Mexican Conventual Churches From The 16th Century: Some Basis Of Design
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The extensive construction work performed by the Franciscans, Dominicans and Augustinians in the sixteenth century in Mexico comprises small and large masonry religious buildings of great architectural significance. This paper studies the constructive and structural characteristics of the \“visiting” chapels and conventual churches. These buildings, erected by the first three mendicant orders to arrive in Mexico, are the oldest pieces of work created after the first contact between America and Europe. The main objective of this work is to identify the origin of the outline of their roofing systems, and classify and study them from the historic and structural points of view, along with their walls and buttresses. The document shows a detailed study of one building that represents each one of the types of typical roofs of the sixteenth century in Mexico, based on the review of rules of construction contained in treatises of the time, and their possible application in Mexican religious buildings. Based on this review, it was possible to see that in certain cases there is a great similarity between the geometric characteristics of their structural elements with the rules of these treatises, that might have served their builders to guarantee the stability of their buildings. Results are given for two conventual temples and one chapel, where it was possible to find this similarity and know the basics of the design of buttresses, which will be useful for future structural and constructive studies. Keywords: construction treatises, geometric rules of construction, Mexican religious buildings, masonry construction, Mexican viceroyalty vaults.
Keywords: construction treatises, geometric rules of construction, Mexican religious buildings, masonry construction, Mexican viceroyalty vaults.