Gothic skins: Penitents at the cathedral

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


When the invention of the steel frame liberated buildings from load-bearing perimeter walls at the turn of the twentieth century, it inaugurated a design exploration of building ‘skins’ and cladding that has become increasingly imaginative in recent years with the adoption of new materials and the appearance of new geometries generated and made constructible by means of digital design (Murray, S., 2012, with earlier bibliography). Frank Bauer makes the case later in this volume that contrastive analogies between body and clothing, inspired by Gothic architecture, informed the earliest experiments in Cubist architecture in Czech lands. Building skins have taken on a structural function in some cases and their ‘performance’ in terms of environmental quality and energy stewardship is regularly assessed, even modeled in advance. The external walls of pre-modern buildings such as Gothic cathedrals perform in many ways that go beyond holding up the super-structure and can benefit from analysis in terms of ‘skin’.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationArchitecture and the Body, Science and Culture
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781317281863
ISBN (Print)9781138188822
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)
  • Arts and Humanities(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Gothic skins: Penitents at the cathedral'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this