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Just studied this building. Santa Maria de Fiore, Florence, 1242, a product of the renaissance. He found a way to build two wall simultaneously while the workers built from between them.

He also invented the first reversible gear to same time changing the direction of the horses!
 

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I saw the video and it was a VERY,VERY amazing example of what was done then and how long it has lasted trough a few seismic events. - A 200' dome high unreinforced dome using old common construction. The were a couple of professors doing the architecture studies and layout/dimension and researching the materials. The apparently were trying to build real model of the dome in Florence. they was the use of a herring bone pattern and not having level bed joints (sloped down and up between unreinforced pilasters) the dome was actually two walls separated by a few feet that decreased with the height.

In masonry, there are different levels of site ability:

1. Lay units.
2. Lay to the straight line.
3. Lay the the necessary height.
4. Be able to build an arch.
5. Build an arch with consistently decreasing or variable bed joints with height and wall length with a herringbone pattern for strength.
6. Build a dome without any machinery because there was none available then.
7. Use string lines between the 8 buttresses on an 8 sided structure to build and absolutely vertical on an 8 sided building that becomes a round dome as it rises.
8. Make it last 500 years.

I was in Florence, Italy years ago and always could see the cathedral from anywhere and thought it was "pretty".

I wish I had seen the PBS video/study before I was there because almost all parts of the building can be seen from the "guts" once you get involved understand (taking something like 30 years to get a little bit of the knowledge) that you cannot comprehend.

Well worth looking at! - Since it was on PBS, you can probably find out when it will be run again. Luckily, we have several PBS channels and I hope to record it when I am prepared better.
 
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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Sad to say I fell asleep during the show, thank God for PBS.com,

The no machinery? Huh? The winch was great improvement on the existing Art of hoisting, Remember you can't sail the Ocean without learning how to rig a derrick. Very few prime movers... wind, water, animals/people though.

The vertical herringbone bond eliminated the need for falsework/centering for the dome, Ross King's book describes the chain? metal tension ring at the base of the dome. (Forgot the stone and wood tension rings.) The herring bone bond solution is almost biological. Shark skin? Spider web weaving watching?

Laying brick to a curve is a pretty good lesson in elementary calculus,

Draw the day's curves out on the floor,plumb up every few feet, every template could be reused 8 times....

Reading about the labor relations was interesting. And the $ management issues.

Remember the fewer the corners the cheaper the building, domes ought to be almost free...

Digging out the Ross King book literally, the Nat Geo site was worth it just for the frescos in the Dome, I swear, I seen the faces of several architects and couple of PMs I worked with being tortured in Hell by some nasty Demons....The Old Girl(dome) could have used a couple of control joints.
 

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Just finished watching it,great program ! Thank you for the heads up about it !:thumbsup::thumbsup:
 

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John the Builder
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Just finished watching it,great program ! Thank you for the heads up about it !:thumbsup::thumbsup:
What fjn said.
 

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John the Builder
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So, I got a question:

I "get" that a dome like the Pantheon in Rome would be a bugger to make go, but this one has very little arc - more like a spire.

What am I missing?
 

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If you're out of the viewing area, you might be able to watch it if you use a proxy server....not that I know how to set it up....

I watched it online last night. Fascinating. I'm still trying to wrap my brain around the benefit of the inverted arches in the courses (the dips between the ribs). That presumably also kept t from pulling/falling inward? (in addition to the herringbone.)
 

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I did watch it on the internet,just check out Nova. I do have a question for those that viewed it. I totally get controlling the construction with the string lines. My question,has anyone picked up how the line was moved around the "flower" in relation to the dome to form the inverted arch? In other words what dictated the placement of the line at the "flower" ?


Thank you in advance.
 

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So, I got a question:

I "get" that a dome like the Pantheon in Rome would be a bugger to make go, but this one has very little arc - more like a spire.

What am I missing?


One important element is that the arch is not in plane with ground to sky but more in plane horizontal to the ground. This way its taking the inward load and redirecting the the main pilasters or ribs.
 

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So, I got a question:

I "get" that a dome like the Pantheon in Rome would be a bugger to make go, but this one has very little arc - more like a spire.

What am I missing?
It's not so much the shape, but the height and span. It was constructed without support from underneath, i.e without collapsing during construction. That's the magic. Edit: and that the bricks were precisely oriented without a scaffold (arch form) to guide the laying of the brick. That's where the use of the "flower", center point and plumb lines all come into play.


check this out:
http://www.saylor.org/site/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/ARTH-206-Dome.pdf
 

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Damn, that sucks that I missed it. I love Nova and i try to watch it when I can. Like Fundi I can't watch it online 'cause I'm not in the states. Hopefully it's on again
 
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