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  2. 2. THE CONSTRUCTION OF VAULT 2011INTRODUCTION The most subtle and exquisite part of Architecture is the formation of every sort of Archesand vaults, cutting their stones, and adjusting them which such artifice, that the same gravity andweight which should have precipitate them to the earth, maintain them constantly in the air,supporting one another in virtue of the mutual complication which links them, and in such a wayclose above masonry buildings with all safety and strength. A vault, in architecture, is an arch-shaped structure, usually of masonry, used as the ceiling ofa room or other enclosed space, as the roof of a building, or as the support for a ceiling or roof.Masonry vaults are usually composed of wedge-shaped pieces called voussoirs, which are held inplace, like the stones of an arch, by the pressure of the neighboring pieces. Because of the combinedpressure of its components, any arch exerts an outward pressure at its base, and the base, therefore,must be so constructed as to withstand the outward as well as the downward thrust of the arch. Thisconstruction can be accomplished by using strong, heavy walls to support the arch or by supportingthe walls with exterior structures, or buttresses. A temporary supporting structure must be erectedwithin the vaulted area during construction, because a masonry vault does not become self-supporting until the central voussoirs or keystones are put in place.1 Figure 1 Vault1 Page 1
  3. 3. THE CONSTRUCTION OF VAULT 2011TYPES OF VAULTBarrel Vault 1. A barrel vault is the simplest of the vaults and is the base design for many vaults that have a more intricate design. It consists of an ongoing series of semicircular arches. One is directly behind another, causing it to look like a half of a barrel. In some instances, it is described as resembling a tunnel.Groin Vault 2. A groin vault is created by two barrel vaults intersecting at right angles. The arches of groin vaults are round or pointed. It is also known as a cross vault.Rib Vault 3. A vault reinforced by masonry ribs is known as a rib vault. When this type of vault has two masonry ribs dividing it into four sections, it is called a quadripartite rib vault. A vault divided by three masonry ribs that make six sections is called a sexpartite rib vault.Cloister Vault 4. A cloister vault has a domed shape and has a base that is square or shaped like a polygon. It has curved sections that rise from the square or polygon to a centered point.Fan Vault 5. Half cones that are fan-shaped are know as fan vaults. The cones meet in the center of the vault. This vault is considered to be a part of the rib vault family.Net Vault 6. Another variation of the rib vault is the net vault. The masonry ribs have a complex design that resembles a net.Annular Vault 7. An annular vault uses the barrel vault as its base. Instead of a straight line, the barrel vault has a ring shape and springs out from two walls that are concentric. Page 2
  4. 4. THE CONSTRUCTION OF VAULT 2011Rampant Vault 8. A rampant vault is a continuous barrel vault where one side is higher than the other. Usually these are used to support or form the ceiling of a stairway.Catalan Vault 9. The Catalan vault consists of plain bricks that form a low arch. It is also known as the Catalan turn, timbrel vault,It is widely used in Catalonia from which it derives its name. Figure 2 Four types of common vault A number of different types of vaults are used architecturally. The simplest of these is thebarrel, or tunnel, vault, the roof of which is shaped like half a cylinder and is supported by straightwalls. The annular vault is similar to the barrel vault, except that the passage within it is not straightbut curved, giving the entire structure the appearance of a portion of a ring. A groined vault isformed by the intersection of two vaults of the barrel type, usually at right angles to each other. Thejunctures at which the two vaults meet are elliptical ridges, called groins. In the simplest form ofgroined vault, the two conjoined vaults are of the same size and the floor of the vault is square; if thevaults are of different sizes, however, the floor of the vault is rectangular and the two areas of theceiling between the groins are of unequal shape and size.22 Types of Vaults | Page 3
  5. 5. THE CONSTRUCTION OF VAULT 2011HISTORY OF VAULTThe Ancient WorldIn ancient Egypt brick vaulting was used, chiefly for drains. The Chaldaeans and Assyrians used vaultsfor the same purpose but seem also to have made architectural use of high domes dome, a roofcircular or (rarely) elliptical in plan and usually hemispherical in form, placed over a circular, square,oblong, or polygonal space. Domes have been built with a wide variety of outlines and of variousmaterials.Roman and Romanesque StylesThe vaulting technique of the Etruscans was absorbed by the Romans, who started in the 1st cent. A.D. the development of a mature vaulting system. Casting concrete in one solid mass, the Romans created vaults of perfect rigidity, devoid of external thrust, and requiring no buttresses. Thus vaults and domes could be easily erected over vast spaces, producing impressive and complex thermae, amphitheaters, and basilicas. Roman vaults were the basis on which more complex and varied forms were developed in the Middle Ages. The tunnel (or barrel) vault spans between two walls, like a continuous arch. The cross, or groined, vault is formed by the intersection at right angles of twoFigure 3 Drawing for construction of vault in roman time barrel vaults, producing a surface thathas arched openings for its four sides and concentration of load at the four corner points of thesquare or rectangle. Page 4
  6. 6. THE CONSTRUCTION OF VAULT 2011 The semicircular arch was universally employed in Romanesque vaulting throughout Europe, and the Roman cross vault was the type used for covering square or rectangular compartments.Figure 4 The interior view of St. Philibert, Tournos (950-1120),shows the transverse barrel vault covering the bay of the nave,the clearstory window and groin vaults in the aisle.Figure 5 St. Sernin, Toulouse, (1077-1179) haspaired aisles on each side of the nave, and theinnermost aisle has a gallery above to help bracethe thrust of the nave vault Page 5
  7. 7. THE CONSTRUCTION OF VAULT 2011 BARREL AND GROIN VAULTFigure 6 Bayeux Cathedral, the crypt has groin vaults andsimplified Corinthian capitals Figure 7 The barrel vault of Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe RIBBED VAULTFigure 8 The nave of the abbey church of Saint-Georges deBoscherville, has pointed transverse ribs. Figure 9 At Saint-Étienne, Caen, both the nave and the tower are covered by ribbed vaults. c.1080 Page 6
  8. 8. THE CONSTRUCTION OF VAULT 2011Gothic Vaulting Unlike Romanesque Buildings, in which continuous mass of wall is necessary to sustain theload, the Gothic structure is a skeletal system that transfers roof loads down to the ground atdiscreet points , thereby freeing large expanses of wall to be opened for window. Ribs to strengthen the groins and sides of a cross vault were first employed in the Church ofSantAmbrogio, Milan (11th cent.). When the system of using ribs to form a complete organicsupporting skeleton was developed, it became one of the basic principles of perfected Gothicarchitecture. The use of ribs led to increasing complexity, beginning in the 12th cent., in vault forms. The pointed arch, which was dominant in medieval architecture from the 13th cent. onward, helped to overcome the difficulties of vaulting oblong compartments exclusively with semicircular sections and to bring the various ribs of unequal spans to a crown at the same height. Some vaulting compartments or bays were divided by ribs into six segments and were known as sexpartite vaults, but the four-part vault generally prevailed. In England the multiplication of ribs for structural and decorative Page 7
  9. 9. THE CONSTRUCTION OF VAULT 2011purposes culminated in the 15th cent. in the elaborate fan vault of the Perpendicular stylePerpendicular style, term given the final period of English Gothic architecture (late 14th–middle 16thcent.) because of the predominating vertical lines of its tracery and paneling. It is also calledrectilinear for the prevailing angularity of the designs. ‘This in turn led to a new esthetic, an esthetic of line rather than mass. In a Gothic buildingnot only is space defined by lines but this lines possess dynamic force. Clearly articulated shafts risefrom floor to ceiling, meeting and mingling in the pattern of vaults and traceried windows in waythat irresistibly suggest that this is how the building stands up.’3English gothic vault style Figure 7 Early English (1775-1265) view of the nave, Canterbury cathedral Figure 9 Final phase english gothic fan vaults, Kings College chapel3 Sutton , Ian, Western Architecture, Thames and Hudson, London 1999. Page 8
  10. 10. THE CONSTRUCTION OF VAULT 2011Figure 8 The Decorative period (1250-1370) Early English (1775-1265) correspondsnave vaulting, Lincoln cathedral roughly to High Gothic work in France. Vaulting isstraight forward, usually quadripartite, and windows are lancet shaped. The Decorative period ( 1250-1370), uses vaulting elaborated with extra ribs, .. And window tracery worked into trefoil orquatrefoil cusped shapes, intersecting lines or flowing curvilinear shapes. The final phase, theperpendicular, is the most distinctly English. Constructed from about 1330 until 1540, it isdistinguished by panel tracery and vaulting in elaborate conical fan shapes.German Gothic vault style Figure 8 ST. WOLFGANG CHURCH, SHNEEBERG German Builders initially used French cathedrals as models, occasionally importing mastermasons, but they were creating their own versions of the Gothic style. Particularly characteristic ofGerman Gothic is the Hall-Church, a building where the vaults of both the nave and the aisles areessentially the same height.4 4 Moffet , Marian et al. A world History of Architecture, Laurence King Publishing Limited, London 2003. Page 9
  11. 11. THE CONSTRUCTION OF VAULT 2011Figure 9 ST. BARBARA CHURCH, KUTNA HORA ‘One reason for the German fondness for hall-churches must have been that they were morefavorable to complex vaulting patterns , since ribs could spring in all direction instead of onlyinwards. Vaulting is the outstanding feature of German late Gothic. It is tempting to look forconnections with English Decorated, but the style soon takes of into a world of Autonomousfantasy.’Italian gothic vault style ‘Italian designers modified Gothic style to fit local conditions,.. that demonstrates the flexibility of Gothic to accommodate varying interpretations… Cultural esthetics pre disposed Italians to prefer internal tie-rods instead buttressing, so flying buttresses appear only rarely. Many of the religious orders desired churches that maintained a sense of openness and visibility, qualities that could be achieved by Gothic.’ 5 5 Moffet , Marian et al. A world History of Architecture, Laurence King Publishing Limited, London 2003. Page 10
  12. 12. THE CONSTRUCTION OF VAULT 2011Renaissance and Later VaultingThe architects of the Renaissance and baroque periods abandoned Gothic methods and returned toRoman vault forms. New devices were added to these basic forms, including barrel vaults of semi-elliptical section, domes mounted on drums, and cross vaults with groins of elliptical section. Inmodern times reinforced concrete produces lightweight vaults devoid of thrust. Page 11
  13. 13. THE CONSTRUCTION OF VAULT 2011THE TIMBREL VAULT Brick, stone and concrete are materials strong in compression, but weak in tension (if thestructural breadth increases, the material has to be supported by many columns or it collapses).Nowadays, this problem is solved by steel structures or the use of steel reinforced concrete - thetensile strength of steel is significantly more than that of bricks, stone or plain concrete. Pre WorldWar II, the weak tensile strength of brick was compensated for by superior craftsmanship.The "timbrel vault" allowed for structures that today no architect would dare to build without steelreinforcements. The technique was cheap, fast, ecological and durable.Figure 10 The craftsmanship associated with timbrel vaulting has long vanished, but the achievements are still with us today.Lonja de la Seda de Valencia, 15th century The method of timbrel vaulting was developed in the 14th century around theMediterranean, although its precise origins are unknown. The timbrel vault is also known as a"masonry vault", "Catalan vault", "tiled vault", "laminated vault", "flat vault" and "layered vault"(derived from Spanish, French, Italian and Catalonian descriptions). Page 12
  14. 14. THE CONSTRUCTION OF VAULT 2011A roof of tiles Timbrel vaulting differs substantially from the Roman method of arch building, which relieson gravity. The timbrel vault does not rely on gravity but on the adhesion of several layers ofoverlapping tiles which are woven together with fast-setting mortar. If just one layer of thin tiles wasused, the structure would collapse, but adding two or three layers makes the resulting laminatedshell almost as strong as reinforced concrete. The result defies common sense, because a timbrel vault is very thin compared to a Romanvault, while at the same time it is capable of bearing much higher loads. This of course enables widerspans and gentler curves.Figure 12 Timbrel vault in Catalonia Figure 11 Timbrel vault in medieval era, Santa Maria del Mar in Barcelona Page 13
  15. 15. THE CONSTRUCTION OF VAULT 2011 At the end of 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, the timbrel vault was rediscoveredby the Catalonian architects of the Modernisme movement. Some striking examples are the crypt ofthe Colonia Guell, which Antoni Gaudí designed in a very low-tech fashion by hangingropes and weights from the ceiling (the building has now suffered a disastrous restoration),the Aymerich Amat i Jover in Terrassa, a textile factory built by Lluís Moncunill i Parellada, orthe Celler Cooperatiu de Pinell de Brai by Cèsar Martinell. Figure 13 the Aymerich Amat i Jover in Terrassa Figure 14 Timbrel vault at the crypt of the Colonia Guell Page 14
  16. 16. THE CONSTRUCTION OF VAULT 2011 Figure 15 The Celler Cooperatiu de Pinell de Brai by Cèsar MartinellCASE STUDY : TIMBREL VAULT BY RAFAELGUASTAVINO Most masterpieces of catalan vaulting, however, are in the United States. The method waspreviously unknown in the Americas, until a family by the name of Guastavinos imported it. RafaelGuastavino, born in Valencia in 1842, improved the centuries-old technique and renamed it "cohesiveconstruction". He substituted bricks with thin tiles and the traditional mortar with rapidly hardeningPortland cement, which enabled him to build vaults 3 to 5 times wider than the typical size oftraditional timbrel arching.The oyster bar in grand central terminal Page 15Figure 16 The ceiling of the osyter bar in Grand Central Terminal
  17. 17. THE CONSTRUCTION OF VAULT 2011The con stuction of timbrel vault for Osyter bar in Grand Central Terminal The main vaults at the oyster Bar are configured from a part of a sphere by cutting verticalchunks off the sphere to form a four-sided shape.Rather than directing all of the load from the vaultinto the pendentives in each corner, the Guastavinos trimmed the curved openings on the four sideswith veryb substantial, wide tile arches that carried a good portion of the vault load. The loads fromthe vaults and the arches were delivered to the steel columns of the main Grand Central Terminalbuilding. The vaults of the Osyter Bar were constructed for the most part of the three layer of tiles,one being the glazed face layer and the other two consisting of red terra cotta. All were bondedtogether with high-strengh Portland cement mortar along their edges, as well as between the layers.At the pendentives it was customary for the Guastavino to use several more layers of tile.Many face tile had fallen off during the fire. This may be attributed to two causes, most probablyacting together. The first was thermal shock caused by a rapid heating and concurrent expansion ofthe tiles, followed by a rapid cooling when water from the fire house was sprayed on the ceiling,which likely generated sufficient movement and stress to cause the bond in the mortar parge joint tofail.6Economical and fastThe popularity of the timbrel vault was not restricted to its aesthetic appeal. It was simply a very fastand economical method, for two reasons. Firstly, and logically, much less building material wasrequired. Secondly, there was no need for wooden scaffolding. Building a Roman vault demandslarge amounts of wood, as every arch is required to be supported by a wooden centering for a longperiod after initial construction.6 Structural Repairs to Fire damaged Guastavino Page 16
  18. 18. THE CONSTRUCTION OF VAULT 2011 The masonry vault, on the other hand, is self-supporting apart from some temporarily required,light shiftable formwork at the beginning of the job. While constructing a timbrel vault, workerssimply stood on the work of the day before (which was two to four inches thick).These huge savings in both building materials and construction equipment meant that theGuastavinos could offer much lower prices than theircompetitors.Durable and fire-proofCohesive construction also made buildings fire-proof (anexample of this is the Santa Maria del Mar in Barcelona,which burned for 11 days during the Spanish Civil War,without collapsing or too much damage). There havebeen some major city fires during the 19th century (likethe great Chicago fire in 1871), and the Guastavinos aptlysaw the marketing potential: they soon renamed Figure 17 The santa Maria del mar in Barcelonathemselves the "Guastavino Fireproof ConstructionCompany". There were more advantages to the construction. The floors, ceilings, arches and stairswere sound-insulating and resistant to floods, dampness and the lodgement of pests such as ratsand roaches. Figure 18 Cohesive construction of masonry vault Page 17
  19. 19. THE CONSTRUCTION OF VAULT 2011Convincing the public Cohesive construction also proved to be very durable. During the restoration of Ellis Island inthe 1980s, only 17 of almost 29,000 tiles had to be replaced. And of course, several churches areliving proof of the achievements of timbrel vaulting in the Middle Ages. The Guastavinos initially had a hard time convincing the public that their ultra-thin and ultra-light arches were strong and safe. To persuade their buyers, the technique was demonstrated inpublic (see picture right).In many ways, timbrel vaulting offered similar properties to reinforcedconcrete, but without the use of steel.It was achieved without computers or engineeringcalculations, relying instead on intuition and practice. According to Rafael Guastavino, the masonry vault would become the main constructionmaterial of the future. He proved to be wrong. The Guastavinos firm closed in 1962, twelve yearsafter his son died. Rising labour costs and the arrival of steel and concrete building methodsrendered the technique virtually obsolete. Still, two later examples deserve attention.CASE STUDY: THE CONSTRUCTION OF MASONRY VAULT IN MAPUNGUBWENATIONAL PARK In Mapungubwe National Park,the vaulted structures were built using stabilized earth tilesand the ancient tile vaulting technique, which requires no reinforcing.The largest free-form vaultsspan 14.5m.It is unreinforced masonry vault which only 300mm in thickness.This vault called CatalanTurn or Catalan Arch or a timbrel vault.Timbrel vault is a type of low arch made of plain bricks.It istraditionally constructed by laying bricks lengthwise over a wood form or another wordcentering,making it a much gentler curve than has generally been produced by other methods ofconstruction. This is a design method rather than a design tool,in which the gravitational loads dictate thestructure.To build without steel reinforcing, as the structurally efficient shape leads to leads to acompression-only solution,and therefore requires no tensile rein-forcing.The architect and engineerare to evaluate and manipulate the forms within the natural constraints of the material and a skillthat can be learned.The resulting form is neither geometrically nor mathematically defined, but isinstead a direct structural response to the loading. Page 18
  20. 20. THE CONSTRUCTION OF VAULT 2011 In order to determine the thickness and degree of curvature for the vault we can findthrough a line of thrust that fits within the masonry. The static equilibrium of these surfaces is then checked with recently developed thrustnetwork analysis.The project incorporates ten masonry vaults,ranging in span from 5 meters to 20meters,and a similar number of regular barrel vaults and domes. This picture shows the wood is being constructed as a structure before bricks is laid. Page 19
  21. 21. THE CONSTRUCTION OF VAULT 2011 Bricks are arranged using mortarThe bricks with mortar are arranged from the edge of the vault until it reach at the thrust of the vault Page 20
  22. 22. THE CONSTRUCTION OF VAULT 2011The mortar is laid over the surface in order to withstand more pressure and more stable The vault are half constructed Page 21
  23. 23. THE CONSTRUCTION OF VAULT 2011The interior of the vault look like Page 22
  24. 24. THE CONSTRUCTION OF VAULT 2011The first tile-vault of the SUDU has a 5.8 meter span and consists of a floorsystem for a second story occupancy.plaster mortar is to be build in the firstlayer of the vault out into space without formwork.A vault cannot remain onlyone tile thick. This ”catenary” or “funicular” geometry indicates a theoretical “line of thrust”which must exist in a masonry structure.This describes the compressive forces inthe arch as they travel through the masonry system. Within any arch, a catenary line with a range of minimum and maximum thrusts may be found. The shallowest catenary shows an arch of maximum thrust in which pushes more substantially outward on its supports while the steepest catenary indicates an arch of minimal thrust pushing outwards. Page 23
  25. 25. THE CONSTRUCTION OF VAULT 2011 When an arch is subjected to a point load, it catenary thrust-line becomesdeformed.As soon as this line of thrust touches the outside of the masonry,cracks may be formed.When the line of thrust exits the masonry arch,failure mechanisms are formed which will cause the vault collapse. Page 24