The French Pantheon was built from 1764 to 1790 by the French architect Jaques-Germain Soufflot. It was built after the idol of the Pantheon in Rome including its important features for example its massive dome.
Jean-Baptiste Rondelet’s <<Memoire historique sur le dôme du Pantheon Français>> deals with the dome of the monument and is divided into four chapters. The chapters cover a description of the building, the construction of the dome, the supports of the dome and the accidents that occurred. This paragraph focuses on the construction and support points of the dome.
In the second chapter “Détails et explication relatifs à la construction du Panthéon francais” Rondelet includes a precise description what the workman has to do. He introduces the whole process of putting the dome together. From placing the stones over lay them out to how to use the mortar in its right consistency. He goes through the whole building process from the start to the end of the dome. Rondelet also includes his observations and improvements. At the end in the section with the drawings we can see how the stones should be placed to deal with the massive forces that push down on them.
Following the third chapter “Dans laquelle on examine si les murs et points d’appuis d dome ont les dimesnsions nécessaires pour résister aux efforts qu’ils ont à soutenir” contains an analysis of the structural points of the dome and how they have been built to resist the forces pushing down on them. Rondelet writes about the weak parts of the building and includes a series of strength tests he made.
The construction as well as the structural elements are illustrated at the end of the memoire. The dome shows a perfect symmetry in all heights. Its ground plan is drawn from different heights showing the inner and outer walls of which the dome consists. Furthermore there are sectional drawings as well as different views. The inner and outer wall are placed on columns and bows which carry the weight of the dome to the ground. Furthermore there are buttresses that bring the forces pushing outwards to an equilibrium. One of the illustration even shows the wooden scaffolding that was needed to build the dome.
Finally the conclusion could be made, that with the help of the Memoire historique sur le Dôme du Panthéon Français it would be possible to build an exact copy of the dome such as the one from the French pantheon with some adjustments and improvements suggested by Rondelet.