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The Catalan Vault in Spanish Architecture: 15 Projects that Are Breathing New Life into An Old Technique

The Catalan Vault in Spanish Architecture: 15 Projects that Are Breathing New Life into An Old Technique

Casa JASB / Alessia Scardamaglia. Image © Nuria VilaCasa Tomás / LAB + Pepe Gascon. Image © José HeviaBeats / Nook architects + byn studio. Image © Nieve | Productora AudiovisualKaikaya / Masquespacio. Image © Luis Beltran+ 16

In some cases, a roof can become the shining centerpiece in a work of architecture. Catalan vault, also known as Valencian timbrel vault, became a fixture in Spanish architecture in the 19th century, popularized thanks to its low cost and ease of sourcing and assembly. With the ability to span over 30m per module, this technique is currently making a comeback, establishing itself as a go-to construction method in industrial architecture and can be seen in everything including workshops, factories, and warehouses.

In the 1950s, the focus on architectural language and the expressiveness of materials drove the development of research dedicated to the Catalan vault technique.

Many architects found their inspiration in this movement and quickly incorporated the traditional method's techniques and materials into their own projects. Antonio Bonet's La Ricarda and Le Corbusier's Maisons Jaoul are just some of the most famous examples. Today, even more architects are researching the technique and giving it a modern twist as they integrate it into their work. 

In this article, we feature 15 Spanish projects that feature Catalan vault in their construction:

Casa Tomás / LAB + Pepe Gascon

Casa Tomás / LAB + Pepe Gascon. Image © José Hevia
Casa Tomás / LAB + Pepe Gascon. Image © José Hevia

Beats / Nook architects + byn studio

Beats / Nook architects + byn studio. Image © Nieve | Productora Audiovisual
Beats / Nook architects + byn studio. Image © Nieve | Productora Audiovisual

Rehabilitación Masía / Hernández Arquitectos

Rehabilitación Masía / Hernández Arquitectos. Image © Mayte Piera
Rehabilitación Masía / Hernández Arquitectos. Image © Mayte Piera

Recaredo Tasting Area / Francesc Rifé studio

Recaredo Tasting Area / Francesc Rifé studio. Image © Fernando Alda
Recaredo Tasting Area / Francesc Rifé studio. Image © Fernando Alda

Valldaura Labs Rehabilitation / Guallart Architects

 Valldaura Labs Rehabilitation / Guallart Architects. Image © Adrià Goula Sardà
Valldaura Labs Rehabilitation / Guallart Architects. Image © Adrià Goula Sardà

Refurbishment of an Apartment in Barcelona / Allaround Lab

Refurbishment of an Apartment in Barcelona / Allaround Lab. Image © José Hevia
Refurbishment of an Apartment in Barcelona / Allaround Lab. Image © José Hevia

Kaikaya / Masquespacio

Kaikaya / Masquespacio. Image © Luis Beltran
Kaikaya / Masquespacio. Image © Luis Beltran

Casa JASB / Alessia Scardamaglia

Casa JASB / Alessia Scardamaglia. Image © Nuria Vila
Casa JASB / Alessia Scardamaglia. Image © Nuria Vila

Empordà House / Núria Selva Villaronga

Empordà House / Núria Selva Villaronga. Image © Adrià Goula Sardà
Empordà House / Núria Selva Villaronga. Image © Adrià Goula Sardà

House Rehabilitation in Villanueva de Duero / Arias Garrido Arquitectos

Rehabilitación vivienda en Villanueva de Duero / Arias Garrido Arquitectos. Image © Rubén Hernández Carretero
Rehabilitación vivienda en Villanueva de Duero / Arias Garrido Arquitectos. Image © Rubén Hernández Carretero

Refurbishment in Sarrià / Sergi Pons architects

Refurbishment in Sarrià / Sergi Pons architects. Image © Adrià Goula Sardà
Refurbishment in Sarrià / Sergi Pons architects. Image © Adrià Goula Sardà

Casa de Espejos / Nook architects

House of Mirrors / Nook architects. Image © Nieve | Productora Audiovisual
House of Mirrors / Nook architects. Image © Nieve | Productora Audiovisual

Tyche Apartment / CaSA + Margherita Serboli

Tyche Apartment / CaSA + Margherita Serboli. Image © Roberto Ruiz
Tyche Apartment / CaSA + Margherita Serboli. Image © Roberto Ruiz

Ca Peter & Lisa / David Estal

Ca Peter & Lisa / David Estal. Image © Mariela Apollonio
Ca Peter & Lisa / David Estal. Image © Mariela Apollonio

Reí Martí Deposit / ARCHIKUBIK

 Reí Martí Deposit / ARCHIKUBIK. Image © Adrià Goula Sardà
Reí Martí Deposit / ARCHIKUBIK. Image © Adrià Goula Sardà

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About this author
Cite: Maiztegui, Belén. "The Catalan Vault in Spanish Architecture: 15 Projects that Are Breathing New Life into An Old Technique" [Bóveda catalana en España: 15 proyectos de arquitectura contemporánea que recuperan la técnica tradicional] 30 Jul 2020. ArchDaily. (Trans. Johnson, Maggie) Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/944658/the-catalan-vault-in-spanish-architecture-15-projects-that-are-breathing-new-life-into-an-old-technique> ISSN 0719-8884
 Valldaura Labs Rehabilitation / Guallart Architects. Image © Adrià Goula Sardà

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