CumInCAD is a Cumulative Index about publications in Computer Aided Architectural Design
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_id ijac20075207
id ijac20075207
authors Jabi, Wassim; Potamianos, Iakovos
year 2007
title Geometry, Light, and Cosmology in the Church of Hagia Sophia
source International Journal of Architectural Computing vol. 5 - no. 2, pp. 304-319
summary Designed by a physicist and a mathematician, the Hagia Sophia church in Istanbul, Turkey acted as an experimental test case in which advanced knowledge of geometrical constructs, sophisticated understanding of light behavior, and religious and cosmological beliefs combined to create a magnificent structure. While some of its design concepts are known, many remain hidden. Earthquakes have demolished parts of the church—such as the original dome. Researchers have in the past misinterpreted their observations and perpetuated false conclusions. Lastly, the lack of digital tools has until now prevented verification and analysis of prior findings. In this paper, we integrate traditional historical research, parametric digital analysis, and lighting simulation to analyze several aspects of the church. In particular, we focus on the geometry of the floor plan, the geometry of the apse, and light behavior in the original dome. Our findings point to the potential of digital tools in the discovery of a structure's hidden features and design rules.
series journal
last changed 2007/08/29 14:23

_id 2006_798
id 2006_798
authors Potamianos, Iakovos and Wassim Jabi
year 2006
title Interactive Parametric Design and the Role of Light in Byzantine Churches
source Communicating Space(s) [24th eCAADe Conference Proceedings / ISBN 0-9541183-5-9] Volos (Greece) 6-9 September 2006, pp. 798-803
summary Byzantine church design depended heavily on natural light which was used for evocative purposes. The orientation of the main axis of the church, the form of the apse and the location and size of its windows are affected by the need for sunlight to shine at the altar on a desired time and for a certain duration. Until now the process of accurately taking account of all the above parameters has been rather difficult and tedious. This paper illustrates the use of digital tools both for the analysis of the geometry of existing apse designs and the parametric generation of new ones. A sophisticated computer program was used to calculate sun angles during the Byzantine period incorporating calendar changes. In addition, Bentley System’s Generative Components software was used to construct a parametric model that allows the user to define the geometric conditions and parameters of the apse. The software would then iterate through multiple solutions to satisfy the desired conditions as well as allow the user to change the conditions at will. The tools were used to discover the geometry of the apse of the Byzantine church of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople and to analyze the apse of the Post-Byzantine church of the Xeropotamou monastery on Mount Athos in Greece. The paper concludes with a discussion of the role of parametric tools for architectural analysis and the generation of possible design solutions.
keywords Parametric Design; Generative Components; Light; Byzantine Churches
series eCAADe
email ipota@tee.gr
last changed 2006/08/16 16:54

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