Experiments in Gothic Structure
First published over thirty years ago, this fascinating study of the structural elements of Gothic cathedrals is written by an engineer who spent fifteen years applying analytical techniques of structural mechanics to Gothic buildings. He used these techniques to solve continuing historical arguments about whether flying buttresses hold the roof up or are merely decorative, whether ornate pinnacles atop piers are structurally necessary or purely aesthetic, whether the ribs of the vaults hold up the ceiling as is generally believed, and whether the cathedral at Chartres deserves its place in history as the height of innovative medieval design. Originally published in 1982 by MIT. One of a Series. Published by Bibliotheque McLean. ISBN 9780955886867.