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Sustainability 2019, 11(2), 316;

New Drawings of the Alhambra: Deformations of Muqarnas in the Pendentives of the Sala de la Barca

Laboratory of Digital Culture for Architectural Projects, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Lausanne CH-1015, Switzerland
Architectural Graphic Expression, University of Sevilla, Sevilla 41012, Spain
Architectural and Engineering Graphic Expression, University of Granada, Granada 18071, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 November 2018 / Revised: 24 December 2018 / Accepted: 27 December 2018 / Published: 9 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Heritage Management)
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Architectural heritage preservation and sustainability need advanced graphic techniques in order to document and understand the disposition/composition of plaster muqarnas, a fragile construction element. The muqarnas are key elements in the Nasrid architecture developed during the 14th century in the Alhambra complex, nowadays part of World Heritage. As a case study, this analysis focuses on the muqarnas pendentives of the Sala de la Barca in the Comares Palace. After examining both explanations and drawings published by architects Jones and Goury from 1842 to 1845, our research provides new drawings (plans and elevations) derived from laser scanner technology. Theoretically, though muqarnas are composed of simple geometrical shapes, these new drawings unveil important deformations hitherto unknown, and which have not been studied yet by other bibliographic references. Finally, we provide some considerations about the causes of these deformations and the monument sustainability across the time and the images’ capacity to show the muqarnas complex shapes in a reliable way. View Full-Text
Keywords: muqarnas; Alhambra; deformation; geometry; stereotomy; plaster; conservation; architecture; heritage muqarnas; Alhambra; deformation; geometry; stereotomy; plaster; conservation; architecture; heritage

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Ferrer-Pérez-Blanco, I.; Gámiz-Gordo, A.; Reinoso-Gordo, J.F. New Drawings of the Alhambra: Deformations of Muqarnas in the Pendentives of the Sala de la Barca. Sustainability 2019, 11, 316.

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