An Introduction to Shell Structures: The Art and Science of by Michele Melaragno

By Michele Melaragno

The paintings of establishing dome shell constructions has given to the baroque for its assumed pompo been with us when you consider that precedent days. present ex sity in glorifying curves. In sensible phrases amples within the Astrodome, the Superdome, such an perspective in layout is obviously mani the Kingdome, and the Florida Suncoast fested within the current cityscapes which are to Dome stand to remind us of the counterpoint tally freed from arches, domes, shells, and any they play to the Pantheon, S. Sophia, S. different shape that's not rectilinear. is that this what Maria del Fiore, and St. Peter. The latter we actually want-plans and elevations with can be considered through a few as being old purely instantly traces, ninety-degree angles, or, background, yet they're found in the 20th in a few bold situations, forty-five-degree century and therefore are part of our current angles? It doesn't look so. and destiny. Why do students proceed to equally, the curricula in either civil engi research them? What can they educate us? A re neering and structure in constructions appear vival of curiosity in curvilinear constructions is to disregard deliberately arches and vaults, lim below approach, because the present examples simply brought up iting those matters to graduate courses in thin-shell layout as being a really good eso testify. at the start of this century, less than teric topic.

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D. 120-124) This dome is the most important of all those built before the advent of scientific engineering. Empirically designed and capitalizing on all the engineering techniques of its time, including such materials as Roman concrete 29 Wood and Masonry Domes , ........... J .. ". the thickness of the dome, thus generating coffers. Having a central opening on the top, the oculum, contributes also to reducing the dome's weight. Both the coffers and the oculum were not only structurally expedient features but also architectural elements.

Cruciform Domes Because of the unique significance of the cross in Christianity, the cruciform plan of Christian churches introduced a unique expression distinct from earlier cultures' plan configurations. Cruciform geometry reinforces the idea of having a focal point at the intersection of the two arms of the cross, thus emphasizing the cruciform concept with more intensity than were the previously mentioned shapes. Byzantine construction was typically brick, with thick mortar beds. The mortar was made of sand and lime mixed with crushed brick and tile and pottery fragments.

526-547) Built by Justinian and modeled on the Minerva Medica in Rome, this dome was partially constructed of clay pottery to attain a lighter mass. Such a unique feature, found in only a few Byzantine domes, definitely indicates the confidence that Byzantine builders had in their knowledge of construction. This early Byzantine dome is covered on its exterior by a wood structure supporting a roof. In the tradition of Roman prototypes, the main role of this dome was to complete the interior space, rather than to make a statement about the exterior mass.

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