Vault

DEFINITION

In architecture, an arched roof or covering of masonry construction; made of brick, stone, or concrete. A barrel (or tunnel) vault is semi-cylindrical in cross-section, made up of a continuous row of arches joined to one another. A groin or cross vault consists of two barrel vaults intersecting each other at right angles. In a cross-barrel vault, the main barrel (tunnel) vault is intersected at right angles with other barrel (tunnel) vaults at regular intervals. A dome is a hemispherical vault. A quadrant vault is a half-barrel (tunnel) vault. In a ribbed vault, there is a framework of ribs or arches under the intersections of the vaulting sections.A sexpartite vault is a ribbed vault with six panels. A fan vault is a development of lierne vaulting characteristic English Perpendicular Gothic, in which radiating ribs form a fan-like pattern.Related link: The Glossary of Medieval Art and Architecture defines several types of rib vaults: fan, net, quadripartite, sexpartite; as well as the barrel or tunnel vault, and the groin vault; and provides illustrations.Also see aisle, centering, clerestory, crocket, Gothic, Middle Ages, nave, ogive, pendentive, perpendicular, rib, trabeation, and triforium.

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