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buttress

buttress. Pier-like projection of brick, masonry, or other material, built either in close connection with a wall needing extra stability, or standing isolated, to counter the outward thrust of an arch, vault, or other elements. Types of buttress are:angle-buttress (3): one of a pair of buttresses at the corner of a building set at an angle of 90° to each other and to the walls to which they are attached;Anglo-Saxon: not really a buttress at all, but more a thin freestone lesene or pilaster-strip dividing a wall-surface into rubble panels that were originally intended to be rendered; See anglo-saxon architecture.arch-buttress: known as an arc-boutant. See flying buttress;buttress-tower: tower seeming to function as a buttress, as on either side of a gateway, but mostly for defence;clasping buttress (2): massive buttress, square on plan, at the corner of a building, usually of the Romanesque or First Pointed period;Decorated buttress: see Second Pointed buttress;diagonal buttress (5): set at the corner of a building, forming an angle of 135° with the walls, and usually of the Second Pointed period of Gothic;Early English buttress: see First Pointed buttress;First Pointed or Early English buttress: C13 type, often of formidable depth, frequently chamfered, and staged, each stage being defined by off-sets, and the whole structure surmounted with steep triangular gables;flying buttress, also called arc-boutant or arch-buttress (6): consists of an arched structure extending from the upper part of a wall to a massive pier in order to convey the outward thrust of (usually) the stone vault safely to the ground;hanging buttress: type of slender support, carried on a corbel;lateral buttress: attached to a corner of a structure, seeming to be a continuation of one of the walls;Perpendicular or Third Pointed buttress: late-Gothic type with elaborately panelled faces, and, often, crocketed finials of great elegance;pier-buttress (6): detached external pier by which an arch or vault is prevented from spreading, as in the chapter-house of Lincoln Cathedral, where flying buttresses are used. Pier-buttresses are often constructed with a heavy superstructure rising higher than the springing of the flying-buttress arch;Romanesque buttress (1): C11 and C12 wide lesene of little projection, it defines bays;Second Pointed or Decorated buttress: C14 type constructed in stages, frequently elaborately enriched, and surmounted by crocketed gables, pinnacles, finials, and even crocketed spirelets. Many were further embellished with canopied niches for statuary;set-back buttress: resembling an angle-buttress, but not built immediately at the corner, so does not touch the set-back buttress on the return-wall, thus the quoin of the building remains visible. See also Spire.

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buttress

but·tress / ˈbətris/ • n. a projecting support of stone or brick built against a wall. ∎ fig. a source of defense or support: there was a demand for a new stable order as a buttress against social collapse. • v. [tr.] provide (a building or structure) with projecting supports built against its walls: [as adj.] (buttressed) a buttressed wall. ∎ fig. increase the strength of or justification for; reinforce: authority was buttressed by religious belief.

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buttress

buttress XIII. ME. butras, -es, boterace, -as, — OF. bouterez (ars bouterez ‘thrusting arch’), inflexional form of bouteret, f. bouter BUTT1; the ending was assim. first to -ace, and thence in XVI to -ess.

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flying buttress

fly·ing but·tress • n. Archit. a buttress slanting from a separate pier, typically forming an arch with the wall it supports.

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flying buttress

flying buttress: see buttress.

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flying buttress

flying buttress. See buttress.

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buttress

buttressarris, Clarice, Harries, Harris, Paris •mattress • actress • benefactress •Polaris • enchantress •derris, Nerys, terrace •Emrys • empress •directress, Electress •temptress • sempstress •Apollinaris, heiress •waitress • seamstress • ex libris •headmistress, mistress •housemistress • toastmistress •schoolmistress • ancestress •dentifrice •iris, Osiristigress, Tigris •cypress •Boris, doch-an-dorris, Doris, Horace, Maurice, Norris, orris •cantoris, Dolores, loris •laundress • fortress • jointress •hubris • buttress •conductress, instructress, seductress •huntress • peeress • Beatrice •arbitress • berberis • anchoress •ephemeris • ambassadress •adventuress • clitoris • authoress •avarice

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buttress

buttress, mass of masonry built against a wall to strengthen it. It is especially necessary when a vault or an arch places a heavy load or thrust on one part of a wall. In the case of a wall carrying the uniform load of a floor or roof, it is more economical to buttress it at certain intervals than to make the entire wall thicker. Even when a wall carries no load, it is usually buttressed rather than uniformly thickened. For a load-bearing brick wall more than 8 ft (2 m) high a buttress is used every 20 ft (6 m). The decorative possibilities of the buttress were discovered in the ancient temples at Abu Shahrein in Mesopotamia (3500–3000 BC), where they were used both as utilitarian and decorative forms. The Romans employed buttresses, which sometimes projected from the exteriors of the walls and were then left as mere piles of masonry, without architectural treatment. But in the large structures, such as basilicas and baths, the buttresses that received the thrusts from the main vaulting were confined to the interior of the building, where they served also as partition walls. The basilica of Constantine in Rome (AD 312) exemplifies this arrangement. In the medieval church, the groined vaults, concentrating their great lateral thrusts at points along the exterior walls, required buttresses as an essential element to achieve stability. Beginning with Romanesque architecture about AD 1000, a steady evolution of buttresses can be traced, from the simple, slightly projecting piers of the 11th cent. to the bold and complex Gothic examples of the 13th, 14th, and 15th cent. Builders in England, Germany, and N France achieved striking architectural effects. They devised the flying buttress, an arch of masonry abutting against the wall of the nave; the thrust of the nave vault could thus be received and transferred to the vertical buttress built against the outside walls of the side aisles. These flying arches, at first concealed beneath the roofs, began to be exposed outside the roofs in the mid-12th cent. Later they were enriched with gables, stone tracery, and sculpture and were topped with pinnacles to give them extra weight. They constitute, especially in such French cathedrals as Amiens, Beauvais, and Notre-Dame de Paris, the true expression of the elasticity and equilibrium which were the basic principles of the Gothic structural system.

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buttress

buttress Mass of masonry built against a wall to add support or reinforcement. Used since ancient times, buttresses became increasingly complex and decorative in medieval architecture. Gothic often featured marvellously daring flying buttresses.

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