The Debate about the Structural Behaviour of Gothic Vaults: From Viollet-le-Duc to Heyman

Huerta Fernández, Santiago (2009). The Debate about the Structural Behaviour of Gothic Vaults: From Viollet-le-Duc to Heyman. In: "Third International Congress on Construction History, Cottbus, 20-24 May 2009", 20-24 Mayo 2009, Cottbus. ISBN 978-3-936033-31-1.

Description

Title: The Debate about the Structural Behaviour of Gothic Vaults: From Viollet-le-Duc to Heyman
Author/s:
  • Huerta Fernández, Santiago
Item Type: Presentation at Congress or Conference (Article)
Event Title: Third International Congress on Construction History, Cottbus, 20-24 May 2009
Event Dates: 20-24 Mayo 2009
Event Location: Cottbus
Title of Book: Proceedings of the Third International Congress on Construction History
Date: 2009
ISBN: 978-3-936033-31-1
Volume: 2
Subjects:
Freetext Keywords: historia de la construcción, arcos, bóvedas, gótico, análisis límite, estribos, viollet-le-duc, nervios construction history, arches, vaults, ribs, viollet-le-duc, gothic
Faculty: E.T.S. Arquitectura (UPM)
Department: Estructuras de Edificación [hasta 2014]
Creative Commons Licenses: Recognition - No derivative works - Non commercial

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Abstract

The structural behaviour of the gothic vault will be discussed, focusing in the debate about Viollet-le-Duc’s rational theory (ca. 1850): the “active” ribs support the load of the “passive” masonry of the webs. The debate reached its climax in the 1930’s with the frontal attack mounted by Abraham: the ribs are merely decorative; it is the shell which carries the vault. Other eminent French scholars (Aubert, Focillon), were not so drastic, since Abraham, Viollet’s ideas have been looked with suspicion. The debate is still alive, though in fact was closed by Heyman in the 1960’s, when he formulated the principles of the modern Limit Analysis of masonry structures. Within this new theoretical frame it is a false debate, as it states a question which cannot be answered: what is the “actual” or “true” structural state of a building. This fact, discovered in the 1920’s by Baker, supposes a Copernican change in the approach to the analysis of structures. The debate on gothic vaults may serve to illuminate this approach and its corollaries.

More information

Item ID: 2497
DC Identifier: http://oa.upm.es/2497/
OAI Identifier: oai:oa.upm.es:2497
Deposited by: Profesor S. Huerta
Deposited on: 07 Mar 2010 10:57
Last Modified: 20 Apr 2016 12:10
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