The four arches are two bricks thick while the dome is only one brick.
Plaster of Paris is the only binding agent.
"interior" view of the vault
load testing revealed that the dome easily carried a distributed load
of 1,200 lbs.
methods were derived from Guastavino's own
means of load-testing
CONSTRUCTION OF A VAULT
Even though no english language manuals of timbrel vault construction
exist, MIT student Michael Ramage spent a weekend building a small vault
of his own.Michael's vault spans six feet by six feet and though it
was his first attempt to build a masonry vault, he finished it in only
Several fruits of the effort included a paper describing the process,
a movie which details the construction process and structural experimentation.
The movie can be viewed in quicktime format and the text downloaded
as a pdf.
Quicktime Movie of Vault Construction (Quicktime 1.5M)
Construction of a Catalan Vault Process (pdf)
Construction of a Catalan Vault Text (pdf)
Digital model of vault (dxf)
For more information you may contact Michael directly (firstname.lastname@example.org).