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Encyclopedia > Flying buttress
Flying buttresses at Bath Abbey, Bath, England. Of the six seen here the left hand five are supporting the nave, and the right hand one is suporting the transept. Notice their cast shadows on the windows
Flying buttresses at Bath Abbey, Bath, England. Of the six seen here the left hand five are supporting the nave, and the right hand one is suporting the transept. Notice their cast shadows on the windows

In architecture, a flying buttress, or arc-boutant, is usually on a religious building, used to transmit the thrust of a vault across an intervening space (which might be an aisle, chapel or cloister), to a buttress outside the building. The employment of the flying buttress means that the load bearing walls can contain cut-outs, such as for large windows, that would otherwise seriously weaken the vault walls. Download high resolution version (1500x1084, 449 KB) Six flying buttresses at Bath Abbey, Bath, England. ... Download high resolution version (1500x1084, 449 KB) Six flying buttresses at Bath Abbey, Bath, England. ... Bath Abbey at sunset Bath Abbey is the last in a series of monastic churches built in Bath and is still in active use. ... Bath is a city in Somerset, England most famous for its baths fed by three hot springs. ... For other uses, see England (disambiguation). ... Links to full descriptions of the elements of a Gothic floorplan are also found at the entry Cathedral diagram. ... Cathedral ground plan. ... This article is about building architecture. ... The Lierne vault of the Liebfrauenkirche, Mühlacker 1482. ... In a modern church an aisle is a row down the middle of the church with a set of pews on each side. ... A chapel is a private church, usually small and often attached to a larger institution such as a college, a hospital, a palace, or a prison. ... Cloister of Saint Trophimus, in Arles, France A cloister (from latin claustrum) is a part of cathedral, monastic and abbey architecture. ... A buttress (and mostly concealed, a flying buttress) supporting walls at the Palace of Westminster Three different types of buttress: diagonal, on the statues plinth; an ordinary buttress supporting a flying buttress, to the right of the statue; a small ordinary buttress to the right side of the picture... In architecture and building technique, a load bearing wall is one in which a wall of a structure bears the weight and force resting upon it, as opposed to a curtain wall which uses the strength of a sub wall and superstructure to carry the weight. ...


The purpose of a buttress was to reduce the load on the vault wall. The majority of the load is carried by the upper part of the buttress, so making the buttress as a semi-arch provides almost the same load bearing capability, yet in a much lighter as well as a much cheaper structure. As a result, the buttress flies through the air, rather than resting on the ground and hence is known as a flying buttress.


Though employed by the Romans and in early Romanesque work, it was generally masked by other constructions or hidden under a roof, but in the 12th century it was recognized as rational construction and emphasized by the decorative accentuation of its features, as in the cathedrals of Chartres, Le Mans, Paris, Beauvais, Reims, etc. Ancient Rome was a civilization that grew from a small agricultural community founded on the Italian Peninsula circa the 9th century BC to a massive empire straddling the Mediterranean Sea. ... South transept of Tournai Cathedral, Belgium, 12th century. ... (11th century - 12th century - 13th century - other centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 12th century was that century which lasted from 1101 to 1200. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The Cathedral of Chartres (Cathedral of Our Lady of Chartres, French: Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres), located in Chartres, about 50 miles (80 km) from Paris, is considered one of the finest examples in all France of the Gothic style of architecture. ... Le Mans is a city in France, located at the Sarthe River. ... Notre Dame de Paris: Western Façade For other uses, see Notre Dame. ... Beauvais is a town and commune of northern France, préfecture (capital) of the Oise département. ... Façade of the Notre-Dame de Reims The Notre-Dame de Reims (Our Lady of Rheims) is the Cathedral of Reims, where the kings of France were once crowned. ...

Close-up of two flying buttresses at Bath Abbey, Bath, England. These are the right hand two buttresses of the picture above
Close-up of two flying buttresses at Bath Abbey, Bath, England. These are the right hand two buttresses of the picture above

Sometimes, owing to the great height of the vaults, two semi-arches were thrown one above the other, and there are cases where the thrust was transmitted to two or even three butts across intervening spaces. Normal buttresses would add significantly to the weight of the overall structure, so the flying buttress is essential aspect of the architecture. As a vertical buttress, placed at a distance, possesses greater power of resistance to thrust than if attached to the wall carrying the vault, vertical buttresses as at Lincoln Cathedral and Westminster Abbey were built outside the chapterhouse to receive the thrust. Vertical buttresses are usually weighted with pinnacles to give greater power of resistance. Download high resolution version (1500x1092, 485 KB) Close-up of two flying buttresses at Bath Abbey, Bath, England. ... Download high resolution version (1500x1092, 485 KB) Close-up of two flying buttresses at Bath Abbey, Bath, England. ... Lincoln Cathedral (in full The Cathedral Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Lincoln, or sometimes St. ... The Collegiate Church of St Peter, Westminster, which is almost always referred to by its original name of Westminster Abbey, is a mainly Gothic church, on the scale of a cathedral (and indeed often mistaken for one), in Westminster, London, just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. ... pinnacle Sint-Petrus-en-Pauluskerk, Ostend, Belgium A pinnacle (from Latin pinnaculum, a little feather, pinna) is an architectural ornament originally forming the cap or crown of a buttress or small turret, but afterwards used on parapets at the corners of towers and in many other situations. ...


This technique has also been used by Canadian architect William P. Anderson to build lighthouses at the beginning of the 20th century. Eddystone Lighthouse, one of the first wavewashed lighthouses For other uses, see Lighthouse (disambiguation). ... (19th century - 20th century - 21st century - more centuries) Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s As a means of recording the passage of time, the 20th century was that century which lasted from 1901–2000 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar (1900–1999...


Construction

Villard de Honnecourt's drawing of a flying buttress at Reims, ca. AD 1320–1335 (Bibliothèque nationale)

"To build the flying buttress, it was first necessary to construct temporary wooden frames which are called centering. The centering would support the weight of the stones and help maintain the shape of the arch until the mortar was dry. The centering were first built on the ground by the carpenters. Once that was done, they would be hoisted into place and fastened to the piers at the end of one buttress and at the other. These acted as temporary flying buttresses until the actual stone butt was complete." [1] Villard de Honnecourt, drawing of a buttress at Reims, in his album of drawings, ca 1230 - 35. ... Villard de Honnecourt, drawing of a buttress at Reims, in his album of drawings, ca 1230 - 35. ... Self-portrait (?) of Villard de Honnecourt from The Portfolio of Villard de Honnecourt (about 1230) Villard de Honnecourt was possibly a 13th century itinerant master-builder of Picardy in northern France, whose surviving portfolio of drawings (ca 1230s?) is in the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris (MS Fr 19093). ... Façade of the Notre-Dame de Reims The Notre-Dame de Reims (Our Lady of Rheims) is the Cathedral of Reims, where the kings of France were once crowned. ... The new buildings of the library. ...


See also:

Interior of Cologne Cathedral Interior of San Zanipolo, Venice, photo Giovanni dallOrto. ... Montreal (Canada) cathedral Cathedrals are among the most ambitious buildings ever conceived, far exceeding the size and complexity of most other constructions and often requiring many years to complete. ...

References

  • This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.

  Results from FactBites:
 
Reference.com/Encyclopedia/Flying buttress (408 words)
In architecture, a flying buttress, or arc-boutant, is usually on a religious building, used to transmit the thrust of a vault across an intervening space (which might be an aisle, chapel or cloister), to a buttress outside the building.
The employment of the flying buttress means that the load bearing walls can contain cut-outs, such as for large windows, that would otherwise seriously weaken the vault walls.
As a vertical buttress, placed at a distance, possesses greater power of resistance to thrust than if attached to the wall carrying the vault, vertical buttresses as at Lincoln Cathedral and Westminster Abbey were built outside the chapterhouse to receive the thrust.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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