The combination of tile vaults with reinforcement and concrete

López López D., Van Mele T. and Block P.
International Journal of Architectural Heritage
doi: 10.1080/15583058.2018.1476606

Tile vaults are unreinforced masonry structures made of thin bricks (tiles) and fast-setting mortar that can be constructed needing only formwork along their boundaries, making them inherently economic. Their slenderness and finishing make them also efficient and expressive.These qualities of tile vaulting can be enhanced by combining it with concrete and/or reinforcement. A top layer of concrete reduces time and labour, whereas reinforcement can reduce the thickness, allows the construction in seismic areas and opens the formal possibilities of tile-vaulted construction beyond compression only. A few architects and engineers, such as Guastavino, Gaudí, Le Corbusier and Torroja, among others, envisioned some of these qualities and used these combinations in their buildings.This paper reviews the unique examples of tile vaulting combined with concrete and/or reinforcement in the past, showing their successful results and giving an overview of how their authors faced the structural analysis and design.


    author  = "López López, D. and Van Mele, T. and Block, P.",
    title   = "The combination of tile vaults with reinforcement and concrete",
    journal = "International Journal of Architectural Heritage",
    year    = "2019",
    volume  = "13",
    number  = "6",
    pages   = "782-798",
    month   = "",
    doi     = "10.1080/15583058.2018.1476606",
    note    = "",

Related publications

López López D., Van Mele T. and Block P.Dieste, González Zuleta and Sánchez del Río: Three approaches to reinforced-brick shell structures,Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Structural Analysis of Historical Constructions,K. Van Balen and E. Verstrynge (editors),: 571-578,CRC PressLeuven, Belgium,2016 (September).


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