The Structure of Gothic

Gothic buildings, like practically all historic buildings, were constructed in plumb; the degree to which they are no longer so can be “read” as the result of the action of forces: the direct feedback supplied by the building to its creator. Until modern structural modeling techniques are sufficiently able to account for the myriad conditions of the actual building and able to elucidate these conditions to engineer and art historian alike, close observation by laser, which invites the building to ‘speak’ its structural state directly, is the most promising approach to understanding Gothic structure. My current book project, The Structure of Gothic, employs this cutting-edge technology to tell the story of Gothic structure anew.

The images above were rendered from laser surveys undertaken with funding from the Samuel Kress Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Lucy Maynard Salmon Fund at Vassar College.