The art of mixing traditional adobe with an ancient technique birthed an architectural wonder called the Abiquiú Dome! Invigorated by a visit to Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey, Professor Quentin Wilson was inspired to create the Arches, Domes & Vaults class at Northern New Mexico College in El Rito, NM. Prof. Wilson's class completed the Dome project in May of 2006. Below, you'll find an entertaining article regaling the 10 day build process using 6th century Byzantine pendentive architecture, first implemented at Hagia Sophia in Istanbul.
In architecture, a pendentive is a constructional device permitting the placing of a circular dome over a square room or of an elliptical dome over a rectangular room. The pendentives, which are triangular segments of a sphere, taper to points at the bottom and spread at the top to establish the continuous circular or elliptical base needed for a dome. In masonry the pendentives thus receive the weight of the dome, concentrating it at the four corners where it can be received by the piers beneath. Prior to the pendentive's development, builders used the device of corbelling or squinches in the corners of a room. Pendentives commonly occurred in Orthodox, Renaissance, and Baroque churches, with a drum with windows often inserted between the pendentives and the dome. The first experimentation with pendentives began with Roman dome construction in the 2nd–3rd century AD, while full development of the form came in the 6th-century Eastern Roman Hagia Sophia at Constantinople (now Istanbul).
The following is a re-creation from the original Abiquiú Post printed newspaper article written in 2007 by Richard Bock, one of the original owners of the Dome. Photos mentioned in the article are coming soon...
The Dome stands on an exceptional 12'x12' concrete foundation of 2 1/2 feet deep and 2 feet wide with a reinforcement basket of nine rebars, each 3/4 inches thick. The height of the dome is 16’9” and its walls are 14 inches thick. The domed roof is 7 inches thick and has a ‘keystone’ of apricot hardwood which also holds a grand candle chandelier. The outside is stuccoed with an adobe color finish for preservation.
Video provided by original owner and local artist, Lori Faye Bock.
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