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Arches and Vaults

Arches and Vaults are the highest expression of the art of Stonemasory: to SET stones in the air, to form a structure that sustains itself. Together with the staircases, they form the last level of the stonework, its top expression. To rise an arch or a vault, it is not enough just to do the tracing, templates, cut and setting. You have to previously consider the situation within the building, understand how the thrusts and mechanisms that will provide strength and stability to the built structure. And look for its aesthetical integration within the work.

A vault weighs many tons, and can exert huge thrusts on the walls that support it. Therefore, it is not only a "professional secret kept within the guild" but it something that requires prior training. Vaulting is only taught when the student has already assimilated all the previous information (foundations, walls, mortars, thrusts, stereotomy of stone ...) therefore has aquired the necessary technical skills to evaluate the appropriate response for each particular case.

Mares dome:

Calcarenite majorcan stone dome with large central oculus. It provides luminosity and enhances the interior space.

Own design vault, consisting of:

- Right side: a descending barrel vault finished in a large lune.
- Left side: Two lunettes (actually two half-domed vaults). The thrusts of the two central groins joins in keystone and counter-keystones of the basket handle arc.

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Second vault, of 6 meters of light, finished with the participation of the students of the Artifexworkshop Architecture Workshop, organized jointly with the MIT and the University of Cambridge.
This time, the vault doubled its area with respect to the first one and covered 2 windows instead of one.

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Traditional majorcan Mares stone vaults, a traditional majorcan stone.

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Groin vaults made with recycled wood, canes and gypsum.

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Lowered barrel vault 6 meters wide x 13 in length.

The first work of the school: open a hole in the wall and place a door. The stone frame was made with a lintel arch , made with recycled material from the same hole.

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Semi-circular arch for "portal forá", traditional entrance to a Mallorcan house. 1.35 meters wide. Each voussoir weights between 50 and 80 kilos.

Circular vault. Class exercise.

Timbrel vault. Class exercise.

Restoration of elliptical arches at a medieval house in Palma.

Recovery of a mutilated semicircular arch in the medieval town of Palma de Mallorca.

Barrel Vault. Marés Stone.