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The Construction of Gothic Cathedrals: A Study of Medieval Vault Erection

by

The Construction of Gothic Cathedrals: A Study of Medieval Vault Erection Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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

Synopsis:

Describes the process of erecting the great cathedrals in the Gothic era. This text explains the building equipment and falsework needed, the actual operations undertaken, and the sequence of these operations as far as they can be deduced from manuscript illuminations and pictorial representations.

Synopsis:

"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

Table of Contents

List of Figures

1. SOURCES OF INFORMATION

The structural aspects of medieval building, and the contemporary sources of possible information about its execution.

2. CONSTRUCTIONAL MEANS

The multiple nature and scope of the falsework requirements—scaffolding, shoring, formwork, and centering—with some provisionally assumed solutions.

3. MEDIEVAL TYPES OF VAULTING

An analysis of the chief structural developments in medieval times; problems, innovations, and solutions.

4. 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.

5. GOTHIC CENTERING

An analysis of the centering problem in Gothic vaulting, along with the types of falsework employed as support for the centering.

6. 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

A. An Annotated Bibliography of Falsework Literature

B. The Occurrence of Putlog Holes and the Location and Extent of the Scaffolding They Reveal

C. Passageways in Lincoln Cathedral

D. A Tower Vault of the Eleventh Century

E. Medieval Vault Thickness

F. Surfaces of Double Curvature in Gothic Vaults

G. The Slow Setting Time of Medieval Mortars and Its Consequences

H. Oblique or Skew Vaults of Masonry

I. Pole Scaffolding

J. Arch and Vault Ties in Medieval Construction

K. Medieval Falsework Practices in England

L. Abbot Suger on the New Work at St-Denis: A Reinterpretation

M. Strutting Systems Used in Centering Frames

N. An Instance of Vault Centering that Survives from the Gothic Era

O. Intersecting Centering Frames, and the Use of Models to Solve the Difficulties Encountered

P. Medieval Lifting Devices and Procedures

GLOSSARY

BIBLIOGRAPHY

INDEXES

1. Author

2. Subject

3. Places and Buildings

Product Details

ISBN:
9780226252032
Author:
Fitchen, John
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Location:
Chicago :
Subject:
History - General
Subject:
History
Subject:
Public, Commercial, or Industrial Buildings
Subject:
Christian art and symbolism
Subject:
Architecture, medieval
Subject:
Architecture, gothic
Subject:
Cathedrals
Subject:
Vaults.
Subject:
Religious buildings
Subject:
History : General
Subject:
Buildings - Religious
Subject:
Christian art and symbolism - Medieval, 500-
Subject:
Architecture -- History.
Copyright:
Edition Number:
Phoenix ed.
Edition Description:
Paperback
Series Volume:
14
Publication Date:
May 1981
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
3 halftones, 69 line drawings
Pages:
364
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Architecture » Buildings » Religious
Arts and Entertainment » Architecture » History » General
Arts and Entertainment » Architecture » Religious
Engineering » Construction » General
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The Construction of Gothic Cathedrals: A Study of Medieval Vault Erection Used Trade Paper
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Product details 364 pages University of Chicago Press - English 9780226252032 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Describes the process of erecting the great cathedrals in the Gothic era. This text explains the building equipment and falsework needed, the actual operations undertaken, and the sequence of these operations as far as they can be deduced from manuscript illuminations and pictorial representations.
"Synopsis" by , "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
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