Ad Quadratum: The Practical Application of Geometry in Medieval Architecture, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Ad Quadratum

The Practical Application of Geometry in Medieval Architecture, 1st Edition

Edited by Nancy Y. Wu


296 pages

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pub: 2016-11-11
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The purpose of the project is to provide the most up-to-date survey on issues dealing with practical geometry and how it might have been applied in the design of medieval architecture. Chronologically, the topics cover a wide span - from early Medieval through Late Gothic. Geographically, the monuments under discussion range from Early Medieval Florence through Carolingian Germany, Crusader Cyprus, Romanesque France and Gothic England. The applications of both geometry and metrology are considered in this volume, often with illustrations generated by computer-assisted design (CAD) software. The project therefore offers recent scholarship in the field, as well as cutting-edge technology which helps propel the pursuit of such studies. To this end, the project is the first of its kind both in terms of its focus and its comprehensiveness. Such a project is sorely needed to introduce this highly specialized discipline to other historians of art, history, and science of the Middle Ages, as well as historians in most humanistic areas.


'This collection of papers is one of the greatest possible interest for those who wish to study (or question?) the use of geometry in medieval design… for those who are fascinated by this emerging discipline and who want to follow the analysis of great European buildings Ad Quadratum [is] essential reading.' Ecclesiastical Architects and Surveyors Association Journal Review 'Eric Fernie's excellent introduction to the anthology offers insightful guidelines that any researcher investigating medieval building design should follow.' CAA Reviews

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface, William W. Clark and Nancy Wu; Introduction, Eric C. Fernie; Geometry on a Carolingian wall, Warren Sanderson; A proposal for constructing the plan and elevation of a Romanesque church using three measures, Marie-Thérèse Zenner; Measure and proportion in Romanesque architecture, James Addiss; A schematic plan for Norwich Cathedral, Nigel Hiscock; The plan of Saint-Quentin: pentagon and square in the genesis of high Gothic design, Ellen M. Shortell; The hand of the mind: the ground plan of Reims as a case study, Nancy Y. Wu; Reconciling the feet at Beauvais and Amiens Cathedrals, Stephen Murray; On the drawing board: plans of the Clermont Cathedral terrace, Michael T. Davis; Geometry studies: the blind tracery in the western chapels of Narbonne Cathedral, Vivian Paul; The Church of St George of the Latins in Famagusta: a case study on medieval metrology and design techniques, Alpay Özdural; Geometry and scenography in the late Gothic choir of Metz Cathedral, Robert Bork; Index.

About the Series

AVISTA Studies in the History of Medieval Technology, Science and Art

AVISTA Studies in History of Medieval Technology, Science and Art is a series organised by AVISTA (The Association Villard de Honnecourt for Interdisciplinary Study of Medieval Technology, Science and Art). The aim of the series is to promote the cross-disciplinary objectives of AVISTA by publishing in the areas of the history of science, technology, architecture, and art. The society takes its name from Villard (Wilars) de Honnecourt, an elusive persona of the 13th century whose autograph portfolio contains a variety of fascinating drawings and descriptions of both the fine and mechanical arts.

For further information about the series please contact Michael Greenwood at


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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General