Gothic Architecture Fundamentals Gothic architecture is distinguished by three characteristics: The angled arch The vault with ribs The buttress that flies from the wall to support the weight of the roof.
Angled arches are used instead of straight ones, to increase strength and stability. The pointed arch, which becomes more prominent in French and Spanish Gothic architecture, is an example of this type of arch. Arches are often combined with other elements such as voussoirs (pieces of stone set into opposite sides of an arch) or flying buttresses (supports for a roof structure designed to hold up a wall beneath it).
Vaults are large, open spaces within a building's supporting framework created by dome-shaped roofs that extend beyond the walls of the building. Roofs of this kind were originally used as weather shelters but later became standard feature of Gothic buildings. Vents in the walls allowed smoke to escape from fireplaces without filling the rooms with smoke.
The third element of Gothic architecture is the buttress. Buttresses are short pillars attached to a wall to provide extra support underneath a structure such as a ceiling or floor. They can also be used as decorative features if done so carefully.
The pointed arch, the rib vault, and the flying buttress are the three primary aspects of Gothic architecture covered in this course. After that, we'll look at a slideshow of Gothic-style specimens from throughout Europe.
A master builder would incorporate pointed arches, ribbed vaults, and a flying buttress while constructing a Gothic cathedral. These are just some of the many architectural styles that were popular in the Middle Ages. The church was built over a period of many years by many different artists/builders. They would not all be known personally for their work, but instead they would take credit for the buildings they had helped create through their drawings and models.
The first thing a master builder would do is decide on the general shape of the building. This might be done by meeting with the bishop or priest who will be giving them money to build the church. They would then choose a site for the building and decide what style it should be built in. Would it be made of stone or wood? If stone then chiseled or carved; if wood then frame or gothic.
After deciding on the general shape of the building, it's time to start thinking about how it's going to be constructed. Will it have stone walls or wood? If wood then frame or gothic.
While the Gothic style varies depending on location, age, and kind of structure, it is frequently distinguished by five major architectural elements: huge stained glass windows, pointed arches, ribbed vaults, flying buttresses, and rich ornamentation. These elements can be found in many different combinations in various buildings around the world.
Stained glass windows were important features of Gothic architecture, used to great effect to let light into dark spaces and to decorate the interior of churches. They could also be used as a weapon in times of war - soldiers would go "window-breaking" during sieges to break down doors and allow easy entry into besieged towns.
Pointed arches support structures such as roofs and walls without using any horizontal members, like beams or columns. They are used instead under the stress-bearing parts of the building. Arches come in several shapes including semicircular, square, and straight. The most common arch shape used in Gothic architecture is the semicircular arch, which is made up of two curved lines meeting at a point called the keystone. This type of arch provides support for a ceiling or roof without having to use vertical posts or beams. It is strong yet flexible, and can easily withstand heavy loads without breaking.
Ribbed vaults are dome-shaped ceilings without beams that are commonly found in Gothic churches.
Architecture such as Gothic or Renaissance. Gothic architecture is distinguished by pointed arches, flying buttresses, and vaulted ceilings. Orderly groupings of columns, semicircular arches, and domes are common in Renaissance architecture, with a concentration on symmetry and geometry. The styles evolved in Europe but have been widely adopted around the world.
Gothic architecture reached its zenith in the late 12th century and early 13th century. After the Black Death reduced population levels, many towns and cities were abandoned, leading to the fall of great institutions like the Roman Catholic Church. When new buildings were needed, people looked to architects who used the Gothic style, which was easy to work with because it was simple and direct.
Renaissance architecture came about when designers started to use classical orders instead of just geometric shapes. This led to a new wave of building projects that took advantage of new technologies and materials such as concrete and steel. Around the same time, the Italian city-states were conquering much of Europe, bringing back knowledge of how government should be run. This led to a revival of interest in Greek and Roman architecture, which had fallen out of fashion after the invasion of the Germanic tribes in the 5th century.
The term "renaissance" means "rebirth" or "returning to life", and this description fits the era very well.