Gothic Structural Experimentation

By Robert Mark and William W. Clark Scientific American, November 1984

Gothic builders used the cathedrals themselves as models, modifying designs as structural problems emerged. An analysis of buttressing patterns shows that information spread rapidly among building sites.

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The Structural Analysis of Gothic Cathedrals

By Robert Mark Scientific American, November 1972

Comparison of Chartres and Bourges by optical stress analysis relates the aesthetic achievement to structural imperatives and suggests that later Gothic cathedrals may have been patterned on the wrong building.

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With thanks to reader Piet Beertema in the Netherlands for the suggestion.