Reims- Flying Buttresses

  • It is tempting to imagine that the nave of Reims Cathedral was originally planned to have a cross-section very similar to that of Soissons Cathedral, with simple blocky buttress uprights whose inner margins would rise directly above the inner margins of the wall shafts below, as shown at left. The lower set of flying buttresses would intersect the clerestory wall right at the springers of the main vault. The choir, seen at right, would have had a similar system, but extended to span the double aisles. The heights of the inner and outer uprights in the choir are used here to set the upper and lower surfaces of the nave uprights, respectively. The overall height of the main vessel is here shown as exactly twice the height of the side aisles, as would be seen in the Reims elevations drawn by Villard de Honnecourt.