Zoe Opacic – Diamond Vaults

Lecture date: 2005-11-22

Architecturally, the medieval diamond vaults of Central Europe offer some of the most impressive examples of geometrical experimentation and versatility in both secular and sacred spaces. As their name suggests, the ceilings are so complex that they recall the facets of a cut gemstone. From a historical point of view, they show the continuing vitality of Gothic architecture at a time when the rediscovery of the classical past in Renaissance Italy was changing the course of building. The stark, concave-convex shapes of the vaults, with their lyrical play of light and shade, strike us today as incredibly modern.

Zoe Opacic introduces this little known architectural phenomenon in a lecture accompanying an AA exhibition and publication. Zoe Opacic is lecturer in History and Theory of Architecture at Birkbeck, University of London.


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