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Unformatted text preview: s, which eliminates the apex of the dome, also lightens the structure. Massive piers support the dome on all sides of the round building. When you visit the Pantheon, you don’t notice these massive supports because the exedrae and sculptural decoration act as a visual screen. You can also see in this cutaway view that the dome becomes progressively lighter towards the top—with the heaviest areas closest to the vertical supports of the dome. The result is that the massive weight of the dome is concentrated downward onto the supporting piers below. 5 Here are a couple of detail views of the Pantheon showing some very important elements of the structure on the exterior: relieving arches. These are arches built directly into the exterior brick wall, and they act to relieve some of the pressure exerted by the massive dome. 6 Here is an exterior view of the top of the Pantheon dome, showing its stepped profile—I brought this in to show you that the dome is thinner towards the top and thicker towards the bottom, again to concentrate the weight of the dome downward onto its supporting piers. Something else that is i...
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This note was uploaded on 09/28/2011 for the course PL SC 101 taught by Professor Web during the Summer '11 term at Pennsylvania State University, University Park.

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