Modelling Medieval Vaults Symposium 2 Schedule

Online event hosted by the Tracing the Past research team at Liverpool, United Kingdom

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Once registered, relevant links for Zoom will be sent via email during the week before the conference.


This symposium is a follow up to that held in July 2016, which began to explore shared interests in gothic vaults, particularly research aided by digital methods . Our second event aims to take the conversations further and share findings from our ‘Tracing the Past’ research project investigating the design and construction of English medieval vaults.

The use of digital surveying and analysis techniques, such as laser scanning, photogrammetry, 3D reconstructions or reverse engineering offers the opportunity to re-examine historic works of architecture. In the context of medieval vaults, this has enabled research into three-dimensional design processes, construction methods, structural engineering, building archaeology and relationships between buildings.

To date much of this research, including our own, has focussed on individual sites or regions. The aim of our second event is to support discussion of the international and cross-temporal dimensions of this research and foster potential collaboration.

Thursday 19th August 2021 (all times BST)

09:00 Welcome and introduction

09:10 Keynote 1: Santiago Huerta, Geometry and Equilbrium: The Safety of Gothic Cathedrals

10:10 Break

10:20 Rocío Maira Vidal, The Monastery of Las Huelgas Reales in Burgos and the Abbey of St Serge in Angers: Similarities and Differences in the Construction of Their Angevin Vaults

10:40  Dimitris Theodossopoulos and Christianna Veloudak, Analysing the Irregularities in the Construction of the Vaults in the church of St. Giles, Edinburgh

11:00  Louis Vandenabeele, Reverse engineering of masonry structures using digital surveys and parametric design: applications to the Basilica of St Anthony in Padua

11:20  Questions

11:30 Break

11:40  Keynote 2: José Calvo-López, Meeting in space: using conceptual models to put forward a common frame for some of the recent research in Gothic vaulting

12:40 Lunch break

13:30  Brian Farrimond and Ella Pereira, Vaulting by Numbers: the Application of 3D Parametric Modelling Techniques to the Construction of 3D models of Medieval Vaults

13:50  Nick Webb, Parametric Design and English Gothic Vaults

14:10  Luis Agustín-Hernández, Raffaele Argiolas, Vincenzo Bagnolo, Miguel Sancho Mir, Geometric Rules and Design Principles in Late-Gothic Mediterranean Ribbed Vaults: a Computational Approach

14:30  Questions

14:40 Break

14:50  James Hillson, The Tracing Floor at Wells Cathedral

15:10  Sophie Dentzer-Niklasson, The Beginning of Lierne Vaulting in England: Architectural Ambition and Vaulting Experiments at Pershore Abbey

15:30   Jenny Alexander, Building the High Vault of Lincoln’s Angel Choir

15:50  Questions

16:00 Break

16:10  Keynote 3: Robert Bork, Vaulting Ambition at Reims and Metz

17:10 Break

17:30  Book launch: Digital Analysis of Vaults in English Medieval Architecture Alexandrina Buchanan, James Hillson and Nicholas Webb

  18:00 Virtual drinks

Friday 20th August 2021 (all times BST)

09:00 Welcome (now moved to 10:10 as keynote cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances)

09:10 Keynote 4: Thomas Bauer, Jörg Lauterbach and Norbert Nußbaum, From Wisinger to Getzinger: Vault Builders and Deconstructionist Artists Around 1500 (cancelled)

10:10 Welcome

10:20  Clemens Voigts, Analysing the Geometry of Late Gothic Vaults in Southern Germany

10:40  Dominik Lengyel and Catherine Toulouse, Gothic Vaults With a View to Spatial Composition

11:00  Clemens Knobling, Surveying techniques for late Gothic rib vaults – a comparative case study in Schaffhausen, Switzerland

11:20  Questions

11:30 Break

11:40  Balázs Szőke and Attila Weisz, The Three Vaults of the Reformed Church on “Farkas Street” in Cluj-Napoca / Kolozsvár / Klausenburg

12:00  José Maria Guerrero Vega, Roque Angulo Fornos and Francisco Pinto Puerto, Survey and Analysis of the Late Gothic Vaulting Over the Nave of the Church of San Miguel in Morón de la Frontera (1510-1556)

12:20  Manuel Maissen, Visualising Complex Vault Geometries Through 3D Printing: the Wasserkirche in Zurich, Switzerland

12:20  Questions

12:40 Break

13:30  Meeting of the International Gothic Vaults Group

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