Revisiting the Thin Tiled Vaulting Exercise – Part 2

Last month, Boston Valley Terra Cotta donated and expedited materials for the Thin Tiled Vaulting Exercise at the IMI BAC/Local 1 PA/DE Training Center in Philadelphia. The event was one of three hands-on workshops taught by Franca Trubiano as a part of the Masonry Techtonics course offered at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design. In the previous post titled “Boston Valley Donates Materials For The Thin Tiled Vaulting Exercise”, students were shown building tile arches on parabolic armatures. Here are some photos of the results.

Once the forms had time to dry, the armatures were removed and the vaults begin to support themselves. The exercise, originally devised by Jonathan Dessi-Olive, demonstrates the application of architectural terra cotta as a functionally sound and long lasting design solution.

The forms created during the event are similar to the construction Catalan Vaults in 13th century Spain and structures by Raphael Guastavino in the United States during the 19th century. Boston Valley Terra Cotta has manufactured the Guastavino Tiles for Grand Central Station, Oyster Bar Restaurant and the Queensboro Bridgemarket, both in New York City.

This event was sponsored by PennDesign ArchitectureBrick Layers and Allied Craft Workers Local 1, and the International Masonry Institute.

Penn Design Architecture, Brick Layers and Allied Craft Works Local 1, International Masonry Institute, Boston Valley Terra Cotta, Masonry Techtonics, Guastavino Tile

Participants removing the wooden armature from the terra cotta vault.

Penn Design Architecture, Brick Layers and Allied Craft Works Local 1, International Masonry Institute, Boston Valley Terra Cotta, Masonry Techtonics, Guastavino Tile

A self supporting terra cotta vault.

Penn Design Architecture, Brick Layers and Allied Craft Works Local 1, International Masonry Institute, Boston Valley Terra Cotta, Masonry Techtonics, Guastavino Tile

Multiple thin tiled terra cotta vaults made by students and apprentices.

Penn Design Architecture, Brick Layers and Allied Craft Works Local 1, International Masonry Institute, Boston Valley Terra Cotta, Masonry Techtonics, Guastavino Tile

The opposite side of the terra cotta vault structure.

Comments are closed.