1) Prof. Arch. Attilio Pizzigoni University of Engineering at Bergamo (Italy), E-mail = attilio.pizzigoni@unibg.it

2) Vittorio Paris Student at University of Engineering at Bergamo (Italy), E-mail = attilio.pizzigoni@unibg.it


This paper focuses on how the brick bond and masonry pattern are configured inside the dome of the Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral in Florence, Italy: “Herringbone” is the word that’s always used to describe it, but there’s hardly a mention of the true nature of the three-dimensional layers of bricks in the dome’s spatial geometry. The questions this paper intends to answer are:

How to reach static equilibrium of masonry just by relying upon their three-dimensional reciprocal bonding.

How to lay such three-dimensional reciprocal bricks on a ring bed with a centre around which all the bricks are aligned.

How to lay these bricks in order to obtain spatial coordinates beyond those two in the plan of brick layers.

This research indicates a possible procedure that would allow the construction of masonry domes, through mountable and demountable reciprocal interaction. Moreover we have employed a parametric modelling software.


Keywords: Brunelleschi’s Cupola, Herringbone,3-dimensional reciprocal bricks bond, building without formwork