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John

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41

Sunday, March 15th 2009, 8:38pm

RE: The West Tower

Will the crooked orientation be noticed?
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42

Sunday, March 15th 2009, 8:42pm

RE: The West Tower

Well, who knows the historical facts of this scenario?

It is a fact that different parts of a cathedral were under construction at any given time. It would be interesting to have a closer look at plan drawings of the building.

I'll get the joining nave in place. That should tell a story.

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43

Sunday, March 15th 2009, 10:03pm

Hello John,

I did build the church for a few years ago.
And i live just 30 kilometers from Rotterdam.
The model is following the real church, because the tower is standing a little bit turned on the rest off the building.

greetings Hans
the Netherlands

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44

Sunday, March 15th 2009, 11:30pm

Hello Hans,

Thank you!

Boy, talk about getting the information straight from the horse's mouth. I'm 6104.8 km from Rotterdam and you live 30 km up the road!

I now know that the tower is accurately modelled. It is off the east/west axis. My estimation of this model has just risen to the very top. I wonder if there is a construction story somewhere in the church's history. That would make a really nice research project.

Thanks again Hans.

Greetings from Canada
John
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45

Monday, March 16th 2009, 9:03pm

Hello John,

I did a litle bit of research and found a site with a tekst in Dutch from 1943.
This site gives a short history off the church building.
They started the build in 1409
The build off the tower started in 1449 and there started the problem.
They build the tower separateley from the church and what to my suprise, there was a small river between the two structures.
Only after the permision off the council off waterways to lay dry the river in 1461 they get the two buildings togeather.
Probably this strange build is the origin off the turned tower.
They put a wood top construction on it at 1650 that collapesed.
And they had put the whole tower straight again.
This took 5 year.
In his long history most off the church is rebuild, most off the chapels to subsidence
They rebuild it for the last time in the 1950's, after the bomming in the second world war.
Only the tower and outher walls where still standing.
Now is it the only medival building standing in Rotterdam today.

I give your the site now, its in Dutch but there are realy nice pictures and paintings on this page.
And with a translation page you can figure out a lot off the dutch words.

www.engelfriet.net/Alie/Hans/43laurens.htm

greetings from Holland

Hans

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46

Monday, March 16th 2009, 9:28pm

Thank You

Thank you again Hans!

So kind of you to dig into the historical background of the church. You found a most interesting story of the tower. It's a little spooky as well Hans. Something was telling me to build the east end of the church first and then place the tower on the base of the model separate and away at the west end. There had to be a logical explanation, and building the tower by itself seemed to be plausible.

Now when I show this model, thanks to you, I will have a real tale to tell.

I appreciate the time you took to find and share this information.

Cheers...John

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47

Wednesday, March 18th 2009, 3:05pm

@ Hans - What an amazing story 8o I have this model at home to build but, not surprisingly, didn't spot the main tower misalignment before John showed it so clearly!
The 'problem' may not be as noticeable as in Pisa but the reason is at least as interesting :)

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48

Wednesday, March 18th 2009, 10:38pm

You are probably right Ricardo. When everything is built up around the lower regions of the tower, a man on a galloping horse may never notice the fault.

The north aisle is under construction now. I've drawn a line segment and a ray on the roof deck indicating the offset of the tower. You will see its effect for comparison better in the next post. By the way, the offset is 2 degrees, (from the east/west axis).

The photograph of the roof part on the right shows the twist angle of the tower.
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49

Wednesday, March 18th 2009, 10:41pm

Two additional views of the aisle.
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50

Wednesday, March 18th 2009, 10:50pm

Now this photo really tells the tale. Notice that the aisle is running past the edge of the tower. The corner of the aisle and the corner of the tower do not meet. That's because of the tower's angle away from the aisle. When I first dry fitted the aisle, I thought the designer had made it too long.

Now I have a theory about the heavy buttresses at the west end. Notice how massive and angular they are. They look like concrete bunker reinforcements you would see on a coastal battery. I think the designers decided to use a severely angled buttress to camouflage the discrepancy you see in the photo. One arm of each buttress is longer than the other. I'm not an engineer, but it could be behind the design.
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51

Thursday, March 19th 2009, 3:04pm

There is another possible explanation for the heavy buttresses. Hans mentioned a river between the tower and the church. Rivers usually mean less competent geotechnical conditions. They are more problematic for taller buildings like (you guessed it) the tower.
The not too high but very broad based buttresses are helpful to spread the tower weight on the terrain. Being broad, they do help to hide the misalignment but that may not have been the main objective. Who knows if the real tower has buttresses on the other corners, disguised inside the church? Hans, maybe… ;)

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52

Thursday, March 19th 2009, 7:45pm

Hello John, Ricleite

I think that the heavy buttresses put on to hold the tower vertical
The biggest problem in the west of the Netherlands is subsidence.
The ground is weak an soft, they solved this problem trough put a lot of wooden poles in the ground under the structure.
They wright one the site, after the collaps off the tower, they have to put a lot of more poles under the tower.
So much that they said it looked like a wood.
To put the poles in the ground they jused a pole driver.
They yoused to up 80 to 100 peolpe to get the poles in the ground
Not only men but also women and children, this catherdal is build trough the Rotterdam citizens off that time.
There stood only 1200 houses in Rotterdam at that time
A other nice story is that when you want to be a citizen of Rotterdam at the time off the build off the church, you have to pay 3000 bricks
And any punishment you can pay off in bricks, taxes? yes in bricks.
Are there Buttresses in the church, i have to go look inside.
The problem when you live near someting like this catherdal you take it for granted.
I think its 20 years ago, that i was inside the church.

On this site there are a few nice pictures of the inside.
www.eosdigitaal.nl/forum/viewtopic.php?t=61971

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53

Thursday, March 19th 2009, 7:58pm

Hello Hans,

there was a little typo in the URL you posted. I just corrected it. ;)

@John:
Nice build so far. Business as usual ... :D ;)

Best regards

René


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54

Thursday, March 19th 2009, 10:00pm

Hello René ,

Thanks for the nice comment. And thank you for adjusting Hans' link. He has really gone out of his way to enrich this thread with meaningful information.

You are right on top of this section of Architecture! Your action is very much appreciated.

Cheers...John

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55

Thursday, March 19th 2009, 10:32pm

Hello John, hello Ricleite,
because of this weak ground the vaults in churches in Netherland are often made from wood in place of bricks or stone!

If you drive from Hoorn to Enkhuizen on the new road, about every hundred meters your car sinks down a little bit, where have been the drainage system before the road was constructed.
Hajo
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56

Saturday, March 21st 2009, 11:38pm

The North Aisle

Hello Hajo,

Thanks. Fascinating information.

The north aisle is in place. It has outbuildings attached to its side. They look rather austere with few windows.
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57

Saturday, March 21st 2009, 11:42pm

RE: The South Aisle

This model continues to be a delight to build. As well, the running history of the area and the church keeps rolling in. The thread is containing a lot of interesting and informative material. Thanks all.

Now attention turns to the remaining area of the church to be completed on the ground - the south aisle.
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58

Sunday, March 22nd 2009, 1:17am

Very interesting, John. You combine the interest in the build with the fascination of the history so nicely!
best regards
mit herzlichen grussen

Fred

In Build:
Panzerkreuzer Infanta Maria Teresa

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59

Sunday, March 22nd 2009, 3:05pm

Hi Fred,

Thank you for the nice compliment Fred. For me, it's always been more than just assembling the buildings; its been the fascination with the stories they tell and where they are located. And, as you've seen on this Forum, sharing web links, personal experiences and observations all related to the buildings add so much.

Back to the south aisle.

Ricardo introduced me to professional watercolour brush pens. I like to use a small brush and watercolours, but quite often the pens really speed things up and work well. I find that on smooth surfaces (e.g. the right photo) they excel. On folded edges, where the fibers of the paper are raw, I find they can be too intense with saturated colour.

They're really great pens and are well worth the search - waterbased ink, non-toxic, non-bleed, odoruless and Acid Free.
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60

Sunday, March 22nd 2009, 4:04pm

The South Aisle

Ready to go...
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61

Sunday, March 22nd 2009, 9:20pm

RE: The South Aisle

The windows are in and the cornice is on.
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62

Sunday, March 22nd 2009, 9:23pm

RE: The South Aisle

The aisle fit into its niche ahead of the transept quite nicely. It projects out past the west edge of the tower. I think that's why the buttresses running up the edge of the tower are set at forty-five degrees.
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63

Monday, March 23rd 2009, 3:20pm

The use of wooden vaults is not surprising. Apart from being much lighter than stone vaults, they can easily be tied at the base by wooden or metal members. The result is that they don’t apply horizontal forces on the top of the walls. The apparent lack of buttresses on the church to absorb these forces makes me think that you have some kind of bow-string girder inside.
The use of wooden pile caps is also very common. Unlike masonry, that only likes compression, wood resists to tension. Tensions develop on the foundation where the load is transferred from the walls to the piles. If the soil has bad load-bearing properties (strength, stiffness, delayed settling…) up to a big depth, the piles may well not reach the bedrock. It is probably the case in this church…

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64

Tuesday, March 24th 2009, 1:39pm

Construction is complete to the level of the ridgepole.
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65

Tuesday, March 24th 2009, 1:40pm

Now work begins on the west tower.
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66

Wednesday, March 25th 2009, 10:47am

Wind Pressure

Well good morning,
(an opening line by Norm Abrams: The New Yankee Workshop)

Ricardo wrote a very nice piece above, about the tremendous forces that act upon a building and how they are either relieved or reduced.

I know of another one acting on very high church towers - wind pressure. However, I didn't connect it with the open design of the upper tower windows. I thought the deep louvres filling them were meant for ornamentation and sound transmission. They actually allow the wind to pass through the tower reducing pressure on the walls.

I'm sure they didn't have our modern fine mesh aluminum, copper or fiberglass screening to keep the pigeons out. Maybe things got a bit messy around the bells. The permanent, steep, downward angle of the louvres kept the rain out.
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67

Wednesday, March 25th 2009, 3:02pm

The 3D printed effect is very effective! On the kit cover, as it is smaller than in your picture, it looks real.
I remember to have searched around the kit for the corresponding parts before realizing that they were ‘only’ printed :rotwerd: :rotwerd: :rotwerd:

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68

Sunday, March 29th 2009, 3:25pm

Yes, Ricardo, the shadows on the right side of the louvres are an example of how shade and shadow really add depth to colour printing. As you have observed, they make objects just pop out and seem so three dimensional on flat paper. This is a technique sadly missing from many of the Betexa models. Windows are often nothing more than black patches on blank walls. I must be fair, some of their later models have improved significantly.

The remaining parts of the west tower have been constructed.
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69

Sunday, March 29th 2009, 10:00pm

The west tower is on the building.
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70

Sunday, March 29th 2009, 10:04pm

The last construction site for this model is on the roof at the crossing.
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71

Monday, March 30th 2009, 5:06pm

Here we go with the steeple at the crossing. The cupola is in place.

Notice that the designer was a bit generous with the amount of white footprint provided for the cupola. (right photo)

Notice also in the second picture on the right, that a smear of glue has marked one of the valley joints. Believe it or not, that can be removed. The paper used to make this model was printed on an offset press and I suspect that the inks have coated the paper a bit. The roof will withstand gentle dampening with a moistened tissue to remove the smudge.

Try that technique on a model printed on an ink-jet printer...
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72

Monday, March 30th 2009, 10:22pm

The crown at the top of churches in The Netherlands is iconic. Here is an example: the crown of The Tower of Our Lady in Amersfoort.
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73

Monday, March 30th 2009, 10:27pm

The crown on the steeple of St. Laurence Church is no different. It consists of two sets of staves arranged around an octagon. The inner staves are first glued around a central column. Then the outer staves form up over them. They can't be glued together all at once. The outer ones have to travel further as they bend around over the inner ones.
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74

Monday, March 30th 2009, 10:29pm

The Crossing Steeple

The compound curves are forming up...
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75

Monday, March 30th 2009, 10:30pm

RE: The Crossing Steeple

...with the first four inner staves joined to the central column.
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76

Tuesday, March 31st 2009, 1:09am

RE: The Crossing Steeple

The pole running up through the crown to the weathervane is a hardened steel rod. This ensures a nice, straight pole. The rod was ground down flat on opposite sides above the crown so that the very small balls and rooster could be sandwiched around the rod and glued together.

Other than the steel rod, it was good to complete this very small detail without having to resort to beads or other non-paper materials. The task was accomplished exactly as the designer had planned. (A straight pin was suggested for the pole).
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77

Tuesday, March 31st 2009, 1:49am

The Crown

I went back through my iPhoto pictures and found a personal photograph taken by Michel van Meersbergen of the St. Bavo tower. It shows the crown detail nicely. He posted it on the 2007 St. Bavo construction report.
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78

Tuesday, March 31st 2009, 9:06am

Hi John,

This steeple is admirable work! I also like the colour of the roof's edges, it adds a real distinction to the building (although maybe not completely resembling the original).

I'd really like to see your models in reality, but it's a long way to Canada ...

Cheers .... Wolfgang

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79

Tuesday, March 31st 2009, 2:49pm

Thank you Wolfgang.

The steeple on the church is complete. The model is finished.
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80

Tuesday, March 31st 2009, 2:54pm

A Comparison

Here are the two Leon Schuijt cathedral models side by side. You will notice that the roof on St. Bavo is shining. The paper was glossy. I like the softer matte finish of the the paper used on St. Laurence church.
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