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Journal for Geometry and Graphics 11 (2007), No. 1, 111--126
Copyright Heldermann Verlag 2007


Laszlo Strommer
Dept. of Architectural Representation, University of Technology and Economics, Müegyetem rkp. 3, 1111 Budapest, Hungary

The shapes of the spires of Western European medieval churches show almost as high variability as their interiors, but while inside -- after the first Millennium -- the builders began to use curved surfaces (i.e., vaults), the spires mostly kept their polyhedral (or conical) shapes. Architecture -- due to its necessities and restrictions -- used only a limited portion of the infinite set of potentially possible polyhedral shapes -- such a small subset, that it seems conceivable to categorise them, or at least most of them. This paper suggests a method of classification of spire shapes, postulating that the more complex forms can be produced as compounds (either intersections or unions) of some basic shapes.

Keywords: Spire, geometry, classification of spire shapes.

MSC: 51N05

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