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On-line Journal of the IASS

Vol. 56 (2015) No. 2 June n. 184

Brunelleschi's Bricks

< Table of Contents for Vol. 56 (2015) No. 2 June n. 184
  • Journal Name: Journal of the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures (J. IASS)
  • ISSN: (Electronic Version) 1996-9015
  • ISSN: (Print Version) 1028-365X
  • Issue: Vol. 56 (2015) No. 2 June n. 184
  • Pages: 137-148
  • Title: Brunelleschi's Bricks
  • Author(s): A. Pizzigoni
  • Keywords: Brunelleschi’s Cupola, Herringbone, 3-dimensional reciprocal bricks bond, building without formwork
This paper investigates the link between the bond between the bricks and the overall masonry pattern in the dome of the Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral in Florence, Italy. The pattern is usually described as a “Herringbone”, but the true nature of the three-dimensional layers of bricks in the dome’s spatial geometry is never discussed. This paper presents a plausible hypothesis, founded on a special three-dimensional, reciprocal interaction of the Cupola’s bricks, that is verified by virtual models and physical prototypes. This research indicates a possible procedure that would allow the construction of whole or parts of masonry domes using such a non-traditional type of brick, through mountable and demountable reciprocal interaction. Moreover, we have employed a parametric modelling software that enables us to generate different shapes by varying the ruling algorithm.

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