Brunelleschi and the Dome

Roberto Corazzi
Faculty of Architecture, University of Florence Fundamentals and Applications of Descriptive Geometry and Photogrammetric Survey of Architecture.

The dome of Santa Maria del Fiore is unique of its kind. For centuries it has been the subject of research by scholars who tried to ferret out the ‘secret’ of its construction. The studies permitted: – Knowledge of ‘the object’ with clarification of the areas to be explored. – Knowledge of the various theories hypothesized up to now. – Elaboration of data that consists of a study of the electrical characteristics of the materials constituting the sections, and precisely the speed of propagation of the electromagnetic waves and relative electrical permittivity (dielectric constant) and depths reached. – Interpretation of data and creation of radar-grams, that is, interpretive graphics. – Comparison between the results thus obtained and present knowledge of the dome. – Creation of an experimental model of a portion of the vela, with the same qualities as the real one, made with the same materials, and placed according to information that came out of the studies. The comparison between the results of the study carried out on the model and on the dome itself allowed for the making of precise affirmations on the typology of the structure.

Brunelleschi, S. Maria del Fiore, Dome, Geometry, Survey.