Domes: Their Morphological Significance

  • Michele Melaragno


Is curvilinearity, as it is applied to structures, a morphological abstraction employed by only a few theoreticians, or is it a fundamental issue that needs to be explored by anyone seriously committed to the full range of design? Eliminating the issue of any subserviency of one profession to another, no design practitioner can start from a position that is not attached to a rational foundation without risking a fall into exercises of meaningless relevance. Shells and domes as building forms combine different roots that need analysis to rationalize and connect their multifaceted aspects.


Domical Structure Eighth Century Domical Form Masonry Arch Domical Shape 
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  1. 1.
    E. Baldwin Smith. The Dome: A Study in the History of Ideas (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1971).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    According to legend, the religious schools or cults of the Dioskouroi, founded by Orpheus, are assumed to have begun by the end of the seventh century b.c. and possibly even a century earlier. Several cults were popular in Athens at that time.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Various nomadic peoples settled in the area between the Black Sea, the Don, and the Dnieper rivers in the eighth century b.c. These were belligerent tribes who interacted with the Assyrians, Phoenicians, Persians, and Greeks. They were finally displaced by the Celts and dispersed in the fourth century b.c. See Smith, op. cit. Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Van Nostrand Reinhold 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michele Melaragno
    • 1
  1. 1.The University of North CarolinaCharlotteUSA

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