Nexus Network Journal

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 107–125 | Cite as

The Hidden Face of the Vault: Unveiling The Expression of the Avant-Garde Through the Use of the Sphere in Teposcolula’s Open Chapel

  • Benjamin Ibarra-Sevilla


Benjamin Ibarra-Sevilla examines the role of the sphere in the Open Chapel built in San Pedro y San Pablo Teposcolula during sixteenth century. This unique Mexican building contains a complex ribbed vault designed on a hexagonal plan forming a semi-spherical dome. The investigation examines the use of the sphere in this structure in light of the design precepts practiced during the Renaissance in Europe. Furthermore, the study finds the connections of these precepts with a mathematical solution to the sphere based on convex shapes theories. By revealing the intricacies of the underlying geometry applied to design this building, this text aims to demonstrate the scholastic and architectural relevance of this refined Mexican piece of architecture.


Mexican architecture open chapel sixteenth-century architecture Teposcolula symbolism Euclidean geometry harmonic proportions geometric analysis sacred geometry spheres trigonometry 


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Copyright information

© Kim Williams Books, Turin 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Minnesota School of ArchitectureMinneapolisUSA

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