Memorias de investigación
Book chapters:
Guastavino Tile Vaults. The Long Migration of a Building Technique

Research Areas
  • Engineering,
  • Architecture,
  • Humanities

This paper outlines the migration of an invention, the tile vault, from its origin, somewhere in the Mediterranean basin, probably in the south of Spain during the Islamic period between the 8th and 11th centuries, to its subsequent diffusion throughout Spain, France and Italy in the 18th and 19th centuries. Eventually tile vaulting reached North America in the 1880s thanks to the ingenuity, passion, and determination of one man: Rafael Guastavino. In America the Guastavino Company built many thousands of vaults up until the Second World War. In Europe tile vaulting experienced a «rebirth» in Spain after the Civil War of 1936?39 in the reconstruction of devastated regions. To a much lesser extent tile vaults were used in France in the 1940s, and in Germany, in Munich, where the Firma Rank employed tile vaults both in restoration and new building from 1945 to 1970. Since around 2000 tile vaults have also enjoyed a revival among some architects and engineers designing lightweight structures with low embodied energy in Europe and Africa. The migration of tile vaulting, then, spans over 1000 years and three continents.
Book Edition
Book Publishing
Birkhäuser Verlag / Springer
Kulturelle und technische Werte historischer Bauten 3
Book title
Migration und Baukultur. Transformation des Bauens durch individuelle und kollektive Einwanderung
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Research Group, Departaments and Institutes related
  • Creador: Departamento: Estructuras y Física de Edificación