Based on analyses of built objects, we investigate how Late Gothic vaults were designed and planned, how the information flow from design to construction was performed, and which geometric concepts and notions of structural mechanics determined their design and construction. This gives an insight into the organization and communication processes on the building sites, as well as to the information society and the principles of architectural design in the period of transition from late Middle Ages to Early Modern.

With a Proof of Concept Grant, on the basis of the research on the geometric design of the vaults, the historical procedures for the design of the single building elements are investigated, which enabled carving the stones with astonishing precision and assembling them accurately to complex structures. The aim is to recover historical technical knowledge, which constitutes an immaterial cultural heritage, and to make it accessible in the practice of restoration.

In the synthesis of basic and applied research, and drawing from the reciprocal knowledge transfer between the research group and recognized specialists in stone masonry, we are able put forward for discussion a comprehensive picture of the design of Late Gothic vaults, ranging from the general concept to the setting-out and production of the single stone members.

Design Principles in Late-Gothic Vault Construction – A New Approach Based on Surveys, Reverse Geometric Engineering and Reinterpretation of the Sources (ERC Starting Grant)

Late Gothic Vaults and their Complex Stone Members: Recovering Historical Design Procedures, Implementing Knowledge in Restoration Practice (ERC Proof of Concept Grant)