MEDIA: The Times “Hi-tech sleuths reveal dome truths”

In one of today’s leading articles of the Times, our study on the role of the herringbone brick spirals in the stability of the Italian Renaissance Domes, like the Duomo in Florence, is discussed.

Generations of pilgrims, tourists and architecture students have marvelled at the splendour of Italy’s Renaissance domed churches and cathedrals. But as the visitors wondered, the secret of how these majestic buildings came to be has remained elusive.

Despite their fabulous wealth, popes and merchant princes did not care for the expense of traditional building methods, which would have used elaborate wooden frames to support brickwork spans — and in any case, timber was in short supply. So how were they built? Modern technology has finally provided the answer: it is all down to geometry.

Engineers have used computer analysis to show how the architect Antonio da Sangallo perfected a complex double-helix design to build domes without the usual temporary timber centering. more here