Final Essay

Final Essay - The development of Gothic architecture in...

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The development of Gothic architecture in France proved to be a catalyst to an explosive new style that spread throughout Europe. In early French gothic architecture new features and styles like flying buttresses, arches, naves and vaulting were introduced. Cut stone masonry had begun to replace the rubble masonry of the Normans, enabling the architects to build more lightly in weight and appearance. The form of rib vaulting used cross ribs which acted together to create a complete skeleton of arches decorating the edges and main folds of the vault. This new form was open on all sides permitting the flow of light and space. The flying buttresses were used to counteract the pressures and reduce the weight of these concentrated loads created by the vaulting. In addition the shape of the buttress created larger windows in the nave walls. The Abbey Church of St. Denis (1137-1144) located just outside of Paris is the earliest structure that effectively used these new innovations. Although the mastermind behind this building is unknown, it is clear that the architect successfully designed a building which defined the elements of gothic style: space, light, line and geometric proportion. The ambulatory, which separates the choir from the apse and uses space, light and line to create a symbolic and strong religious vision, is seen at St. Denis. This was one of the first French gothic buildings that ideals such as geometric clarity, skeletal lightness and the façade were used effectively. Some of the biggest changes were seen in the Cathedral of Noyon (1170), located in Noyon, France. The new fourth story addition, the blind arcade, between the gallery and
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This essay was uploaded on 03/17/2009 for the course ARCH 3114 taught by Professor Ameri during the Fall '07 term at Colorado.

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Final Essay - The development of Gothic architecture in...

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