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Renaissance vaults: geometry, nurbs and computational opportunities for reconstruction

Cecilia Maria Bolognesi, Gabriele Stancato


Creating an interpretative geometric representation of architectural shapes is crucial to learn the essence of any architecture, to preserve it and to hand it down through the ages to our descendants. Nowadays the generation of an accurate reality-based 3D model from a survey is the first step to set up a geometric model that, before its semantic enrichment, must be geometrically correct.

In this paper, we compare different workflows adopted in modelling a Renaissance vault in Santa Maria delle Grazie complex in Milan starting from a laser scanner survey acquired within a wider survey campaign of the complex. The vault of the Ancient Sacristy, a Renaissance masterpiece by Donato Bramante, has been chosen according to its integrity, despite the bombings suffered by the Complex in 1943. The workflows have been used to optimize a system of comprehension of the building and to evaluate by analogy a similar vault of the complex added with some reflection at the end: the vault of the Refectory that hosts “the Last Supper” painting. This latter was destroyed by bombing and rebuilt last century on the drawing of a direct survey previously occurred. We can consider the vaulted system as a clear example to practice understanding of the geometric rules of architecture first and the vaulted surface modelling then, to be compared through the principles of descriptive geometry in a dialectical relationship between theory and practice between geometry and construction. In this paper, multi-purpose interpretative models try to read and  describe the state of the art and possible declinations of the semantics linked to an architectural object unique in its value.



Accuracy; vaults; nurbs; parametric; stereometry

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Copyright (c) 2021 Cecilia Maria Bolognesi, Gabriele Stancato

ISSN 1828 5961
Registration at L'Aquila Law Court no 3/15 on 29th June, 2015.
Indexed in SCOPUS. Diamond Open Access. All papers are subjected to double blind peer review system by qualified reviewers.

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