo de Lectores. 5. HEINL,H. & LEONHART, F. “Tours du Mond Entiere“. Livre Total, Lausane.

6. HEINL, H. & SCHLAICH, J. “Kuppeln aller Zeitenaller Kulturen". Deutsche Verlags- Anstalt, Stuttgart. 7. PIRAZOLI, M. “Chine”. Office du Livre, Fribourg. 8. STIERLIN, H. “Enciclopedia of World Architecture”. Taschen. 9. STIERLIN, H. “Islamic India”. Taschen. 10.TILLOTSON, G. “Mughal India”. Penguin.


The Great Structures in Architecture


The Council of Trento (1563) ended its sessions establishing a block of dogmas, rules and recommendations, intended to channel not only the thought of Church but also its way to pronounce itself, to act and to appear before the people and the powers. The Council was of no use to heal the wounds received during the religious schism, but it was of use to delimit a solid territorial barrier within which the official beliefs and impositions remained unconquerable. The governments and the monarchies would collaborate actively in the repression of the heresies and the new religious companies of militant type would be sent on ferocious campaigns of evangelisation all over the world and inside their own territory. With respect to the architecture, the consequences were traumatic. The modern ideals defended by Alberti and Bramante were considered as of pagan tendency and alien to the religious devotion, and the rationalism that came with them, inappropriate to a dogmatic religion that had just reinforced its theological and immutable criteria. It was necessary to appeal to faith instead of reason and therefore, it was necessary to reach the heart instead of the mind. Vignola, whose Regola delle cinque ordini was published in 1562, had overnight become the most prestigious architect. He was ordered in 1564 to continue, in association with Piero Ligorio, the works of Saint Peter, and straight away, the most important work and new plan of the moment: the church for the Roman seat of the Company of Jesus. Il Gesu, begun in 1568, was designed in a purely Renaissance style since at that time there was no alternative solution and the Council just advised against using references to pagan temples. The Church had not been able to create an architectonic style so suddenly and had to use the tools within reach. The Company did not like Vignola, but the Pope Julio III protected him knowing his capacity and flexibility. However, for the first time, a humanist had to submit to religious and theological impositions when defining his design. The Jesuit Giovani Tristano controlled all the decisions and the cardinal Alexander Farnesio dared to change the designs including that of the façade. As Vignola’s

Fig. 9.1. Proposal by Vignola for the Church of Il Gesu, in Rome (Wittkover).

façade, serene and classic, was changed for Giacomo della Porta's, whose project was less imaginative and more superficial. What was left of the freedom that Michelangelo had taken until the limit? Suddenly, the ideas the pioneers had fought for were subordinated to a flat and totalitarian ideology. The vaulted interior itself was in question. The Company preferred a church with a wooden carcass and a flat ceiling where the acoustic conditions were improved and reminded of the paleochristian basilicas (Fig. 9.1). From the structural point of view, we cannot consider this work a display and from the stylistic point of view, even less. It is solely merited by establishing a model in plan and section that was followed by the churches of the baroque. If Vignola submitted, were the rest going to act in a different way? Quickly, and still within Renaissance


The Perfect Symbioses Form-Function in the High Baroque Architecture

patterns, new types had to be invented to adapt to the new criteria. If the change of the Il Gesu front, heir to the triumphal arches, showed preference for a framed scenography, the circular plans became forbidden. The intelligence of Vignola saved them by resorting to axiality. The invention of the oval plan within a rectangle, so that from the outside it could not be seen as round, was a success. The watchers of the new orthodoxy rushed upon the solution to declare it a discovery of the Council. In the previous chapter, we have seen the small chapel of Saint Andrea in Via Flaminia (Fig. 6.72) and the Church of Saint Anne of the Grooms (Fig. 6.73). They were followed by Saint Giacomo degli Incurabili by Volterra of Capriani, of majestic dimensions (25.5 x 18.7 m) (Fig. 6.74) and the gigantic Saint Mary of Vicoforte of Mondovi by Ascanio Vitozzi, of 36 x 24 m (Fig. 6.75). We have seen too the speed with which the countries that defended the new dogmas adopted these elliptical solutions. Spain had been the country that had fought more for the celebration of Council and that had contributed more material . Considering this situation, although the texts kept on including, within the Renaissance, works that exceed the year 1600, in these cases we must speak of

Renaissance only in the epidermis, but not in the content. Let us observe the difference between the Palladio of Saint Giorgio that follows a typical longitudinal scheme (Fig. 6.63) and The Redeemer, following rather Vignola’s model, although trying to safeguard Alberti’s ideal (Fig. 6.64). In any case, Venice never renounced its cosmopolitan vein. The fact that Palladio, in 1570, still wrote that the perfect shape was the round one, because “since all its points are at the same distance with respect to the centre, it is the most suitable to give testimony of the unity, the eternity, the uniformity and the justice of God”, did not prevent him from solving the Barbarian Shrine, of a perfect circular form, by means of surrounding it with a Latin cross that contradicted his intentions (Fig. 9.2). The Baroque, which term is subject to excessively frivolous speculations, starts when the ideas developed in the council were shaped in a map that related its intentions, forms and sensorial impacts. Not until Bernini merged architecture and sculpture was that achieved. With the addition of painting, the ideal fusion was obtained. Other sensations such as sound, light, smell, sight, theatre, choral representation and clothes were added later. For a long time I thought of the Baroque as a declining, confused and grotesque style created to deceive the masses and to feed their irrational mystic. It was not until the meticulous study of its underlying matter convinced me of the unity of a complex that had clear keys, nowadays completely deciphered. Michelangelo was a key figure in this process: mystical, tormented, ascetic, visionary, prophetic and creative. When he reluctantly painted the Sistine Chapel ceiling, he opened a crack that neither his contemporaries nor his successors understood, until Borromini, somebody mentally close to him, did. The ceiling is not a painting, but a complete architecture. Using an innovating artifice, he preferred to use a fictitious structural reinforcement painted on a continuous surface (Fig. 9.3). Not only did he use those reinforcement arches, but he also crossed them with some straight cornices that delimit the extension of the room and turn out to be the only apparent hoops of all his architecture. He thus created a spatial net that turned a monotonous room into a rich set of nets made of interwoven ribs. Nothing to do with the vaults of Brunelleschi or Alberti. It was a radical invention that fills the space with the strength and the gravity that the Herculean figures try to overcome. Alien to the real architecture of the room, he imposed with the pilasters a rate of alternate separation, hierarchising the whole structure. The alternating cornice made the ceiling seem higher. The disposition of the figures contributes it. They are figures of a much accentuated volume, modelled to face people. The sibyls and the prophets pretend to be vertical as if they were not in the vault. Ending the cornice, the

Fig. 9.2. Barbarian Shrine, by Palladio (Wundram and Pape).


so far that up there. We consider Borromini the inventor of the Baroque. were adopted by the commercial architects who received the commissions: Bernini. which has so many different ways to express itself depending on the different regions. twenty ignudes play the same role as a row of statues crowning a building. The rest of the countries are more self-controlled. etc. In this chapter. Baroque. Beside this curiosity. 9. France shows a rather particular case that opens a new front. the dimension of the spaces is virtual. 6. the small structure.3. Spain. Fig. What happened was that in spite of the grandiloquent and propagandistic interest. we will not mention specially the ornamental or sensorial aspects that the new architecture had established. in which what first draws one’s attention is the placing of the church in the most difficult point. The fact that the French did not accept Bernini’s proposals speaks of how little they agreed with the personalist and non-systematisable styles. The catholic countries let it develop its pomposity.The Great Structures in Architecture Fig. whose patterns were an example for his generation. wins a firmer unity. It is in Italy. 9. which will be materialised in all sorts of evocations. in 1634. In the personal field. divided vaults. So.5 shows its plan. No matter how many concessions we are willing to make.. that could have been solved as Vignola did in Saint Andrea (Fig. Perhaps the theologians of Trent were more bothered by the nudes of the set and were not able to see that Michelangelo had just written his architectonic programme. Ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. irregular macles. between the openings of the structure. 182 . Portugal.. The Sistine Chapel ceiling combines for the first time architecture. Juvara. The Baroque is the style of the Counter Reformation. by Michelangelo (before restoration). It is so far in distance and time. 9. His difficult character and his excessive expressionism did not make of him an easy companion. complex plans. sculpture and painting in an indissoluble whole. It is in the subtlety of the solutions where we find a field to work on. but the geometrical effects. however impossible it might seem. he was marginalized socially. duly codified.4 show Bernini’s sketches for the Louvre that were ignored by Le Vaux’s projects. it is a fact that until the appearance of Borromini the baroque did not fully exist in architecture. The vault is thus reduced to less than a third of its surface and therefore seems very distant. the South of Germany and many countries of Eastern Europe where it thrives. the Iberian colonies. but not non-imaginative.72). but the physical dimensions are reduced. What has all this to do with the structural conception of the buildings? Did the Council also give instructions on the matter? Evidently not. England for example develops a very classic. However. Bernini was a great architect of the later Renaissance that hardly let the fury of his disciple Borromini contaminate him. enormous holes. It was a minimal and difficult project. From this viewpoint the Baroque. but as a source of ideas that. but the evolution of the forms had to be made in accordance with their static characteristics. The first exclusive work was that of Saint Carlino alle Quatro Fontane. so splendid in sculpture. Not because he was the official architect. Fig. waves in very complex faces. the corner. They may give a sensation of amplitude and all the possible techniques are used to obtain it. until 1630 nothing specially new happened in architecture. Even Bernini. than on a large scale: flat or waving ceilings. made too many stylistic concessions in architecture. he was able to solve any problem. Cortona. It means that structurally much more effective resources can be applied like that. whether it be in a virtual way. the first scenes of the Creation can be seen. It only appears in France when this country solves its religious problem.

9. but they are secondary (Fig.13 shows the cracking scheme of the set and Fig. he chose a starred plan that miraculously fitted within (Fig. the pathology began from the moment of the construction. Although the dimensions are not of importance. 9. 9. that is to say. The small dimension (15 x 10 m) of the dome and the thickness of the faces help to avoid possible damage.9b). For that reason. which in fact rests on eight supports as seen in Fig. the dome is perforated in five different points to permit illumination.11). The loads descend mainly along six ribs to arrive at the six corner pilasters (Fig. but it was not constructed. Fig. Borromini was one of those architects who was given seemingly impossible missions.12).10). The star was generated by means of two triangles measuring 25 m a side. 9. So that.6 m. the dome leaves any known pattern. the paleochristian basilica that could not be demolished. In this case. it is worth studying Saint Ivo della Sapienza. Nothing to do yet with Brunelleschi’s domes nor even with Michelangelo’s. 9.15).6). he designed a transformation that did not reach the vault that had to replace the studwork.The Perfect Symbioses Form-Function in the High Baroque Architecture Fig. In case the form of the dome was considered a little capricious. what we really have is a ribbed hexagonal dome. In addition. 9. which resulted in an inner circle of 16. However. Fig. 9. As in the previous case. This is what any other architect would have done. 9. As the architect of the library. 9. the ending that crowns it have an oneiric form (Fig. it would have been easier to place the projected circular plan. 9. The vertices of the inner hexagon generate semicircular arches that are the basic wall elements. the cornice that crowns the first level defines the form of the plan.16a shows 183 .4. In this space. started in 1640 with its long courtyard corresponding to the Alexandrian Library and designed by Giacomo della Porta (Fig.9a). the Finite Elements analysis made by Croci. There are some more elements of reinforcement as a continuation of the face pilasters. 9. 9. and in the Baldaquino and the Palace Barberini on that of Bernini. In the restoration of Saint John of Letran. Borromini blamed the materials for the hard cracking that appeared in the set. the almost 17 m gap between two opposite load pilasters is too much for a construction made of such poor materials (bad bricks and worse mortar) to resist. Fig. 9.7 compares the size of the central pillars of Saint Peter with the plan of this church.8. Sketch by Bernini for the Louvre Palace (Blunt). Borromini had already worked on Saint Peter in the service of Maderno. whose faces wave capriciously. He was an experienced constructor. being any horizontal section of this dome homothetic with the plan (Fig.14. In order to maintain the imaginative vein that began in Saint Carlo. The plan was difficult to identify for those entering that space and Borromini decided to make a solid cornice to separate the first level from the rest and to allow the vision of the outline (Fig. he created a unitary space in which at second level some pendentives give way to an elliptical vault. since at ground level it is difficult to discover it.

Building section of Saint Carlino alle Quatro Fontane church (Castex). 9. Sketch comparing the size of the central pillars of Saint Peter’s dome and Saint Carlino alle Quatro Fontane as a whole (Bosel and Frommel). Final proposal by Borromini for Saint Carlino alle Quatro Fontane (Bosel and Frommel).5. 9. Fig.6. Fig.7. 184 .The Great Structures in Architecture Fig. 9.

Proposal by Giacomo della Porta for Saint Ivo and the Alexandrian Library. The Church of Saint Agnese in Navona Square.16b is the interpretation of this proposal made in Piranesi’s workshop.8. Fig. Saint Agnese developed the idea that Bernini had conceived in 1636 to finish Saint Peter (Fig.The Perfect Symbioses Form-Function in the High Baroque Architecture Borromini's design for the section ending in a spherical cap. Solution by Borromini for the church of Saint Ivo della Sapienza (Bosel and Frommel). the fact that they were never constructed gives an idea of the interest in incorporating them.17). Fig. Fig. In fact. Fig. Although it is true that the big projects of the Renaissance always projected some tower.18).9a. see Saint Peter in chapter 6. 9. with the artifice of an oval patio tangent to the façades. does not have a structural interest. there was another facet in which he stood out: the construction of palaces and buildings for religious congregations.9b. 9. 9. 9.19 shows the structure of the main hall of the Carpegna Palace. 9. The central ribbed structure was pioneering for Baroque structures. the hall with two narthex and the huge stairs prove his clear-sight. It is characterised by the high drum and the pointed dome. 9. which was new in itself (Fig. 185 . The introduction of the towers as fundamental elements in the composition of the façade was a prelude to a substantial change in respect of the height in the construction of these elements. where in addition to the distributive solution which was able to increase the apparent size of the lot. Structural sketch of Saint Carlino alle Quatro Fontane (Escrig). 9. Beside these projects of churches. whereas Fig. although stylistically it is worth studying.

9.21). 9. The other great architects of those days. all are equal and transmit the same load. Fig. 186 . 9. as in Saint Mary of the Seven Pains (Fig. Where this model reaches the maximum refinement is in the School of Propaganda Fide (Fig. Carlo Fig.11. 9. we can observe there the complex hierarchy of faces and spans (Fig. in spite of their doubtless contributions. 9. do not reach so exquisite levels.12. Nevertheless. The Saint Philippe Neri Oratory is another contemporary example that gives us an advantage: having been constructed. a small arch that matches two ribs in the same way as in the centre of the faces.10. 9.20). The result is that the cover rests on twelve points in such a way that among them there are both big and small arches as in that alternate sequence so characteristic of the Baroque (Fig.22). Borromini places the entrances in the corners and in their upper part. Drawing by Borromini for the dome of Saint Ivo (Bosel and Frommel). Structural sketch of Saint Ivo (Escrig). going from support to support and. what is more interesting. Building section in perspective from Saint Ivo (Catex). mainly because the corners look very strange. Solving within a rectangular ground plan required great ability. We are speaking of Pietro of Cortona. 9. The Chapel of Three Kings solved the contradictions underlying all his previous solutions in which the structures were formed by trimmered ribs.The Great Structures in Architecture Fig.23). Now all the ribs are continuous.

6. Pathology of the Alexandrian building of Saint Ivo (Croci). Synthesis of all the plastic arts and extensive use of colour.13. Introduction of elements in height. Waving forms in ground plan and section. 3. 9. and others to be seen below: 1. 9. 10. Multiplication of the levels in height. 11.Scenographical and perspectival character of every element with a special use of several simultaneous vanishing points. It would not be anything special but for being divided in ten sections that give it an atypical modulation. An almost exclusive use of bricks as a structural material and a poor furring with very worked surfacing. 8. we can already put forward some of the basic characteristics of the Baroque. 7. where the spaces are very interrelated. 4. Predominance of the solutions with a single axis of symmetry. since the Renaissance uses multiples of four exclusively.14. At this point. Fig.24).The Perfect Symbioses Form-Function in the High Baroque Architecture Crack pattern on the plan of the building Crack pattern of the vault Fig. 9. Complicated structures that use elements from every culture and. with the dimensions 25 x 17.5 m (Fig. in many occasions. Extremely complex ground plans. Rainaldi and Bernini himself. The new stayle influences the decoration. 9. who turned Saint Andrew of the Quirinal (1658-70) into his most controversial work by using an oval ground plan with its main axis in the short direction. whether they be towers or domes very deformed in elevation. innovative elements. one hundred years after the Council. Violation and free use of the classic orders. 2. some already described. Analysis of the structural behaviour by Finite Elements (Croci). 187 .

Fig. Fig.16a. 9. 9. Structural sketch of Saint Agnese. 188 .16b.The Great Structures in Architecture Fig. Drawing of the Saint Ivo dome and lantern (Bosel and Frommel). 9. Saint John of Letran reconstruction by Piranesi of Borromini’s not constructed project (Bosel and Frommel). Fig. Proposal by Borromini for Saint John of Letran (Bosel and Frommel). in Navona Square (Escrig).15. 9.17.

14. Structural sketch of the main hall of the Carpegna Palace (Escrig). 15. Fig.21.Lateral perforation of the domes to place oculos and windows.Painted architectures that enlarge the space. In addition. Building sketch of Saint Mary of the Seven Pains (Castex). we must mention certain special features that only occur in the Baroque: 12.19. 13. 9.18. 9.20.Domes with several layers that look like a cascade. Fig. Building sketch of the Saint Philippe Neri Oratory (Castex). The first Roman Baroque can already be considered complete with these four great figures. 9. 9.Better use of light reflections. But Rome. which 189 .The Perfect Symbioses Form-Function in the High Baroque Architecture Fig. Fig. Bernini’s project for Saint Peter’s finishing (Toman).

on an octagon of 15 m radius and a pointed dome 25 m high. that is to say. 6. Pellegrino Tibaldi.23. of rotunda with ambulatory and narthex. which materialised in a project like that of Fig.2). 9. 9.27). Nonetheless. 9. the greater council activist. Building sketch of Bernini’s Church of Saint Andrea of the Quirinal (Escrig). if we compared it with The Redentor (Fig. had collapsed in 1573. very sober.22.25). the analyses as shell would have resulted in a traction in the base between 0.28.26). dressing it with robes of Palladian look.29). The most important work that they undertook was the restoration of Saint Lorenzoe of Milan (Fig. Fig. practically circumscribable in an equilateral triangle (Fig. We find an immediate explanation in the fact that Charles Borromeo. If it had been a revolution form. 5. the articulation of spaces is typical of the Baroque. 9.2 and 0. was born there and published some detailed instructions with a practical purpose. the interior. whose pointed vault. 9. Although the Baroque features are masked inward.64). has a verticality in accordance with the characteristics previously enumerated (Fig. as well as others of formal content. since the ambulatory with its chapels and groined vaults is rather Brunelleschian than postcouncilian. Structural sketch of the School of Propaganda Fide chapel (Castex). Its outer aspect is imposing (Fig. The former Milanese Baroque was in certain ways ahead of the Roman. Balthasar Longena built in Venice the Church of Saint Maria della Salute in 1631.24. that replacing the Roman vault. They include ideas such as the following: “The churches have to be cruciform as seen in the big Roman Basilicas”. In this case the structure consists of a very light hemispheric cover and the camber is obtained by means of a wooden dust cover in the style of Byzantine architecture. 9. Since the existing plan had to be respected. had an expanding capacity that logically radiated to the surroundings. Also. had finished the jubilee year in 1600.3 Fig. we would note the difference and the new contributions. Building sketch of the School of Propaganda Fide (Castex). we must not forget that the 190 . the architect of Charles Borromeo. since Lombardy was a sworn enemy of classicism. was a faithful guardian of this orthodoxy just like his successor Martino Bassi. Venetian case is very singular and the plan itself. 9. very close to it. 9.The Great Structures in Architecture Fig. is typical of the purest Roman classicism. it adopted a scheme very similar to that of Saint Peter by Sangallo (Fig.

25. Fig.The Perfect Symbioses Form-Function in the High Baroque Architecture Fig. Developed project for Saint Lorenzo.27. 9. Plan and section of Longena’s Church of Saint Maria della Salute (Wittkover). General view of Longena’s Church of Saint Maria della Salute (Escrig).28. 9. in Milan (Cardinali). in Milan (Lotz).26. 191 . Fig. 9. Fig. Tibaldi’s project for Saint Lorenzo. 9.

slightly less than what we have previously predicted. Martino Bassi had to justify in detail his static approach to its opponents Magenta and Rinaldi.37. where the greater tensions take place in the base and also with a value of 0.33). because the set into the base is very flexible and the existence of the windows debilitates the stretches. Analysis by Ferrari for the same dome (Cardinali). but also that it was based on uneven ground under which flowed a stream. Fig. we can study the state of the analytical technique at this time. Its outer aspect. 9. 9. and the texts of treatise writers.35) is moving. 9. not considering the traction of the material. In 1995. In 1771. The elliptical interior of the dome has a span of 37 x 24 m. the neglect of many years and their obstruction triggered differential settlings that led to the alarming pathology shown in Fig. and the value of these modern tools is that they provide much detail in each of the points. the problem is not so simple. including present concrete shells (Fig. 9. The most amazing thing is that such a complex work was constructed in a province by order of an individual. It has an average thickness of 1. That meant that the foundations were crossed by accessible underground channels of drainage that kept the ground dry. We find a close correspondence among all the analyses that we have done. which makes it the greatest elliptical dome ever constructed.30. The construction problems did not consist only of the big efforts it had to undergo.7 m.28. being finished in six months. Nevertheless. Not being a revolution form. Cardinale and others set out a calculation by Finite Elements very similar to that proposed by Ferrari two hundred years before (Fig. 9. Note that the compressions in these graphs are of positive sign. and was constructed with bricks and ribbing towards the outside. large dimensions and motley inner decoration make of it a clear example of the former Baroque that evolved in all its phases. begun in 1596 and finished in 1733. is an outward thrust of 1 tonne. 9. 9.The Great Structures in Architecture N/mm2. 9. 9. the church of Saint Mary of Vicoforte. The dome construction did not begin until 1731. Thanks to the documents that exists on this construction. However. no matter that he was the Duke of Savoy. and the relation between the supports and descendent load sections. including strong flexion momenta (Fig. in Milan (Escrig).36). from the beginning steel hoops were placed as seen in Fig. which peculiarly correctly used the conditions of symmetry to reach the conclusion that the thrusts reached 8 tonnes in the base of each rib.29. and the experience from other buildings. Of course.34) and the outer aspect (Fig.32. 9. and the final result.30. this justification was reduced to the hypotheses of proportionality between the resistance of the material and its weight. 9. we can consider the thrust of each one of the eight ribs of 12 tonnes.31) which concluded what can be seen in Fig. is a magnificent example of a Baroque construction. Fig.15 N/mm2. due to the length of its construction. Analytical sketch by Bassi for the behaviour of the dome of Saint Lorenzo. depending on whether we consider or not the weight of the cupola. and by an architect with hardly a known work except for some military fortifications. The inner spectacle (Fig. the mathematician Bernardino Ferrari used the knowledge of the time to make the analysis shown in Fig. For a start. On the other hand. In Piedmont. 192 . which is a small amount in comparison with spanned space. Its conclusion was that the stability of the whole could not be assured without the contribution of the corner towers.

its economy also suffered. scientific and technical.The Perfect Symbioses Form-Function in the High Baroque Architecture Fig. from where he was called to Turin by Carlo Emanuel II. as court architect. Although Italy was safer. More likely. who was succeeded by Guarini a generation later. We have given this account to locate the following projects. living there for his remaining seventeen years of life. In 1639 he entered the order of the Theatines in Modena. where he left his mark and learned from the Islamic architecture. saw the flourishing of a golden age for architecture.32. If Guarini had not left Italy we probably would not have had the architect that we know. Fig. there he fell in love with the French Gothic style to such extent that in his specially gifted mind a process of general conciliation must have been elaborated. Guarino Guarini. It is important for that reason to know his movements.31. under the good government of the House of Savoy. The way he solved the plan was original. from there he went to Rome where he knew the first work by Borromini. The waving façade of Saint Charles of Borromini spreads over the whole 193 . In 1657 he went to Spain and Portugal. The XVIIth century was especially hard for the European population and economy. Discretisation for the Finite Elements calculation of Saint Lorenzo dome (Cardinali). vital. Nevertheless Piedmont. The vaults are built with diagonal ribbings and the transept of elliptical endings is combined to form a unitary space . In 1662 he travelled to Paris. tried simultaneously to conciliate these three approaches. little in relation to the span.38 shows the basilical scheme of the 1656 Divine Providence Church in Lisbon. in the rationalist philosophy of Descartes. We have already seen Vitozzi’s role. Most of the countries were devastated by epidemics and crisis. 9. mathematician and architect. 9. Fig. The thickness of the shell. In 1647 he returned to Modena to be ordained a priest. the decisions to solve the discontinuity of the oculos and the small buttresses characterise a work that the historians have marginalised for being eclectic but that the contemporary architects would have to study profusely. whose work he knew in Paris. 9. monk. Results obtained from the calculation (Cardinali).

The dome has a double starred pattern. but by superimposing many levels. 194 . as Pietro of Cortona had done. Flexion momenta obtained by Finite Elements. The irregular patterns of the adjacent spaces. is developed in three levels. Outer aspect of Saint Mary of Vicoforte (Escrig). And the third level dome is the only one that presents some conventional support for the high lantern. The great development in height is not done by elevating the drums and pointing the domes. inaugurates a style that Borromini only dared to use on the outside. The straight line has disappeared and not even the arches are flat. 9. Upward vanishing plan of Saint Mary of Vicoforte (Escrig). The Church of the Somasco in Mesina uses a starred pattern that would later be repeated in numerous works. the series of Gothic ribbing arches define the main dome that. Fig.34. Building sketch of Mondovi’s Saint Mary of Vicoforte (Pizzetti). The drum totally hides the main dome and the six supports of the dome are formed by the grouping of three columns (Fig. for the restoration project of Saint Mary of Vicoforte (Pizzetti and Fea). the whole has a very Eastern appearance untypical of Italian architecture.The Great Structures in Architecture Fig. the rate of alternating reburied columns and a general form of swell or soft surface. The drum. It is interesting that on the outside there are no domes. in addition. 9. dating from 1662. is treated as a face at ground level. with its pairing rate.35. 9.39).33. Fig. in this case of octagonal type. 9. the Fig. building in ground plan and elevation. To complicate the work a bit more. only staggered blocks as in a ziggurat. This early church gathers all the typical elements of XVIIIth century Central European Baroque architecture. This way. 9.36. In the Royal Saint Anne in Paris.

With his outstanding ability. despite its small dimensions. the dome is closing by means of superimposing arches that always rest in the keystone of the inferior level.41).40). In this case. we find another surprising small work. the 15 m in diameter plan is enlarged in height to the point of looking endless by means of the artifices that we are going to describe. 9. it already had been built up to the first cornice with an octagonal modulation. with hardly any modifications in the constructed faces. Greek cross plan arms are covered with ribbed elliptical domes in a geometrical interaction to be studied in plan (Fig. The drum becomes complex with six paired columns ending in arches. by Guarino Guarini (Meek). he succeeded in implanting an enneagonal modulation so as to erect a dome on three transverse arches. the Chapel of the Turin Shroud Sindone (Fig. 9. Dating from 1667.37. From that point. doing this for six levels until arriving at a circular cornice on which rests a small dome of vegetal aspect. made of a mesh that lets the light of a small lantern pass through (Fig.42a). 9. Project for the Divine Providence Church in Lisbon. 9. The interior has a magical aspect derived from its structural bareness in which 195 .The Perfect Symbioses Form-Function in the High Baroque Architecture Fig. When Guarini took charge of this chapel.

It seems that at the ground level all the loads are transmitted by sixteen slender columns. in that case. and in this they are all concave. 196 . it is practically like that. inspired by the Mosque of Cordova.43). and ending in a cupola that is also perforated (Fig. which demands a very light shell. We are not talking. the forces spread along multiple arms as an unfolded fold-out (Fig. is even more spectacular for being less sculptoral and having more architectonical definition (Fig.45). in Mesina. Between the ribbings there are openings in all the spaces so that the dome becomes a network that catches the sifted light. with its waving drum and its eastern looking ending. Sindone. the initial polygon is a hexagon and in this it is an octagon. 9. 9. the dome is ribbed and. In that case. of course. and from here start the four trapezoidal trumpet shells that conform to the four transverse arches supporting the small drum on which the dome rests. the thrusts of the ribs are derived towards the vertical by means of a drum load that hides the curvature from the outside. The exterior. As in previous cases. although very cambered in this case. We know the disadvantages of these wedging arches and for that reason they should be discharged. like that of a pagoda with abutted hollows. Once again. The Church of Saint Lorenzo. Eight great concave arches on these columns transmit the loads. in fact. close in style to the Chapel of the Turin S.The Great Structures in Architecture Fig. There are sixteen starred bending ribs that.44). 9.42b). 9. rest on the vertical of the columns. 9. the sides were alternatively concave and convex. the cornice on them is straight. it made extensive use of the multiplicity of levels so that each one of them is a new surprise. by means of the trumpet shells. also solved with ribbings. Church of the Somasco. of dimensions that put the structure under risk. As is usual with Guarini. It reflects too the influence of Borromini in Saint Ivo. but at least this is complex and reminds us of the aspects seen in Chapter 8 about trimmered Chinese architecture. by Guarino Guarini (Meek). is at least oneiric and surrealist (Fig. Cleverly.38. allowing additionally a gigantic lantern.

9. 9. Chapel of the S.The Perfect Symbioses Form-Function in the High Baroque Architecture Fig. Project for the Royal Saint Anne. Sindone in Turin (Meek). Fig. 197 . in Paris.39.40. by Guarino Guarini (Meek).

The Great Structures in Architecture Fig. 9. But we must say that this church is the ideal Baroque synthesis that in addition has an associated spaces complexity of the maximum interest.52) or Saint Gaetano of Vicenza (Fig. so that we know that hollow ribs and chambered vaults were used (Fig.53).41. Sindone in Turin (Escrig). Fig.48). in civil architecture he made great contributions most likely influencing Central European palaces in Juvara or even the French ones. Nothing like Leonardo’s bubbles plans. Guarini was an expert constructer who tried new constructive processes to allow him to 198 . or experimental projections of the same type (Fig. which means a brief incursion in the longitudinal plan of unitary spaces (Fig.42. Structural system of the Turin S. Fig. 9. 9. Sindone in Turin. Also.49) or the eliptical one of Saint Mary of Nice (Fig.48). 9. so that we are not going to insist on the spatiality. 9.50).47). The polynuclear plans are an unusual new way: Saint Phillipe Neri in Casale of Monferrato (Fig. 9. the form and the light. as the Sanctuary of Oropa (Fig. like the pentagonal one of Saint Gaetano of Nice (Fig. Sindone in Turin. 9. Structural sketch of the S. seen from outside (Escrig). 9. We are studying in this text mainly the structural aspects. and even centralised regular plans never before experienced.43. Bernardo Vittone published in 1737 a compendium of his teacher’s projects that proves his capacity for experimentation and his knowledge of geometry: there we find basilical plans like that of Saint Philippe Neri in Turin.46). although it might be that he was influenced by them. 9. 9. build his fantasies with the same resources. which submitted in hierarchy to a central one. Design proposal for the S. 9. or centralised plans whose spaces he governs with absolute mastery. from unfolded paper (Escrig). The construction of Saint Lorenzo is well documented.

44a. The indirect illumination falling from above through a hanging ceiling rose stands out among other details. economic crises and failings of the colonial exploitation. We must also highlight his talent as a theoretician. was chaotic. The XVIIth century. with drawings ascribed to the young architect Bernardo Vittone. in Turin. by Guarino Guarini (Meek). In 1674 he published the mainly practical text Il modo de misurare le fabriche. The 1682 Racconigi Palace in Carignano. published in 1737. the XVIth century had been flourishing and Charles V first and Philippe II later imposed an austere style that made substantial contributions to the Renaissance. This work completes the Disssegni d´architettura civile et eclesiastica from 1686. that had no text. we must add the incessant wars to defend the territories that were 199 . a text of seven hundred pages and a summary of philosophical and mathematical ideas. construction.The Perfect Symbioses Form-Function in the High Baroque Architecture Fig. since in his period of treatise writer he wrote about his perspective discoveries and his representation techniques. in addition to theatre plays and works of literature. summarises many of his designs in a way only obtained before by Palladio. 9. as well as his constructive discoveries. It is curious. that he calls himself Matematico dell´Altezza Reale di Savoia. shows a tangent hall that will be an example for many others (Fig.54). Still in 1677. in fact. To the epidemics. In 1671 he had already published Euclides adautus & methodicus mathematicae. ornamentation and design. Guarini shows that besides being a master of geometry. he published the Trattato di fortificatione che ora si usa in Fiandra. among other things. as in the rest of Europe. is an example of this potential. 9 . but his capacity for planimetrical expression was at least equal to that of the perspective and scenography draftsmen of the time. The Carignano Palace in Turin. with its great central hall illuminated from the ceiling. Church of Saint Lorenzo. fifty years after his death. a book of measurements and valuations. Maybe he was not as good a draftsman as Borromini or Bernini. What happened meanwhile in other countries? In Spain. famines. he was also one in light treatment. His treatise Architettura Civile. Francia et Italia.

by Guarino Guarini (Meek) (Escrig). and were imaginative but never baroque in the big castles (Fig. On the other hand.44b. It is not worth the trouble to underline anything from the space and structural point of view.The Great Structures in Architecture Fig. Mansart and Lemercier took some of Cortona’s style. The French Baroque has its particular characteristics.44a and 9. the new state decided to keep out of the religious conflicts. in Turin (Meek). not using therefore this type of architecture to materialise its great projects. Though there existed the same demographic and social problems. The Herrerian style was kept in the centre of the country. The urban renovation and the civil buildings concentrated its activities. In any case. Scamozzi. They still have Fig. whereas a decorativist classicism was developed in the periphery. in Turin. to be lost. Building detail drawn by Vittone for Saint Lorenzo. two extreme cases.55). We have already seen the rejection of Bernini and Palladio. it was a country in a period of consolidation that from Henry IV to Louis XIV made a great effort to become a modern nation.45. Palladio and Vignola. 9. 9. 9. In France the matter was different. Italian architecture is well illustrated with the books of Serlio. Church of Saint Lorenzo. 200 .

Saint Philippe Neri. in Turin.The Perfect Symbioses Form-Function in the High Baroque Architecture Fig. 201 . by Guarino Guarini (Meek). 9.46.

9.48. Saint Gaetano of Nice. Fig.47. by Guarino Guarini (Meek). by Guarino Guarini (Meek).The Great Structures in Architecture Fig. 202 . 9. Sanctuary of Oropa.

by Guarino Guarini (Meek). 9. Saint Philippe Neri.49. in Casale de Monferrato. Fig. 9.51.50. by Guarino Guarini (Meek). Saint Mary of Nice. 203 . 9.The Perfect Symbioses Form-Function in the High Baroque Architecture Fig. by Guarino Guarini (Meek). Fig. Saint Gaetano of Vicenza.

53. Raccognini Palace. 9. Bubbles plans. Fig.The Great Structures in Architecture Fig. by Guarini Guarini (Meek). 9.52. 204 . by Guarino Guarini (Meek). in Carignano.

and the knowledge of the pathology that was then appearing in Saint Peter works and the subsequent mathematical discussions seen in Chapter 6 gave much weight in the final profile decision. In England. This is not exactly so. Later on. 9.60. Fig.56. the following one is conical with a rounded vertex and the outer is a skin on a studwork (Figs. Carignano Palace.66). 9. are hardly found in the final work.54. 9. 5. this model was substituted by a basilical one with a very particular dome (Fig. 9. Dome of a staircase in Blois. Saint Peter's basilical plan itself was reminiscent of the Gothic cathedral which it replaced. This model would be followed in the Church of Les Invalides. The 32 m was not changed. 9. from 1657. The scheme of Mansart for the burial Chapel of Saint Denís dates from 1665 (Fig. In this design the dome is triple. his Saint Paul's Cathedral being the most outstanding work of those years in Europe. as in The Disabled (Fig. the undisputed figure in this is Wren.63) but came much closer to Saint Peter´s profile. This dome is 28 m in diameter and has a profile in catenary that anticipates that projected by Cristopher Wren ten years later with a very similar scheme. Fig. 9. 9. by Mansart (Blunt). but is the best that could be done with simple geometries. The inner of the three shells is hemispherical with a big oculo. which conserved that plan (Fig. 9. Fig. the architects were severe and some Gothic elements never disappeared.59 in the denominated Great Model. Wren was the scientific chairman of the Royal Society. The general aspect is very classical and the Baroque concessions.56 shows the project of a staircase dome by Mansart for Blois.55).55. out of which Guarini might have taken the idea of some of the palaces that came later.62) that avoided the buttresses to arrive finally at the present design. anticipating the final construction. This was a very cambered catenary.The Perfect Symbioses Form-Function in the High Baroque Architecture a medieval concept of architecture by the lack of unity of the parts. In this case. in Turin. initiating thus the three shells dome with indirect illumination scheme (Fig. with a relation of 2:1. 9. of which Robert Hooke was then the secretary and Isaac Newton a member who later succeeded him. Ornamentally. 9. We have already said that the religion of each territory defined much of the architectonic characteristics and England was not in the catholic sphere.58).57 shows the plan of the Palace of Vaux-le-Viconte. the dome was first projected in 1673. measuring 32 m in diameter and having the centralised cellular plan seen in Fig. England never fully joined the Baroque craziness except for the features of some spaces. which tracing had to be within the central nucleus of the sections.65 and 9. Sketches by Mansart for the burial chapel of Saint Denis (Toman). being very clear in the Great Model. 9. and previous to some Italian similar proposals. by Guarino Guarini (Escrig).64). Fig. dating from 1635. 205 . Therefore the importance that Wren attached to the tracing of the resistant curve that Hooke suggested to him to be that of the hanging thread having a width equal to the diameter and the height of the whole building. whose scale model we can see in Fig. 9. Fig.

Fig. Palace of Vaux-le-Viconte (Blunt). 206 . 9. in London (Summerson). in Paris. by Mansart (Blunt). Wooden Great Model of the former project by Wren for Saint Paul’s (Summerson). Former project by Wren for Saint Paul’s.60.58.The Great Structures in Architecture Fig. Fig. 9.59. 9. Church of Les Invalides. 9. Fig.57.

Approach to Wren’s final project for Saint Paul’s (Summerson). 207 . a year that marks the separation between the High Baroque and the Full Baroque. Sketch by Wren for a three shells dome (Summerson). 9.63. Project with a cimborrio dome by Wren for Saint Paul’s (Summerson). 9.61. 9. Fig. This work was finished shortly after 1700. Fig.The Perfect Symbioses Form-Function in the High Baroque Architecture Fig.62. which we will see in the following chapter.

London.MARK. 13. 7. 11. “Architecture in Britain 15301830”. “Arte y Arquitectura en Francia 15001700”. ESCRIG.A. Köeman. Structural Architecture nº 2. HEINLE. 9. 6. Cátedra.TOMAN. Milan. Heritage. G. 12. “Tecnología en los edificios históricos”. J. “Arte y Arquitectura en Italia 16001750”. IASS Symposium. & FROMMEL. 1988. Sketch of the final project. J. Manuales de Arte Cátedra. 9. “Guarino Guarini”. London. 4. Colonia.& SCHLAICH. Madrid.65. Universidad de Sevilla. Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt. Spatial Structures. “El Barroco”. R. Ed. Domes from Antiquity to the Present. A. H. “Architectural Technology up to the Scientific Revolution”. Milano. IASS Symposium 1995. F.64. ESCRIG. 15. CASTEX. Akal Ed. Madrid. Approaching to the catenary shape of the resistant profile of Saint Paul’s dome (Summerson).The Great Structures in Architecture REFERENCES OF CHAPTER 9 Fig. Historia de la arquitectura 1420-1720”. WITTKOVER. Ch.WHINNEY. Heritage. 10. Cambridge. Milan. “Kuppeln”. Manuales de Arte Catedra. Present and Future. STAR. Electa. Stuttgart. “Wren”. et al “The Dome of St Ivo della Sapienza in Rome”. Fig. 5. “Towers and Domes in Architecture”. M. 14. 1. 2. “Renacimiento. SUMMERSON. 9. Madrid. et al “The Dome of Basilica of San Lorenzo in Milano: A comparison between modern and ancient mathematical models”. Spatial Structures. Mass. R. Present and Future. Istanbul. J. BOSEL. R. MEEK. Electa. IASS Symposium 1995. G. Ed. 3. PIZZETTI & FEA “Restoration and Strengthening of the Elliptical Dome of Vicoforte Sanctuary”. Penguin Books Ltd. R. 8. Cátedra. Barroco y Clasicismo. Southampton.CARDINALI. “Borromini e l´universo Barroco”. Milano. WIT Press. wherein the catenary curve going from the crowning to the base is stood out with a thickest line (Escrig).CROCI. 208 . F. BLUNT. E. MIT Press. Thames and Hudson.

that was the place where the Baroque expressed itself with the most oneiric. Louis XIV of France saw in his later years the fading of the greatness he had worked so much for. voluntarily put an end to his life when he was sixty-eight years old. a frustrated aspirant to the Spanish crown. 1700 is a decisive date for the changing of the Roman primacy. well known since 1701 when he organised the decoration of Mesina for the reception of Philippe V. It was the Centre of Europe. undergoing a worsening in his mental disease. found it difficult to get rid of Herrera’s style. Pietro of Cortona was almost contemporary. not even to be continuers of the previous line. Apart from consolidating its colonial empire.3) that evidently resembles his degree project. correspondence between the outside shapes and the inner spaces. England evolved from Wren toward a bare classicism. His ability as a draftsman. a great power having its centre in Austria and dominating from the Netherlands to Milan and Naples. as well as Naples and Sicily. A proof of his capacity for public relations. out of which had come some of its distinguishing marks and best results. It was England that got the most out of the confrontations among all of them. In a short space. the Rococo. The Spanish Baroque. presented a project to be admitted as an architect in the Academy of Saint Lucas in Rome. there was a perfect delimitation between the centralist and lay states and the catholic ones.2). On the other hand many political facts of great importance had taken place. was no longer going to develop in Rome. stands out at this moment. Duke of Savoy. a series of European wars broke out. which under the alternate governments of the Habsburgs and the Bourbons. The amazing thing is that in this academic project can be found the keys of the future style of a prolific and influential architect. by means of Charles VI. 10. affecting all the main powers. the Dukedom of Savoy. SCENOGRAPHICAL ARCHITECTURE OF THE 18th CENTURY In 1667. Bernini survived thirteen years and Guarini eleven. it turned its eyes to Italy to look for the most refined classicist samples. and architecture became mundane and over elaborated in what has been contemptuously named. that was made under the direction of Carlo Fontana and based on Saint Agnes of Piazza Navona. Borromini. In fact. As a result. made him very popular. with a catholic tradition. becomes an academy of future cultivated and modern kings. The thread sets off from Italy but quickly submerges in the local particularities. In 1707 Filippo Juvara.1). as happened with Portuguese architecture that could never get rid of the Manuelino Gothic. The continuation. 10. Although his origins must 209 . Therefore. still too submitted to professional guilds. which had not existed until then. including the north of Italy. In Italy. it kept the classic tradition. whenever it took place. whose vitality had flagged. it is easy to set up a geography of the styles that characterises the Baroques different proposals. a Sicilian priest and draftsman born in 1768. found its origins in colonial architecture. including Bohemia and Hungary. After the death in 1700 of the last of the Spanish Habsburgs.Scenographical Architecture of the 18th Century Chapter 10. and the Bourbon impetus imported some derivations half Italian. after having worked in a grandiose Royal Palace in Mesina to develop the Church of Superga (Fig. cleverly administered by a government that obtained for Turin the rank of a great city. A superficial look at Superga reveals a deep classicism: orders of a rigorous Renaissance tendency. 10. In any case. In this panorama. half French. over elaborate and fantastic forms. the Bourbons settled in Spain changing all its architectonic habits. centralised plan of octagonal modulation and Michelangelo buttresses. also on the basis of a very classicist order. the work by Borromini finished by Rainaldi (Fig. Spain. which was so rooted in the country. at a time when the collectors leapt on illustrations and engravings with a hoarding obsession. the Roman architecture was orphaned since neither Rainaldi nor Carlo Fontana had enough imagination. the future Spanish monarch (Fig. Germany snatched from France all the Central European territories and began to be. France proposed a complex and grandiose style. was the fact that in 1715 he was appointed First Civil Architect of Vittorio Amadeo II. finding them in Palladio.

10. 10. Fig. Decoration prepared for the reception of Philippe V in Mesina.2. The inner decoration is like that of Bernini. inwards there is a giant order that surpasses the transverse arches until their keystones.5). Juvara’s project for his Academy of Saint Lucas examination. in 1701 (Bonet Correa). 10. as we have already seen. like a hall. Anyway. The towers complete this baroque look.4). Fig. Nevertheless.The Great Structures in Architecture Fig. Superga is not important for being a great 210 . stresses and contradicts his belonging to the Roman High Baroque (Fig. carried out by means of hexagons (Fig. it is fully Baroque. slightly cambered like those built by De la Porta. 10. 10. from 1687 (Bonet Correa). Juvara’s drawing for the Church of Superga (Bonet Correa). and with a springing perforated with oculos. 10.3a.1. The access through a columned portico. be looked for in Borromini. For a start. as for its elevation. and its connection to a back courtyard as that of Saint Ivo. his waving façades do not follow him. The drum is extremely high and very bright and the dome is double shelled. Fig.3b. Juvara’s project for the Church of Superga (Bonet Correa).

His vast architectonical culture makes him borrow from all the styles and his expressive skilfulness bring him beyond his constructive possibilities. 10. Its centre is an elliptical hall resting on four buttresses with a gap between them of 15 m and a skin that wraps them without producing niches (Fig. 10.5.9). Plan of the whole building of Superga (Bonet Correa). should have influenced more. 211 . The central dome is a conventional squinched one with such a painted architectonic decoration as to look much richer than it really is (Fig.7. because of his geographical proximity. Fig.10). Preliminary drawings by Juvara for the project of the Cathedral of Turin (Gritella). However. 10. 10. we will see that this one also stays with the Saint Peter model (Fig. Section of the Superga dome (Bonet Correa). Building perspective of the Superga dome (Gritella). 10. Fig. so that the magnificence of the space is fictitious. Juvara lived in permanent contradiction between his classic vocation and his longing for newness. Fig. In fact. 10. 10. structure. but for its grandiose look achieved with very few resources. there is a determination to stand the cornices out more typical of Borromini than of Guarini who. the general decoration is painted.6 shows the constructive scheme that.11). obviously.6. If we enlarge the scale and focus the first project on the Turin Cathedral (1726). The Palace of Stupinigi is an example of this (Fig. Stupinigi is a Full Baroque typical model.8). Fig. 10. since the dome diameter hardly reaches ten metres. 10.4. 10.7) in spite of the vertical unity that gives to the central cylinder (Fig. goes without cradling.Scenographical Architecture of the 18th Century Fig.

by means of the light boxes system. 10. Drawing by Juvara (Bonet Correa). His invention will be frequently used in the later Italian and Iberian architecture. It is in the plans where Juvara looks more transgressor. In the Carmine. Fig. From Fernando Bibiena he took the liking to the 45º perspective. 4. When Philippe V ascended the Spanish throne. Through this artifice.17) since he always uses decorative skins and architectonical images by contemporary draftsmen on the construction. 10.9. 10. 10. for example. Fig.47) with that by Juvara (Fig. 10. 10.13). 10. Juvara was a scenographer before being an architect and this can be guessed from his architecture (Fig. 5. in just two years. he revolutionised the architectonical panorama together with an illustrious group of Italian architects formed under his influence.15).16). but with domes with oculos in the side chapels (Fig. though the project finally built was very conventional. Guarini´s is more rigid in plan and imaginative in elevation. In the treatment of light. Fig. In Saint Anthony in Chieri.The Great Structures in Architecture Fig. If we compare Guarini´s Saint Philippe Neri (Fig. 10. Juvara was called to his court where. Drawing by Juvara (Gritella). Section through the transept of the Cathedral of Turin (Gritella). Aspect of the main hall of Stupinigi.18).12a and b). he also introduces innovations in respect of Guarini. applying it even to some constructive elements such as cornered pilasters and chapels (Fig. Sketch for the main hall of Stupinigi. Turin’s architecture is important due to the influence that it had all over Europe. 10.11. we clearly see the difference. in a contemporary painting (Bonet Correa).8. it seems that architecture accepts the inner space (Fig.14). 212 . General proposal for the Stupinigi Palace. the openings to illuminate the barrel vault are not solved with lunettes. 10. which pours light vertically through the annex spaces. the absence of transverse arches gives the plan a unity that will not become general until the Central European Baroque (Fig. having a very unitary plan (Fig.10. Juvara’s is just the opposite.

His career. where he got his degree in 1732. going back to Turin in Juvara’s last years. a work by Juvara’s disciple Alfieri. so that he never had enough acknowledgements. cleverer than him in public relations. Proof of how freely plans could be carried through is Saint John and Saint Remigio of Carignano. To complete the Piedmont cycle we are going to speak of Bernardo Vittone (1702-1770). He studied too at the Saint Lucas Academy. Saint Philippe Neri project by Juvara (Pomer). It is an extremely curious minimal church of toroidal shape and a 10 m span (Fig. 10. 10. a much later architect. 213 .19).12.Scenographical Architecture of the 18th Century Fig. was outshone by other court architects’. however promising.

10.13. Fig. Inner view of Saint Anthony in Chieri (Escrig). 214 . 10.The Great Structures in Architecture Fig.14. Saint Anthony in Chieri (Pomer).

in Carignano (Escrig). Preliminary outline by Juvara for the Carmine (Gritella).18. Fig. 10. 10. 10.15. Fig.16.Scenographical Architecture of the 18th Century Fig. 10. 215 . Juvara’s scenery (Viale Ferrero). Architectonic section of the Carmine (Escrig).19. Fig. 10. Fig.17. Ideal project by Juvara (Gritella). Inner view of Alfieri’s Saint John and Saint Remigio.

He made lots of projects of little churches and chapels for religious congregations and used his skill to exploit the centralised plan possibilities to the full. in Vallinoto (Wittcower). and his scarce graphical skill was balanced by his constructive knowledge.The Great Structures in Architecture Fig. being at the gates of the neoclassical architecture and in parallel to the rococo one. among other reasons. There is no foundation to accept. Vittone’s project for the Chapel of the Visitation. 10. It is a cliché to say that he represented a balance between Juvara and Guarini since.20. Why do we spend so much time on an architect who hardly built anything of importance and whose developing period cannot have influenced the great European contemporaries? There were other more imaginative architects who wore themselves out with only one work. that he was a little formed and provincial architect. 10. coming therefore into contact with Guarini´s approach and using at the same time a large amount of not easily accessible information.21a. It is an extremely 216 . in Vallinoto (Escrig). Fig. as insinuated. 10. in fact. he represented a new way that had very few continuers because. no one cared about his lucid dissection of the spatial possibilities of an architecture so rigorous and complex. In 1735 he was ordered to complete Guarini´s treatise “Civil architecture” drawing illustrations of his projects. from 1738 (Fig. His first important work was the Chapel of the Visitation in Vallinoto.20). Inner view of the Chapel of the Visitation.

10. Structural section of the Chapel of the Visitation. Sanctuary of Kappel. The starred system. small piece. which behaves as a net to fish light (Fig.21a). Therefore. made of poor materials and extremely poorly finished. 10. slightly cambered.21b. Fig. The two influences are obvious since he had known everything about Guarini when engraving his projects and witnessed Juvara’s finishing of the Carmine and its light boxes. He also completely eliminates the cornices continuity and even in the side niches leans them to give a depth and perspective sensation. 10. the hexagonal plan with attached circular niches and the ziggurat shape give a rigidity to the whole typical of a structures master. However. near Waldassen. whereby gets away from both of them.21b). in the other three directly to the floor (Fig. What is amazing in this project is the three shells dome system. that has six openings to illuminate that empty chamber invisible to the observer. 217 . 10. This building displays two evident influences: Guarini’s plan and part of the dome system of Saint Ivo and Juvara’s light treatment. we must not be amazed at the matter. by Dienzenhofer (Norberg Schulz). The three side chapels are illuminated in vertical. in Vallinoto (Escrig).Scenographical Architecture of the 18th Century Fig.22. The second one is a cap with an oculo over which falls a light torrent of which we do not know the source since it is the third one. The first one is a floating starred mesh with bricked ribs. in three cases on balustered galleries. Between the first and the second one there are some invisible illumination hollows equivalent to the windows of a non-existent drum. all these limitations are not enough to diminish the impression produced by its inner look.

10. the rest of them belong to the treatises that he wrote at the end of his life: “Instruzioni elementali”. When comparing this project to that of Dienzerhofer in the Sanctuary of Kappel near Waldsassen. free of envies or ambitions and satisfied with doing his works well. he could be of little influence. Sanctuary of Saint John Nepomuceno.The Great Structures in Architecture Fig.22). In this case. therefore. 10. Except for those drawings made by us. even when they were low budget projects or placed in rural areas. in 1766. we can observe the different way of using Guarini’s lessons (Fig. a time in which there were dozens of treatise writers and. all the contribution is just the four pieces of sphere macle Fig.23. 218 . It seems that Guarini was a very modest architect. Saint Louis Gonzaga in Corteranzo. by Vittone (Norberg Schulz). 10. by Aichel (Escrig).24. published in 1760 and “Instruzioni diverse”. in Saar (Bohemia). dating from 1684.

Saint Genevieve of Paris. by Pedrajas (Escrig).25. Aichel. develops a starred pentagonal plan.Scenographical Architecture of the 18th Century Fig. 10. by Souflot (Escrig). in the Sanctuary of Saint John Nepomuceno in Saar (Bohemia) a minor architect. The cornice totally breaks the lower level of the spheres springing and the spatiality is poor despite the complexity of the resources used. 10. It too is a heir of Guarini’s but has a larger spatiality and is very corrupted with a Gothic decoration (Fig. is in front of a buttress. but this poorness of resources matches the formal ones. It too is an economic work. The cornice. 10. as well as some entrances through a covered exterior gallery of which it cannot be guessed the main one. by Vittone (Escrig).23). Saint Bernardino in Chieri. with three cupolas and the three towers that do not give directionality to the building. has here been substituted by a thick wooden handrail that plays the same role. Fig. in Priego de Córdoba. Fig. Chapel of the Church of the Assumption.27. which in the High Baroque is basic. Dating from 1719. 10. having a ground plan with an odd number of sides. It also has no directionality since each entrance.26. 219 .

instead of curving outward curve inward. 10. Vittone practices Guarini’s concepts (Fig. The ground plan is triangular and the three transverse arches. stressing the triangular shape in which the resultant three niches correspond to the chapels and the walls hollowing is used as an access. Former project for Saint Clare. is Saint Louis Gonzaga in Corteranzo (1740). But now. he builds three bodies superimposed as in a pagoda and ending in a cupola. Fig. but even more modest.28. both designs are previous to Vittone’s and in this case of similar dimension. As in Vallinoto. Obviously. Developed project for Saint Clare. But neither in the latter has got the right inner spatiality. From the outside it can look like a new variation.The Great Structures in Architecture Fig. the chosen model is the Chapel of the Turin Shroud.29. Another of Vittone’s former works.24). 10. placed in front of the altar and its 220 . 10. in Turin (Norberg Schulz). by Vittone (Norberg Schulz). in Turin.

It cannot be said that the starred ribbings are the structural foundations of the dome since the cap works in a rather continuous way and is hemispherical. He repeats the scheme of Fathers Somascos Church in Mesina.39). secondly to that of the transverse arches behind which are the light boxes and the pendentives.Scenographical Architecture of the 18th Century Fig. which he knows well (Fig. The three bodies correspond firstly to the level of the pilasters and the columns ending in a powerful but repeatedly interrupted cornice. But the fact that the star points rest on the columns indicates a clarity in the transmission of forces that places this case far from the baroque temptation of contradicting the physical laws. Saint Clare. and finally to that of the dome. The huge cupola adds an additional amount of illumination. by Vittone (Norberg Schulz). in Bra. 10. two side chapels. only one 221 . but giving it more power and perforating it with six oculos instead of six large windows since it is less cambered.31. by Vittone (Wittcower). 10. Fig. 5. in Vercelli. having only a window that crowns the entrance stressing the directionality. in this case but not a simple one.30. Again we find a clear axiality in ground plan and in elevation. Saint Clare.

The light treatment is relatively conventional.25). a work undoubtedly influenced by Vittone. dating from 1757 (Fig. In this case the decoration is simple but. Saint Clare in Vercelli tries again the hexagonal scheme (Fig. following the scheme in Saint John Nepomuceno (Fig. shows an endless formal investigation on a recurrent objective that is making the plan curves ascend in a curving way. Present plans of Saint Clare. nonetheless. though he initially had worked (in 1740) on a more expensive church placed in an urban area and tried. In Saint Bernardino in Chieri. on them the windows are placed.30) with a curious development in which the side chapels are placed in an ambulatory. More than the structure. 222 . reproduced the hexagonal plan scheme and the same light treatment as that in Vallinoto. 10. a fact seldom appearing in Spanish architecture. we look at the side chapel of the Church of the Assumption in Priego de Córdoba. Nevertheless. from 1784. 10. it is the over-elaborate and dense decoration which plays the role of foliage of this vegetal dome. in Bra (information supplied by the city of Bra).28). in Turin. although in this case the dome has a single though staggered shell (Fig. since the indirect illumination from several points of the building makes it share the same architectonic concept. we easily perceive that it is a late-baroque church. Vittone showed a special skill. 10. by Pedrajas (Fig.29). he was able to place his typical light boxes to perforate the adjacent spaces. This capacity did not have continuers apart from some works closer to the Neoclassicism. 10. It is worth thinking that Vittone may have influenced it in some way. The final project has nothing to do with the rejected one (Fig. though we cannot know how since his treatise was published three years later and the clearest precedent is Saint Paul's in London. 10. though again we find the light boxes over the three chapels. 10. although the cornices are not radically dispensed with since they exist and curve forming a fake image of the plan. 10. ornamented with sixteen lobes alternatively cylindrical and convex.The Great Structures in Architecture Even when continuing unfinished works. This implies a unitary conception not evident from the outside since each body is hooped with a strong cornice.23).26). he has no special interest.27). Apart from that. intertwining these species of branches with the light filtered through hidden or concealed openings. we have to consider that it was not finished until 1780. of cruciform plan. a year in which the text was already published. Because of its total conception of space. breaking the pendentives that we will see below (Fig.32. and the dome does not rest in its vertical but in its exterior covering. Saint Clare. The dome is similar to that of Sergio and Baco in Istanbul. bending the ribbings in their resting point forming purely Fig. separated only by columns. 10. The series of works that he created between 1740 and 1743 for the Order of Saint Clare. as Souflot’s Saint Genevieve in Paris. Even in elevation the two levelled series of arches are reproduced with a Byzantine continuous gallery.

Scenographical Architecture of the 18th Century Fig. in Bra (Escrig).33. 223 . Inner view of Saint Clare. 10.

by Vittone (Norberg Schulz). in Bra. Its original project is extremely complicated as can be seen in his own drawings (Fig.34. free of a continuous planking. although the project later carried out includes some variations that do not distort the exterior look but lend it a more potbellied aspect (Fig. Another group of churches in which he performs more experiments is that leading to the breaking of the pendentives that makes the transition from the plan to 224 . Saint Mary of Plaza.The Great Structures in Architecture Fig.32). decorative scrolls. Saint Clare.33). 10. 10. in Bra. 10. 10. This temple with concave hexagonal plan and ambulatory is a curiosity that cannot be found in any contemporary work. is credited with being the best of his works. synthesising all his findings: the double shell connected as a light filter. the vertical ascension of the elements. the conversion of the drum in a plan repetition and the total unity of the inner space (Fig.31). The most complex of the three is Saint Clare.

This is possible due to the ribbed domes and that is why spans of almost 20 m are reached without pathologies appearing (Fig. 10. 10. Fig. Saint Croce. in Villanueva de Mondovi. 10. he again planned with more success the same violation of architectonical laws.35).36). is one of the examples of that breaking (Fig. This allows octagonal domes without the inconvenience of a springing cornice for support.35. 10. In Saint Croce in Villanueva de Mondovi.37). Inner view of Saint Croce (Escrig). Inner view of Saint Mary of Plaza (Escrig).34). reaching the ideal of the vegetal mesh mentioned above (Fig. 10.Scenographical Architecture of the 18th Century Fig. In Saint Albert of Charity he repeated 225 . 10.36. 10. the dome. Saint Mary of Plaza. by Vittone (Norberg Schulz). from about 1750. We see that on the four transverse arches. Fig. It is an intelligent transition from the Greek cross plan to the octagonal drum (Fig. the superficial structure is interrupted by hollows.37.

this. a prolific and particular school. Catholicism consolidated Europe thanks to the Habsburgs with its heart in Vienna.The Great Structures in Architecture Fig. His later works are elegant but do not add anything. In all these works he has renounced his previous findings: the double shell and the illumination effects and. Vittone. the old European capital that now needed to dress up. although he had become formally more baroque. An architect formed in Italy under the direction of Fontana. We will not spend much time on that project too Italian (Fig. logically affecting architecture. longitudinal plan and a high dome perforated in its sides. 10. he had learned a lot during his stay between 1660 and 1685. Fischer made a declaration of principles in the Salzburg University. 10. he had focused on the solid skeleton at the expense of intuition and veiling. and takes basically Borromini’s and Bernini’s 226 . assumed the direction of the new Austrian school. who had been one of the great supports of the Guarinian movement. What a surprise! In 1683 the Turks finally failed at the gates of Vienna and a project of regeneration on the basis of the Counter reform began.38): outward convex very luminous façade. without adding anything to Saint Mary’s. contemporary of Juvara.38. two towers in Borromini’s way. by Fischer von Erlach (Sedlmayr). declared in those years that “the domes of the master are dark and difficult and not easy to cover”. In a way it is a step back for an architect to repeat the contemporary schemes forsaking his brilliant beginning. Church of the Salzburg University. Fischer knows the Roman architecture of the High Baroque perfectly. In 1700. Johan Bernhard Fischer von Erlach.

Scenographical Architecture of the 18th Century Fig. 10. in Prague (Kruban). by Georg Dientzenhofer (Escrig). in Oboriste. Fig. Fig. Gothic church of Karlov.42. 10. Fig. by Georg Dientzenhofer (Escrig).41. 227 . Church of Saint Lawrence. 10. Church of the Castle of Smirize.40. 10. Pauline Abbey. in Gabel (right) compared with Saint Lawrence in Turin (left) (Escrig).39.

The Great Structures in Architecture Fig. 10. Inner view of Saint Nicolas of Malá Strana. 228 . in Prague (Escrig).43.

in Prague (Escrig). 5. 10. The same year. 10. His first work in Prague. Fig.45a.41).44 Dientzenhofer’s project for Saint Nicolas of Malá Strana. 10. from 1699. church of Karlov in Prague has a 1575 hemispheric ribbed cover that tries to be a replica of an older one (Fig. These brothers represent for Prague what Fischer and Hildebrandt did for Vienna. The youngest of the Dientzenhofer brothers. indicates the start of two key pieces: the Pauline Abbey in Oboriste (Fig.6) and the Church of Propaganda of the Faith (Fig. is Saint Nicolas of Malá Strana in Prague (Fig.Scenographical Architecture of the 18th Century Fig. 10.46.44). In spite of his name. dating from as early as 1703. but not so much as it may seem. both have a Versailles touch. One of the main characteristics of Dientzenhofer's work is the extensive use of an elliptical vault plan to cover longitudinal spaces by superimposing modules. He was the other architect in charge of dressing up Vienna. 10. Church of Saint Clare. seeming inside a cloud. Generation of Dientzenhofer’s vaults from a sphere (Escrig).42).45b. They share one thing. 10. the octagonal Fig. 10. bringing some ideas that allowed him. since the borderlines have been erased due to the perspective of the fresco paintings (Fig.43). Christoph. not described in this text. visited Turin in 1690. 5. to revolutionise the Czech architecture. the Church of Saint Lawrence in Gabel. a long plan that recalls a mixing between Saint Carlino (Fig. in Prague (Norberg Schulz). 1700. For instance. His Belvedere Palace equals in magnificence the Schönbrunn Palace. elliptical space as the element that gives form to the whole. by Guarini. both belonging to the castle. the most successful. in Eger. The second case is a gothic inheritance that had much power in Bohemia. he knew perfectly Guarini’s works because he had worked as an expert in fortifications in Piedmont until 1696. Construction and painting are indissoluble. Of all the buildings by the Dientzenhofer. both by Borromini. is a replica of Saint Lawrence’s in Turin (Fig. and helped to consolidate the capital of a new fiercely catholic European state. Fontana’s disciple too.23). The way of solving the vaults have changed. in which walls and waving vaults completely dissolve the form and soften the space. Lucas von Hildebrant was Genovese by birth.39). 10. 10. We 229 .40) and the church of the castle of Smirize (Fig. Fig. Church of Saint Margaret. In the first case we can refer to the Immaculate Conception in Turin. though not in this particular project. 10. There are no longer groins but a curvilinear flow in which gravity does not appear to exist. along with Georg.

47. 10.50.48. it has a 230 . in Karlsbad. 10. 10.45a) and Saint Margaret in Prague (Fig. Saint Clare (b) and Saint Margaret (c) (Escrig). Fig. Church of Karlovy Vary. Fig. 10. 10. by Killian Dientzenhofer (Escrig). 10.45b). Fig.49.The Great Structures in Architecture Fig. Adaptation of the system to Saint Nicolas (a). by Killian Dientzenhofer (Escrig). Church of the Monastery of Wallastatt. It is curious that the apparent complex tracing is no such thing since all the vaults are portions of a sphere and can be constructed with a thread. Composition of the Dientzenhofers' spherical vaults (Escrig). have already seen it in Saint Nicolas and are going to see it in Saint Clare in Eger (Fig. Apart from this.

Scenographical Architecture of the 18th Century

very favourable structural behaviour since the borders are always reinforced by thick ribs not visible from the interior. In Fig. 10.46 we can see the generation of Bohemian vaults that have the advantage of adapting to any proportion of length and width and, therefore being very narrow or very wide (Fig. 10.47). Fig. 10.48 shows the adaptation of this system to three works by Dientzenhofer: Saint Nicolas (a), Saint Clare (b) and Saint Margaret (c). Both brothers use the same procedure in opposition to Kilian, the son, who chose unitary spaces. Kilian Dientzenhofer and Baltazar Neuman were the most prolific and skilful of the XVIIIth century second generation of architects. Both of them used the Bohemian precedents and occasionally repeated the models of the brothers George and Cristophe. The church of the Monastery of Wallastatt (Fig. 10.49), from 1723, or that of Karlovy Vary in Karlsbad (Fig. 10.50), from 1733, use elliptical domes. But Kilian does not feel comfortable with them. Many are the projects in which, as his ancestors did, he uses the spherical cap, basically supported by eight vertexes, regular or alternately spaced out (Fig. 10.51). With this solution he solves the covering of some of the best known churches: Saint John Nepomuceno in Prague, the Sanctuary of Nikov, Saint Adalbert of Pocaply, Saint John of the Rock and many more. In other cases he uses cylindrical forms, with even easier tracing. Another second generation architect, Dominique Zimmerman, uses the unitary elliptical form in a project that recalls strongly Juvara in Stupinigi (Fig. 10.10). The pilgrimage church in Steinhausen, from 1728, though previous is a more baroque version of Karlovy Vary (Fig. 10.52a). For a start, the number of divisions is ten not eight, the chapels have turned into ambulatories and the vault is a vegetal tangle on an ellipse with ten legs. The relatively sober aspect of the lower level contrasts with the motley look from the pilasters planking. Maybe it does not represent a structural challenge since its 25 x 12 m well buttressed expanse even goes with an almost flat cambering, but it implies a formal freedom that the author himself would exploit in other works (Fig. 10.52b). We have mentioned among the first generation figures, Theodore Fischer, whose work in Vienna was influential all over Europe. He was productive in all the architectonic fields, including the archaeological one. He was a disciple of Bernini and Fontana and a friend of Juvara and Hildebrandt and knew Borromini’s work well. Back in Vienna and after some consolidation years, he clearly decides to go for the elliptical forms in his civil and religious works. His best known work is the church of Saint Charles Borromeo in Vienna (Fig. 10.53), from 1715, that in its
Fig. 10.52b. Volumes of the pilgrimage church of Steinhausen, by Zimmerman (Escrig).

Fig. 10.51. Vaulting usual system of Killian Dientzenhofer (Escrig).

Fig. 10.52a. Pilgrimage church of Steinhausen, by Zimmerman (Escrig).


The Great Structures in Architecture

Fig. 10.53. Church of Saint Charles Borromeo, in Vienna, by Teodor Fischer von Erlach (Sedlmayr).

formal emphasis cannot get rid of the continuous cornices that isolate the different spaces. In fact, it does not add any structural innovation to the Vicoforte de Mondovi dome (Fig. 2.75) and is a very classic project, linked more to Bernini’s than to Borromini’s and agreeing with the French architecture. Even its size is not spectacular, though its high drum is in proportion the highest of elliptical form, which is not much when steel banding are perfectly calculated to absorb the horizontal thrusts. The highest point is reached by Baltazar Neuman, who managed to use with an absolute freedom the combination of elliptical forms that his predecessors had only been able to treat in isolated cases. In contrast to them, his knowledge of Italian architecture comes very late, since he does not do the classical trip of all the European architects until 1717. Pehaps that is why he was most influenced by his peers and decided to surpass them with his proposals. From 1727 he

advanced with greater strides. In the Palace of Würzburg he tried his new systems in the splendid reception and dancing halls and in the chapel (1731-32) (Fig. 10.54), which in plan is to be the intersection of four ellipses and a vault, the tangency of three (Fig. 10.55). The spans are small (hardly 9 m.). In comparison with other palace chapels such as Versailles by Mansart, from 1689-1710, having 12 m (Fig. 10.56), or that of Mafra in Portugal by Ludovice (1717-33), even more classic and leaning toward the excess (Fig. 10.57), this work of Würzburg stands out because of its constructive modesty, its imagination and formal richness, and opens a new way of conceiving the spaces definition. From now on, these are trapped by some gigantic hands whose fingers are the pilasters that drive into the ground without any interruption. To make this possible the rat-trap bond vault was used, which is auto supporting with a minimum thickness and usually has a wooden


Scenographical Architecture of the 18th Century

Fig. 10.54. General plan of the Palace of Würzburg.

Fig. 10.55. Neuman’s project for the Palace of Würzburg chapel (Freeden).


The Great Structures in Architecture

Fig. 10.59a. Project for the Sanctuary of Vierzhenheiling, by Baltasar Neuman (Freeden).

Fig. 10.56. Chapel of the Palace of Versailles, by Mansart (Escrig).

Fig. 10.57. Church of the Palace of Mafra, in Portugal, by Ludovice (Escrig).

Fig. 10.58. Outline of the Baltasar Neuman’s vaults (Escrig).

Fig. 10.59b. Constructive axonometry of Vierzhenheiling (Norberg-Schulz).


Scenographical Architecture of the 18th Century

dustcover that isolates it from the inclement weather and overload, at the same time producing the fire protecting symbiosis of the delicate wooden roof (Fig. 10.58). The Sanctuary of Vierzhenheiling is a clear example, since the vaults become autonomous from the walls and anchor themselves to the floor (Fig. 10.59a). Again we find a little decorated lower part and the vaults concentrating the filigrees. All the levels are simple: plinths, columns or pilasters with only planking or cornices on them and, from that point, the fingers that gather in the palm, a very painted vault (Fig. 10.59b).

Fig. 10.60a. Main volumes of Vierzhenheiling (Escrig and Compan).

Fig. 10.60b. Principal stresses of self-weight of Vierzhenheiling (Escrig and Compan).


The Great Structures in Architecture Fig. 236 .60c. 10. Original drawing of the project of Vierzhenheiling (Hansmann).

10. by Baltasar Neuman (Escrig and Compan). 10.Scenographical Architecture of the 18th Century Fig. 10.61b.61d. Fig. by Baltasar Neuman (Escrig and Compan). by Baltasar Neuman (Escrig and Compan). Fig. Volumes of the benedictine Church of Neresheim. Main stresses due to self-weight of the benedictine Church of Neresheim. 10. Longitudinal section of Benedictine Church of Neresheim.61a. Benedictine Church of Neresheim. 237 . by Baltasar Neuman (Freeden). Fig.61c.

In the Palace of Würzburg he created some singular spaces of large structural value. 10. Fig. 10. 10. 10. The Benedictine church of Neresheim is his best known work (1749). In this case. built during the years 1726 to 1743 by the architect George Bähr. 10. it gets exhausted in the decoration. is far away from the typological research. 10. The first two have too classic an aspect and herald later events of the XVIIIth century.66). When observed from below.60c shows the precision in the previous design of military engineers and architects. Despite the existence of steel hoops (Fig. is the biggest of its kind (Fig. Having been totally destroyed in the last world war and being in a process reconstruction. contrasting with the fresco paintings in the vaults. we want to mention the Church of Our Lady of Dresden.63. The stairs vault. whereas Fig. To end with Central European architecture. His church of Saint Louis of French has much subtlety. Fig. 10. it provides us with a lot of information. When walking along the wooden skeleton that makes the roof slope. 238 . by Baltasar Neuman (Freeden). an immense formal.60a).60b). The rosary of tangent ellipses with its huge central dome on eight autonomous columns turn it into a spatial and constructive prodigy (Fig. Fig. and the inferior ones are auto supporting.62).68 shows the relative scale in respect of Saint Peter’s in the Vatican. a rectangle of 30 x 20 m. but its scale is that of a reliquary (Fig.70).The Great Structures in Architecture It is modest and poor but extremely effective architecture. Neuman’s civil work is impressive too. the pristine white interior. Main rooms in the Palace of Würzburg. whereas Fig. 10.61). and his characteristic way of working.67). and this vault was the only one that kept intact.64 shows the complex vertical section. 10. As for the latter. Fig. however interesting it may be.69 illustrates the stresses obtained by means of a calculation by finite elements. Nevertheless. offers an unexpected baroque contrast. 10. you can see the bare brick of the extrados of those elastic shells made of mortar and ceramics (Fig. 10. decorated with fresco paintings by Tiepolo. Hildebrandt was so envious of him because of this skiffed vault that he said it would collapse if someone hung from it. The superior vaults are made of plasterwork hanging from a wooden skeleton. What we want to stand out is the bell shape tracing of the dome set (Fig. Even the best Spanish architect of the time. 10. The other rooms were smaller but no less bold (Fig. Figure 10. 10. Leonardo de Figueroa. justified by the need to introduce buttresses to balance the strong thrusts in the base (Fig.63).72). 10.71). by Baltasar Neuman (Freeden). 10. it has more than its structural value because of the literature. the horizontal sections at different levels.62. Vault of the main staircase in the Palace of Würzburg. during the Second World War the whole palace was bombed.65. We have not mentioned in this chapter the English. French or Iberian baroque. it underwent an important pathology before the bombing (Fig. ornamental and colour richness is suspected that otherwise has a load capacity (Fig 10.

in Dresden. 10.67. Fig.64. Fig. by George Bähr (Jager and Brebbia). Horizontal sections in different levels of the Church of Our Lady. in Dresden (Jager and Brebbia).66. in Dresden (Jager and Brebbia). Section of the Church of Our Lady. Fig. Bell-shaped tracing of the vault support. 10. to balance the horizontal thrusts (Jager and Brebbia). Contemporary engraving of the Church of Our Lady. 10. 239 .65.Scenographical Architecture of the 18th Century Fig. 10.

Old steel hoops in the vault of Our Lady of Dresden (Jager and Brebbia). 10.68. A comparison between the shapes and the descending loads of Saint Peter’s and Our Lady of Dresden (Jager and Brebbia). 10. Fig.69.70. Fig. 10. 240 . Analysis by Finite Elements and stresses obtained from the rebuilding project of Our Lady of Dresden after the bombings (Jager and Brebbia).The Great Structures in Architecture Fig.

by Leonardo de Figueroa (Bonet Correa). in Seville.71.Scenographical Architecture of the 18th Century Fig.72. 10. Church of Saint Louis. 241 . 10. Pathology of Our Lady of Dresden prior to its destruction (Jager and Brebbia). Fig.

“Kilian Ignaz Dientzenhofer e il Barroco Boemo”.NORBERT-SCHULZ. Chr. 65-74. Tertium. Officina Edizioni. Chr. 3. “Johan Bernard Fischer von Erlach arquitecto”. R. 242 . 14. 8. Ed. W. "Balthasar Neuman".SEDLMAYR.The Great Structures in Architecture REFERENCES OF CHAPTER 10 1.STIERLIN. Ed. Ed. H. Michael Imhof Verlag. 15. 16. 18. ESCRIG. Könemann. Deutcher Kunstverlag. "Baroque. Southampton. "Renacimiento. "Filipo Juvara". Milan. "The Shell structures of the Baroque". WIT Press. S. Domes from Antiquity to the Present. P. Electa. WIT Press.TOMAN R. Taschen. “Iberian-American Baroque”. Italie et Europa Centrale". Southampton. 9. Catedra. “Arte y Arquitectura en Italia 1600-1750”. FREEDEN. Dumont.A. Historia de la Arquitectura 1420-1720". J. Madrid. “Eighteenth-Century Architecture in Piedmont”. E. Madrid.H. STREMA 2003. 4. M. Rome. 5. I. A. 19. 10. Office du livre.NORBERG-SCHULZ.A. " Räume.POMER. F. “Arquitectura Barroca tardía y Rococó”. A. H. von. Stuttgart. “El Barroco". Electa. 11. R. Milan. W. “Towers and Domes in Architecture”. & SANCHEZ. “Historic Domes from Czechoslovakia”. Barroco y Clasicismo. Lausane. Milán. 6. Akal. BONET CORREA. Petersberg. 17.WITTKOVER. Polígrafa. FRANZ. V. London. Munchen. 2.MULLER. F. CHARPENAT. Electa. University of London Press Ltd. HANSMANN. pp. “Guarino Guarini”. IASS Symposium 1988. “Baltasar Neuman”. MEEK. 7. Istanbul. “Von Guarini bis Balthasar Neumann”. J. "Andalucía Barroca". .HRUBAN.H. die im Sehen enstehen". COMPAN. ESCRIG. CASTEX. Madrid.Aguilar. BONET CORREA. 12. Colonia. 13.

The Sistine Chapel inaugurates too another kind of perspective.1.3) with a more than decorative objective. 11. This allows the observer to move without leaving the focal references.2). We have already seen in chapter 9 how Michelangelo virtually rebuilt the architecture of the Sistine Chapel ceiling (Fig. Architect and painter. Donato Bramante did a brilliant exercise of nave lengthening by means of a perspective artifice (Fig. since in his painting there was a whole architectonic programme. in the first half of the XVIIth century. 11. Leonardo da Vinci (Fig. Main altar of Saint Mary near Saint Satire in Milan. the corrected cylindrical. by Bramante.7). whereby they could recreate large buildings and gigantic structures independently of their physical construction. When drawing or painting. Palladio had a clear awareness of the spectators deception in his theatre sceneries.6) and other anonymous artists turned the quattrocento into a universal laboratory. 11. best represents these tendencies.4). 9. apart from philosophical and other concepts. 11. 11. From the front. 11. His Vicenza theatre exploited in depth these techniques (Fig. had a vocation for architecture that went beyond his profession of painter (Fig. The XVIth century was less fruitful since there was no longer the worry about the architectonic background in the painting. It consisted on prolonging the coffered barrel vault with a vanishing point placed at a very studied height that was not that of the cornice.8) that Sergio later interpreted even as states of mind (Fig. 243 . For this allowed grandiose images with a very low budget. 11. It was after the Council of Trento.The Virtual Architecture of the Renaissance and the Baroque Chapter 11. Albert Durero (Fig. you feel a sensation of depth hardly denied by the physical reality (Fig. instead of the conical resulting from the applying of the theoretical principles.3). Piero della Francesca (Fig. Rafael (Fig.5). Pietro de Cortona . that the virtual architecture became important again. 11.1). all the great masters used their researches in perspective. THE VIRTUAL ARCHITECTURE OF THE RENAISSANCE AND THE BAROQUE In the main altar of Saint Mary near Saint Satire in Milan (1478). 11. 11. he managed to combine both arts in his Fig. when the pedagogical and moralising function was again put on the representation.9). Rafael though.

3.5. Fig. Fig. 244 . by Leonardo. 11. 11. Fig. 11. Illusory view of the above altar. 11. Fig.4. Treatise of perspective by Durero. by Raphael.6. Print.2. Perspective by Piero della Francesca. The Virgin Mary Nuptials.The Great Structures in Architecture Fig. 11. Sketch for the Adoration of the Magi.

Section of the Theatre of Vicenza.10). Domingo Canuti is. 11.The Virtual Architecture of the Renaissance and the Baroque Fig. 11.11. 11. The School of Athens. Glorification of the Pope Urban VIII. designs. by Raphael. 11.9. by Domingo Canuti. by Pietro di Cortona.10. Fig. 245 . he developed a unitary tracing that made the walls higher and the ceiling farther (Fig. Apotheosis of Saint Domingo. 11.8. Fig. 11.11). 11. with his Apotheosis of Saint Domingo. In the glorification of Urban VIII's papacy.7. a complex example in the second half of the century (Fig. Fig. Fig. by Palladio. Theatre set by Serlio.

Fig. Perspective by Ferrari.14. where several architects compete by experimenting with the virtual one. 11. by Andrea del Pozo. 11. Fig. The proposal by Carlo Rainaldi basically is close to that proposed by Bramante two hundred years before. The most similar to the executed work is that shown in Fig.The Great Structures in Architecture Fig. by Vignola. Although several of the projects by Andrea del Pozo were better studied. Colona (Fig. Ceiling of the Church of Saint Ignacio.13) in addition introduce fantasy . 11.13. 11. Andrea del Pozo. Perspective by Colona. which gets longer (Fig. It is in the Church of Il Gesu. 11. This explains why it was rejected since.17 246 .14). 11.16). The successive spans of squinched or spherical vaults. it was unbelievable (Fig. they were not built. The list of examples is endless. 11. contrast excessively with the severity of the main nave (Fig. as seen in the assembly. 11. The ceiling of the Church of Saint Ignacio in Rome not only has a focus but contains a perfect definition of the orders and of the wall complex. we cannot identify them with precision. a good architect and clear-sighted enough to interpret the role that painting could play in the space definition perhaps best systematises the complex perspective systems that even nowadays amaze us at the multiple vanishing points and potential vision from any position.15). 11.12. in Rome.12) and Ferrari (Fig.

in Rome. in Rome (Defeo and Martinelli). Fig.The Virtual Architecture of the Renaissance and the Baroque Fig.17. Project by Andrea del Pozo for the apse of the Church of Il Gesu. Section of the mentioned project scenery (Defeo and Martinelli).18. 11. Proposal by Rainaldi for the apse of the Church of Il Gesu. 11. Fig.15. 11. 247 .16. 11. Fig. Assembly of the mentioned proposal by Rainaldi.

18).19 shows a picture of the present state.25 shows a design to make the wall of a room deeper. His perspectives 248 . Present aspect. The great architect of the XVIIth century was Antonio Bibiena.20. in Rome (Defeo and Martinelli). 11. of the Church of Il Gesu apse. 11. Other designs for the same purpose.22 is too complex. 11.22. 11. look too insipid. with the decoration already finished. is the less virtual (Fig. Breaking down into its elements of the alternative project by Andrea del Pozo (Defeo and Martinelli). 11. as that seen in Fig.23 photomontage. 11. whereas Fig. in fact. Fig. 11.21 shows its decomposition.20. Alternative project proposed by Andrea del Pozo (Defeo and Martinelli). 11. Fig. In contrast. 11.The Great Structures in Architecture Fig. Fig. whose constructed work has a relative interest in contrast with his paintings that are magnificent.24 shows the perforated dome of the Church of the Trinity in Pozsony. 11. 11. that of Fig. Fig.21. Fig. Another alternative project by Andrea del Pozo for the Church of Il Gesu (Defeo and Martinelli).19. Fig. 11. which. as can be seen in the Fig.

27 to 11.26). Dome of the Church of the Trinity. Fig. in Pozsony. His family maintained the tradition in the following century (Figs. Fig. Photomontage for the second alternative project (Defeo and Martinelli). 249 .23. Perspective of a room by Bibiena. 11. 11. Perspective at a 45º rotation. 11.32). by Fernando Bibiena. 11. inspired numerous roofs (Fig. 11. 11.The Virtual Architecture of the Renaissance and the Baroque Fig. 11. 11. as well as those by Colonna (Fig. by Antonio Bibiena. with those by his brother Fernando. of a valuable collection that became widely known (Fig.29). at 45º form part.25. Fig.24.30).26. The proposals by Fernando Bibiena and Bufagnotti for the vaults in the XVIIth century.

11.34 can be seen drawings by Schenk from 1728 and in Fig. Gran imperial logia by Fernando Bibiena. Fig.28. Interior with staircases by Francesco Bibiena.The Great Structures in Architecture Fig. Fig. 11.33 shows a proposal by Minozzi.35. 11. Gran atrium by Francesco Bibiena. Fig. Carboni’s. Really interesting are those pieces that introduce non existent domes in squinched domes. No doubt that Batista Piranessi is the best known of all the architecture draftsmen. 11.30. 11. Fig. 11. but his work 250 . Composition in perspective by Fernando Bibiena and Bufagnotti.27.29. In Fig. 11.

See also Steinhausen’s by Zimmerman (Fig.31. Fig. by Bibiena.32. Steigerwald’s by Neuman (Fig. 11. Proposals for a ceiling by Schenk. 11. 11. As an architect he was mediocre and we have already cited the recreation of his project for Saint John of Letran. Paper architecture is a term whose meaning we know well in this century. though without a minimum knowledge of construction none of these draftsmen or painters could have produced what they did. 11. 10. 9. 11.36). Proposal for a ceiling by Colonna. Let us remember among the works mentioned in previous chapters. based on Borromini’s project (Fig. As for its physical application to XVIIIth century architecture. the results are fruitful. Fig.16b). the Baroque adds a new dimension to architecture not to be seen again until the arrival of cinemas.34. This chapter cannot really be considered as structural in a wide sense. Fig.The Virtual Architecture of the Renaissance and the Baroque Fig. 11. Undoubtedly.37) and Saint Louis’ by Leonardo de Figueroa (Fig.11). Stupinigi’s decoration by Juvara (Fig. Proposal for a ceiling by Minozzi.38). was never used to widen the spaces with fake images. 11.33. 251 . Vanishing perspective for a ceiling.

The Great Structures in Architecture Fig. by Zimmermann.36. Illusory ceiling in Steigerwald. 11. by Neuman. Decorated ceiling in Steinhausen. Fig. Fig. 252 .37. 11. 11.35 Proposal for a ceiling by Carboni.

11.The Virtual Architecture of the Renaissance and the Baroque Fig. 253 .38. Illusory decoration in Saint Louis of the French. by Leonardo de Figueroa (Bonet Correa).

6. DEFEO. ADAM. 2. & MARTINELLI. Alexandria. & CURCIO. Art Services International. Rome. V. Milan. "Andrea Pozzo: Architettura e illusione". "Andrea Pozzo". 5. Electa. A. "Eighteenth-Century Scenic and Architectural Design. R. 254 . 1680-1750. GALLI BIBIENA. M. New York.A. CONTARDI.A. disegni.. La profesione dell´Architetto". BEAUMONT. Dover Publications. "Architectural and Perspective Designs". Inc. V. Virginia. G.V. G. 3. Roma Oficina Edición. 4.The Great Structures in Architecture REFERENCES OF CHAPTER 11 1. "In Urbe Architectus: Modelli. Cambridge Studies in the History of Architecture. misuri. B. Drawings by the Galli Bibiena Family". "Drawings and Imagination". Q72 Adam 6. Tait. DEFEO.

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JÄGER. The Reconstruction of Taschenberg Palace. Series: Advances in Architecture. Wessex Institute of Technology.50 £97.very scientific and well compiled and has some authoritative and worthwhile conclusions on many of the topics that have been under investigation. and Timber Constructions. now culminating in the rebuilding of the Frauenkirche (the Church of Our Lady) is documented in this unique book. Repairs and Maintenance of Historical Buildings VII Editor: C. Dresden has been lovingly reconstructed with the active collaboration of its . UK In 1945 the ancient City of Dresden was destroyed by massive bombardments and much of its rich architectural heritage appeared to have been obliterated forever. Seismic Behaviour. Wessex Institute of Technology. Deterioration.. Vol 16 ISBN: 1-85312-968-2 2003 864pp £259. Repairs and Maintenance of Heritage Architecture VIII Editor: C.00/ WIT eLibrary Home of the Transactions of the Wessex Institute. are also featured.50 £67. Vol 7 ISBN: 1-85312-787-6 2000 272pp US$159. Technical University of Dresden. HEJAZI. Series: Advances in Architecture.00/ Historical Buildings of Iran Their Architecture and Structure M. BREBBIA. Queen Mary and Westfield College. Structural Proof-Checking Using a Complete 3D FE-Model. BREBBIA. Case Studies.witpress. Germany and C. A Construction of Stone and Iron . This process.M. UK The first authoritative work to investigate the historical buildings of Iran from the perspective of structural engineering. UK “.A. Series: Advances in Architecture. University of London. Over the last half-century.Structural Concept for Reconstruction of the Dresden Frauenkirche. BREBBIA.the book is well suited for the bookshelf of the structural engineer….00/ US$355. Visitors to the WIT eLibrary can freely browse and search abstracts of all papers in the collection before progressing to download their full text. Wessex Institute of Technology. Protection and Evaluation of Materials.00/€343. the WIT electronic-library provides the international scientific community with immediate and permanent access to individual papers presented at WIT conferences. however. The Conservation of the Neustadt District as Part of the Cultural Cityscape..00/ US$409.A.00/€145. Repairs and Maintenance of Historical Buildings. Restoration of the Castle in Dresden. Partial Contents: THE REVIVAL OF THE CITY: The Contribution of Preservationists to the Reconstruction of the Semper Opera House.00/€388. Material Problems. Prevention of Structural Damage. THE FRAUENKIRCHE: The Citizens’ Initiative to Promote the Rebuilding. This book is also seen as a valuable aid and source of reference to those engaged in laboratory and research work on the conservation and care of historic buildings. Vol 2 ISBN: 1-85312-484-2 1997 168pp US$99.00/€100. Visit the WIT eLibrary at http://library. Series: Advances in Architecture.Structural Studies. Vol 13 ISBN: 1-85312-869-4 2001 736pp £229. Contributions to two special sessions on The Structural Conservation of the Archaeological Heritage of Italy and Long Term Behaviour of Masonry Structures: Learning from Failures. Simulation and Modelling. Over 80 papers are included and these cover topics such as: Historical and Architectural Aspects.” BUILDING ENGINEER The proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on Structural Studies.A.50 Structural Studies. UK This volume features papers from the eighth international conference in this respected series. Structural Issues. Maintenance and Repairs.50 The Revival of Dresden Editors: W.