Part of the Nowwhat? series of workshops being run in UCD this workshop will research the construction technique of timbrel vaulting. We will then build a space based on this technique.
The Timbrel Vault or Catalan Arch is built up in layers using thin clay tiles and Portland cement.
The origins of this construction technique lie in ancient Egypt but proved most popular in the middle ages throughout the mediteranean. The method was studied, formalised and patented in the United States in the late 19th century by the Catalan engineer Raphael Guastavino who coined the term ‘Cohesive Construction’. The cohesive nature of these constructions reduces the need for buttressing while eliminating the necessity of temporary supports. It also enables the creation of large spanning structures with a material thickness of 30mm using standard industrially produced clay roof tiles.
We will explore timbrel vault construction through the design and execution of a 4m x 4m domed structure. We will study the method and develop a simple proposal in collaboration with engineers and architects researching this type of vaulting in the UK and elsewhere. We intend to self-build this proposal on site in UCD.
This project would not be possible without the kind support of Lagan Bricks.