Gothic architects acquired knowledge of construction metrics from the ecclesiastics

23/10/19
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This is what was found in the results of a research project carried out by Josep Lluís i Ginovart and recently presented at the XI National Congress on the History of Construction

Gothic architects acquired knowledge of construction metrics from the ecclesiastics
Apse of Tortosa Cathedral

The ecclesiastical promoters of Gothic cathedrals played a specific role in the development of the Gothic Order. This is at least the conclusion that can be reached based on the study entitled “El capítulo de la catedral, el quadrivium y la construcción de la catedral gótica”, written by the director of the UIC Barcelona School of Architecture, Josep Lluís i Ginovart, along with student Cinta Lluís i Teruel. The research conclusions were recently presented at the XI National Congress on the History of Construction., held in Soria between 9 and 12 October. 

In his study, Josep Lluís i Ginovart looks in-depth into the link between the promoters of cathedrals in the Middle Ages, mainly represented by the bishop and the Cathedral Chapter “The Chapter has speculative knowledge of the theory of proportion derived from a summary of these sources, containing metric principles with a mathematical and geometric basis, as transmitted to the builders of cathedrals” said the director of the UIC Barcelona School of Architecture. 

The conclusions of the study reveal that gothic architects deployed these theories of proportion the way a large abacus would, following the geometria fabrorum system of the medieval maestro, which led to the birth of the gothic order.

The congress where the results were presented is organised by the Spanish Association of the History of Construction, and brings together a group of architects, engineers, historians and archaeologists: the aim of the congress is to contribute to the study of construction. Josep Lluís i Ginovart is a member of this association and has been participating in this congress every year since it first began in 2009.