Construction of Gothic Cathedrals A Study of Medieval Vault Erection

ISBN-10: 0226252035

ISBN-13: 9780226252032

Edition: 1981 (Reprint)

Authors: John Fitchen

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John Fitchen systematically treats the process of erecting the great edifices of the Gothic era. He explains the building equipment and falsework needed, the actual operations undertaken, and the sequence of these operations as specifically as they can be deduced today. Since there are no contemporary accounts of the techniques used by medieval builders, Fitchen's study brilliantly pieces together clues from manuscript illuminations, from pictorial representations, and from the fabrics of the building themselves. "Anyone who has caught the fascination of Gothic Churches (and once caught, has almost necessarily got it in the blood) will find this book enthralling. . . . Clearly written and beautifully illustrated." —A. D. R. Caroe, Annual Review, Central Council for the Care of Churches "Fitchen's study is a tribute to the extraordinary creative and engineering skills of successive generations of mediaeval builders. . . . This study enables us to appreciate more fully the technical expertise and improvements which enabled the creative spirit of the day to find such splendid embodiment." —James Lingwood, Oxford Art Journal "Fitchen, in what can only be defined as an architectural detective story, fully explores the problems confronting the medieval vault erectors and uncovers their solution. . . . This is a book that no serious student of architecture will want to miss." —Progressive Architecture
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Book details

List price: $21.00
Copyright year: 1981
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 4/28/1997
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 364
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.25" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.386
Language: English

List of Figures
Sources of Information
The structural aspects of medieval building, and the contemporary sources of possible information about its execution.
Constructional Means
The multiple nature and scope of the falsework requirements—scaffolding, shoring, formwork, and centering—with some provisionally assumed solutions.
Medieval Types of Vaulting
An analysis of the chief structural developments in medieval times; problems, innovations, and solutions.
Gothic Framework
The significance of the rib. An assessment of what others have written on the nature and extent of the formwork used in Gothic vaulting, together with a possible solution of the formwork problem.
Gothic Centering
An analysis of the centering problem in Gothic vaulting, along with the types of falsework employed as support for the centering.
Erection of Rib Vaulting Without Formwork
Systems of construction that dispense with falsework
The Gothic system of vault erection without formwork
Summary review of the erectional sequence and procedures in French Gothic rib-vaulted churches.
Notes and Comments Appendixes
An Annotated Bibliography of Falsework Literature
The Occurrence of Putlog Holes and the Location and Extent of the Scaffolding They Reveal
Passageways in Lincoln Cathedral
A Tower Vault of the Eleventh Century
Medieval Vault Thickness
Surfaces of Double Curvature in Gothic Vaults
The Slow Setting Time of Medieval Mortars and Its Consequences
Oblique or Skew Vaults of Masonry
Pole Scaffolding
Arch and Vault Ties in Medieval Construction
Medieval Falsework Practices in England
Abbot Suger on the New Work at St-Denis: A Reinterpretation
Strutting Systems Used in Centering Frames
An Instance of Vault Centering that Survives from the Gothic Era
Intersecting Centering Frames, and the Use of Models to Solve the Difficulties Encountered
Medieval Lifting Devices and Procedures
Places and Buildings
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