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DIVYASHREE M Y
SHARANYA H B
SRUJANA G R
INTRODUCTION - WHAT IS A VAULT ?
HISTORY OF VAULTS
ELEMENTS OF VAULT
TYPES OF VAULT
ADVANTAGES & DIS-ADVANTAGES OF VAULT
EXAMPLES OF VAULT : TRADITIONAL AND MODERN
ANALYSIS OF STUDY
TREATMENT OF JOINTS
ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF VAULTS
CASE STUDY: OSTYER BAY
An arched structure , usually of masonry , used as ceiling or canopy or
as a support for the roof.
Masonry walls are composed of wedge shaped pieces called voussiors ,
which are held in place by the pressure of the neighbouring pieces.
A temporary supporting structure must be erected within the vaulted
area during the construction
HISTORY OF VAULTS
• In ancient Egypt vaulting was used, chiefly for drains
• The Chaldaeans and Assyrians used vaults for the same purpose
• Roman and Romanesque styles of vaulting started in the first century.
• Casting concrete in one solid mass, the romans created vaults of perfect
rigidity, devoid of external thrust and no butresses
• Roman vaults were the basis on which complex and varied forms were
developed in the middle ages
• Greeks made no use of vaults.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DOMES AND VAULTS
A DOME IS AN ELEMENT OF ARCHITECTURE THAT
RESMBLES THE HOLLOW UPPER PART OF A SPHERE.
A VAULT IS A CEILING OF BRICK , CONCRETE, STONE ,
TIMBER ,ETC BUILT IN PRINCIPLE OF ARCH
AN ARCH ROTATED AROUND ITS CENTRAL AXIS.
A MASONRY DOME PRODUCES AN THRUST
DOWNWARD AND OUTWARD .
DOMES CAN BE SUPPORTED BY COLUMNS OR PIERS. IT CANNOT BE LIGHTED EXCEPT AT THE ENDS
WITHOUT BEING STRUCTURALLY WEAKENED
MUST BE BUTTRESSED ALONG ITS ENTIRE LENGTH BY
HEAVY WALLS .
• Barrel vault is an architectural element
formed by the extrusion of a single curve
along a given distance.
• A barrel vault is generally semi-circular in
cross section .
• The barrel vault is the simplest form of
a vault ,effectively a series
of arches placed side by side, i.e., one after
HISTORY OF BARREL VAULTS
• Barrel vaulting was known and employed by
early civilizations, including Ancient
Egypt and Mesopotamia.
• The earliest known example of a vault is
a tunnel vault found under
the Sumerian ziggurat at Nippur in Babyloni
a, ascribed to about 4000 BC, which was
built of burnt bricks amalgamated with clay
mortar. The earliest tunnel vaults in Egypt
are found at Requagnah and Denderah, from
around 3500 BC; these were built in sun-
dried brick in three rings over passages
descending to tombs: in these cases
the span of the vault was only two metres.
• ANCIENT ROMANS INHERITED THEIR KNOWLEDGE OF
BARREL VAULTING FROM ETRUSCANS.
• ROMANS WERE FIRST TO USE THIS BUILDING METHOD
EXTENSIVELY ON LARGE SCALE PROJECTS ‘
HOWEVER ROMANS GRADUALLY BEGAN TO PREFER THE
USE TO GROIN VAULT .
• IN EARLY ROMANESQUE PERIOD A RETURN TO STONE
BARREL VAULTS WAS SEEN FOR THE FIRST GREAT
ONE OF THE LARGEST AND THE MOST FAMOUSE CHURCH
ENCLOSED FROM THE BARREL VAULT IS CHURCH OF CLUNY
ABBEY BETWEEN 11TH AND 12 TH CENTURIES .
• IN 13 TH CENTURY THE CONSTRUCTION OF BARREL
VALTS ALMOST BECAME EXTINCT WITH ADVANCE OF
NEW GOTHIC STYLE .
• HOWEVER IN THE RENAISSANCE AND THE BOROQUE
STYLE WHICH GAVE INTREST IN ANTIQUE ART AND
ARCHITECTURE , BARREL VAULTIN WAS REINTRUDUCED.
Elements of vaults
A structure built to support the
lateral pressure of an arch or span,
e.g. at the ends of a bridge
Top course of a pillar or a wall
that supports the arch or vault.
Inner curve of an a arch or vault.
A wedge shaped or tapered stone
used to construct an arch or a vault .
• THE BAREL VAULT IS THE MOST STRAIGHT
FORWARD SINGLE CURVATURE SHELL
• ANY NUMBER OF CONTINIUOUS SPANS ARE
POSSIBLE BUT SUFFICIENT GAPS SHOULD BE
• TWO TYPES OF BARREL VAULTS :
1. LONG SPAN BARREL VAULTS
2. SHORT SPAN BARREL VAULTS
LONG SPAN BARREL VAULTS SHORT SPAN BARREL VAULTS
• LONG SPAN BARREL VAULTS
ARE THOSE VAULTS IN WHICH
THE SPAN IS LARGER THAN ITS
• SHORT SPAN BARREL
VAULTS ARE THE VAULTS IN
WHICH THE SPAN IS
SHORTER THAN ITS WIDTH
The word “groin” refers to the edge between the intersecting vaults.
A Groin vault is created by two barrel vaults intersecting at right
angles. The arches of vaults are rounded or pointed. A Groin vault
also known as a Double Barrel vault.
Renaissance groin vault loggia at
the Palladio’s Palazzo della Ragione, Vicenza.
Santa Maria Maggiore at Guardiagrele
Characteristics of Groin vault
• Sometime the arches of groin vaults are pointed instead of round.
• The groin vault required great skills in cutting stone to from a neat
• Difficult to construct neatly because of the geometry of cross groins.
• In comparison with a barrel vault, a groin vault provides good
economies of material and labour.
• The construction of groin vault can be understood most simply by
visualizing two barrel vault section at right angles merging to form
a squarish unit.
Arris in Groin vault
• Arris is the sharp edge formed by the
intersection of two surfaces, such as the
corner of a masonry unit.
• An arris rail is a structural element, whose
cross section is a 45 degree isosceles right
• Arris rails are usually made of wood, and
are manufactured by cutting a length of
square-section timber lengthwise
Ribbed vault is defined as the intersection of two or three barrel vaults. Rib vaults is
reinforced by masonry ribs.
Types of Rib vault:
There are two types of rib vault.
• Quadripartite rib vault :
When two masonry ribs dividing into
• Sexpartite rib vault:
When three masonry ribs dividing into
Characteristics of Rib vault
• When the Ribbed vault are edged with an armature of piped
masonry often carved in decorative patterns.
• Some ribbed vaults even have six section in each bay.
• It is best for roofing purpose.
• In eleventh centaury there was a new technique introduced as Leta,
which became an example of Ichoir side aisles at Durham cathedral.
• Definition : A fan vault is a form of vault used in the Gothic style, in
which the ribs are all of the same curve and spaced equidistantly, in a
manner resembling a fan.
• Structure :
• The ribs of a fan vault are of equal
curvature and rotated at equal distances
around a central (vertical) axis, forming
the conoid shape which gives rise to the
name. In between sequences of conoids,
flat central spandrels fill the space.
• Examples :
King's College Chapel, Cambridge Bath Abbey,
• Definition : In architecture, a cloister
vault or domical vault is a vault with four
concave surfaces (patches of cylinders)
meeting at a point above the centre of
• It can be thought of as formed by two barrel vaults
that cross at right angles to each other: the open
space within the vault is the intersection of the
space within the two barrel vaults, and the solid
material that surrounds the vault is the union of
the solid material surrounding the two barrel
vaults. In this way it differs from a groin vault,
which is also formed from two barrel vaults but in
the opposite way: in a groin vault, the space is the
union of the spaces of two barrel vaults, and the
solid material is the intersection.
Maple leaf gardens ,Torrent ( interior view )
( Vault under construction ,1931 )
• The Catalan vault consists of plain bricks that form a low arch.
• It is also known as the Catalan turn, Timbrel vault, or Tile vaulting. It is widely
used in Catalonia from which it derives its name.
• It is traditionally constructed by laying bricks lengthwise over a wood form or
"centring", making it a much gentler curve than has generally been produced by
other methods of construction.
• Builders have to use a fast setting mortar to allow the brick to hold itself after
being tapped into place.
• This technique was by Catalan people with layers of thinner, lighter bricks to
create a ceiling not only light but also very strong.
• Tile vaulting uses much less material and can be built much more quickly.
• Because the thin bricks are laid flat, with their narrow edges in contact, the total
thickness of the vault is less than conventional masonry, and therefore the self-
weight and corresponding horizontal thrust values are reduced.
• Tile vaulting can be constructed with minimal or no formwork.
• Gypsum plaster is used to hold the tile.
• Catalan vaults consist of a single or series of arches on the ceiling
which create a shell structure.
• Resource efficiency:
• Since this technique was popular among common people, the
material had to be easy to make and affordable.
• Also, compared to making the same ceiling with a solid design,
Catalan vaults costs less and do not require elaborate falsework.
• A continuous wagon vault, or cradle vault, whose two abutments are
located on an inclined plane, such as the vault supporting a stairway,
or forming the ceiling of a stairway.
• The impost on one side is higher than the impost on the other side
• Bricks , stone , timber , wood, Rcc are used generally.
• In stone barrel vault due to the problem of fenestration , they provide a
small window which restricts the
• Bricks are installed vertically
( not radially ) and are leaning at an angle.
• Its construction doesn’t require centering.
Effects & solutions
• Brick, stone and concrete are materials strong in compression, but weak in
tension (if the structural breadth increases, the material has to be supported by
many columns or it collapses).
• This problem is solved by steel structures or the use of steel reinforced concrete -
the tensile strength of steel is significantly more than that of bricks, stone or plain
• The technique was cheap, fast, ecological and durable.
• Step 1:The wood is being constructed as a structure before bricks is
Step 3:The bricks with mortar are arranged from
the edge of the vault until it reach at the thrust
of the vault
Step 2:Bricks are arranged using mortar
Durable and fire-proof
• Cohesive construction made buildings durable & fire-proof.
• Example: The Santa Maria del Mar in Barcelona,
• Material: Built of stone.
Which burned for 11 days during the Spanish Civil War, without collapsing or too
• The magnificent baroque altar and all the images and historical archive were all
• Only the walls, columns and a few of the stained glass windows on the upper
level were spared
• VAULT IS ARCH SHAPED STRUCTURE , ITS USUALLY A MASONRY USED FOR CEILING AND
OTHER ENCLOSED SPACE
• MASONARY VALTS ARE USUALLY COMPOSED OF WEDGE-SHAPED PIECES CALLED VOUSSOIRS
• WHICH ARE HELD IN PLACE LIKE THE STONES OF AN ARCH BY THE PRESSURE OF THE
• BECAUSE OF THE COMBINED PRESSURE OF ITS COMPONENTS AN ARC EXERTS AN OUTWARD
PRESSURE AT ITS BASE
• 20TH CENTURY FOUND GREAT ADVANCES IN REINFORCED CONCRETE DESIGN .THE ADVENT OF
THE CONSTRUCTION AND BETTER MATHEMATICAL UNDERSTANDING OF HYPERBOLIC
PARABOLOIDS ALLOWED VERY THIN STRONG VAULTS TO BE CONSTRUCTED WITH PREVIOUSLY
• VAULT- THE VAULT IS OF LOCALLY- MADE CLAY FUSE OVER THE CONCRETE SLAB , WHICH
PROVIDES A NON- CONDITIONAL LAYER. WATER CASCADES ALSO PROVIDE INTERESTING
• VAULTED ROOF FORM – THE VENTILATING WINDOW AT UPPER VOLUME RELEASES THE
ACCUMULATED HOT AIR THROUGH PRESSURE DIFFERENCES
• THE STRUCTURE IS CLOSELY INTEGRATED WITH THE OUTDOOR SPACE
MOSTLY BARREL, SOME GROIN
• ARCH TYPE
HORIZONTAL , MODEST HEIGHT
PLAN LITTLE DECORATION , SOLID
DARK , GLOOMY
ST SERNIN , TOULOUSE, FRANCE
GROIN – VAULTED CATHEDRALS
VERTICAL , SOARING
MORE REALISTIC PROPORTIONS AND
TALL , LIGHT-FILLED
CHARTRES CATHEDRAL , FRANCE. NOTRE DAME,
ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES
• Gives more volume at a lower costs than
adding floor area .
• It looks good over other forms of
• Dead load can be reduced by
economizing foundation and supporting
• The curved shapes often used for
concrete are naturally strong structures.
• Using RCC as a building material reduces
both material cost and the construction
• As concrete is relatively inexpensive and
easily cast into compound curves
• Increased cooling or heating costs .
• Good labour and supervision necessary.
• Raise of roofs may be a disadvantage .
• Shuttering problem .
• Since concrete is porous material,
concrete vaults or domes often have
issues with sealing. If not treated, rain
water can seep through the roof and leak
into the interior of the building.
• vault | architecture | Britannica.com
• Vaults (Architecture) - Credo Reference
• Vault (architecture) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia
• Geometry and Construction Techniques of Gothic Vaults in Brabant ...