In architecture, a pendentive is a constructional device permitting the placing of a circular dome over a square room or of an elliptical dome over a rectangular room.[1] The pendentives, which are triangular segments of a sphere, taper to points at the bottom and spread at the top to establish the continuous circular or elliptical base needed for a dome.[2] In masonry the pendentives thus receive the weight of the dome, concentrating it at the four corners where it can be received by the piers beneath.

Schematic representation of a dome on pendentives.

Prior to the pendentive's development, builders used the device of corbelling or squinches in the corners of a room. Pendentives commonly occurred in Orthodox, Renaissance, and Baroque churches, with a drum with windows often inserted between the pendentives and the dome. The first experimentation with pendentives began with Roman dome construction in the 2nd–3rd century AD,[3] while full development of the form came in the 6th-century Eastern Roman Hagia Sophia at Constantinople.[4]

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References edit

  1. ^ The Columbia Encyclopedia, sixth edition
  2. ^ "pendentive (architecture) - Britannica Online Encyclopedia". Retrieved 2012-08-15.
  3. ^ Rasch 1985, pp. 129f.
  4. ^ Heinle & Schlaich 1996, pp. 30–32

Sources edit

  • Heinle, Erwin; Schlaich, Jörg (1996), Kuppeln aller Zeiten, aller Kulturen, Stuttgart, ISBN 3-421-03062-6{{citation}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  • Rasch, Jürgen (1985), "Die Kuppel in der römischen Architektur. Entwicklung, Formgebung, Konstruktion", Architectura, vol. 15, pp. 117–139