Friday, March 20, 2020


A couple of weeks ago I took a close look at the four corners where the triforium meets the transepts and turns ninety degrees.  On the nave side there are steps, which I described recently.  Steps to nowhere, in one case (apparently.)  I completed the family I had begun and placed it against the wall.  It’s a “fake” in the sense that it doesn’t go inside the wall.  Maybe one day I will make a wall-hosted version that cuts out voids for the steps to embed themselves into.  Right now I am more concerned to study the similarities and differences between these four locations.

On the Nave side (West) you go outside and back in again to access the bridge across the transepts.  On the Choir side (East) you can access the spiral stair, which is what happens on the NE corner.  The SE corner doesn’t seem to connect to anywhere.  Just a dead end, as far as I can tell.  

More work needed in these areas, including making vaults that are high on one side and low on the other.  I think my new family can handle that, but it will take another weekend to work it through.  That only happens on the West anyway.  The vaults on the East side seem to be the same height all around.  I think this is all just happenstance …  unintended consequences of previous decisions …  Inevitable results of taking a decade or more to construct one transept and a different generation coming back later to build the other.  I’m speculating.  Actually, this whole exercise is a long sequence of speculations and “aha” moments.

But before we speculate too much, we need to understand all these little differences and divergences.  Which means continuing to build the model, checking back against reality, making adjustments, asking questions.  Another weekend consumed by this fascinating adventure.  The same elements repeat in slightly different ways.  Sometimes there are two doors, leading “somewhere”, sometimes none.  The windows at the end, pointing (North or South) could be very tall or rather short.

Those windows could be centred, or they might be off to one side.  The recesses on the side away from the transept all have doors leading to storage areas under sloping roofs, usually with pairs of small windows above.  Higher up there are windows to the outside.  To the east these are round, to the north, narrow and pointed.  I always wince when I see the cable trays draped carelessly over these ancient walls.  I guess there is no public access to the triforium galleries, but it would be nice to add electric lighting in a more sensitive manner.

Francois continues to make good progress, lifting the tracery of the larger windows to a higher LOD.  There are lots of variants once again so this will continue for some time.  Go for it Francois!

It’s becoming obvious that the fenestration has bee changed a couple of times, maybe more.  And I’m beginning to get a feel for the time sequence.  So I decided to do a bit of drafting to quickly record my understanding.  I make no apologies for working in 2d sometimes.  There are times when that’s the best way to figure things out.  And hand drawing is an incredibly powerful too also.  So the next image is a combination of Revit drafting and hand sketching on my phone.  

Continuing with the adjustment of the vaults to the revised grid, I finally get around to the apse.  Alfredo is pretty tied up with his day job these days, so I took the liberty of adapting his work myself.  I had already replaced the zigzag vaults with my own versions so these just need to be resized.  As mentioned previously, the choir is narrower than the Nave, so I had to tighten up the arcs to match.  Fortunately the “trapezium” vaults around the edges are adjustable by moving the four adaptive points that define those shapes.

Meanwhile Daniel has been working with a friend to create a Forge viewer that can be embedded in the web site that we are planning to create.  This will have the virtue of allowing visitors to jump between the model and conventional drawing sheets.  It doesn’t quite have the “wow factor” of an Enscape3d executable, but the two approaches can be complimentary in telling the story our lady has to tell.

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