An Italian-American investigation has revealed the secret of domes built without the use of formwork or scaffolding. This science can be very useful for modern applications.

Now that the secret of building scale structures has been uncovered, a new world is opening up. This is the firm belief of Sigrid Adriaenssens, senior lecturer in civil engineering and environmental engineering at the prestigious University of Princeton, New Jersey. With her department and in collaboration with the engineering faculty of the University of Bergamo in Italy, she studied how self-supporting brick domes were built in the Italian Renaissance. Such domes were erected without the use of scaffolding or formwork. The results are described in the July issue of the journal “Engineering Structures” (Publishers Elsevier).

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About the author

Author profile picture Ewout Kieckens is a Dutch journalist in Rome who writes about Italian lifestyle and culture. He has written books on diverse subjects such as the Vatican and Italian women. He is very interested in innovations, especially Italian contribution to progress.