Concrete Barrel Vaults Applied in 10 Projects of Contemporary Architecture

Concrete Barrel Vaults Applied in 10 Projects of Contemporary Architecture

The oldest record of barrel vaults is estimated to date back to 4000 BC. These provided the spans in the Sumerian ziggurat at Nippur in Babylonia, built from fired bricks amalgamated with clay mortar. This type of vault was built as a continuous round arch and became a characteristic architectural element of Roman architecture, later used also in Renaissance architecture.

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The vault is a load-bearing structural form made out of several arches, which transfer loads to an abutment or pillar on both sides. They work structurally in compression in an even way throughout their form. Historically made out of stone or brick, this type of vault requires very precise dimensions since the vectors of pressure result in a downward force on the crown while the lower portions of the arches perform the lateral force pushing outwards.

Currently, with reinforced concrete, this issue is easily solved with structural reinforcements of steel in places of greatest effort. Many architects and designers have appealed to this structural and constructive component in order to create unique spaces in interiors, allowing for a sense of openness with tall ceilings, leaving floor plans free of too many other structural elements. On the exteriors, these vaults also grant the building an interesting play of facades and shapes. 

It takes skilled construction execution and precise structural works to deliver these elements that constitute great projects. Below, find 10 examples of barrel vaults, a construction technique that has permeated the entire history of architecture, built in reinforced concrete and applied in contemporary buildings.

Loisium Hotel Expansion / Steven Holl Architects

General Contracting by Swietelsky AG and Structural Engineering by RETTER & Partner Ziviltechniker.

Concrete Barrel Vaults Applied in 10 Projects of Contemporary Architecture  - Image 7 of 25
© Hertha Hurnaus
Concrete Barrel Vaults Applied in 10 Projects of Contemporary Architecture  - Image 8 of 25
© Gregor Holzinger
Concrete Barrel Vaults Applied in 10 Projects of Contemporary Architecture  - Image 6 of 25
© Hertha Hurnaus

Winery in Mont-Ras / Jorge Vidal + Víctor Rahola

Engineering and Construction by BAC.

Concrete Barrel Vaults Applied in 10 Projects of Contemporary Architecture  - Image 20 of 25
© José Hevia
Concrete Barrel Vaults Applied in 10 Projects of Contemporary Architecture  - Image 21 of 25
© José Hevia
Concrete Barrel Vaults Applied in 10 Projects of Contemporary Architecture  - Image 19 of 25
© José Hevia

OFMA Offices in a Vineyard / MAPAA

Structural Engineering by Manuel José Ruiz and Construction by Héctor Hernandez.

Concrete Barrel Vaults Applied in 10 Projects of Contemporary Architecture  - Image 5 of 25
© Pablo Casals Aguirre
Concrete Barrel Vaults Applied in 10 Projects of Contemporary Architecture  - Image 23 of 25
© Pablo Casals Aguirre

Taizhou Contemporary Art Museum / Atelier Deshaus

Project Engineering by Zhang Zhun and Shao Zhe.

Concrete Barrel Vaults Applied in 10 Projects of Contemporary Architecture  - Image 24 of 25
© Tian Fangfang
Concrete Barrel Vaults Applied in 10 Projects of Contemporary Architecture  - Image 25 of 25
© Tian Fangfang

S2 House / BELLAFILARQUITECTES

Structural Engineering Sustenta and Construction by Lluís Sabater.

Concrete Barrel Vaults Applied in 10 Projects of Contemporary Architecture  - Image 2 of 25
© Adrià Goula
Concrete Barrel Vaults Applied in 10 Projects of Contemporary Architecture  - Image 22 of 25
© Adrià Goula

The Qinchang Village Town Hall / Studio 10

Construction and Engineering by Anhui Fengyang Construction Engineering Co. Ltd. and Henan Chuanghui Architecture & Decoration Engineering Co. Ltd.

Concrete Barrel Vaults Applied in 10 Projects of Contemporary Architecture  - Image 12 of 25
© Chao Zhang
Concrete Barrel Vaults Applied in 10 Projects of Contemporary Architecture  - Image 14 of 25
© Chao Zhang
Concrete Barrel Vaults Applied in 10 Projects of Contemporary Architecture  - Image 13 of 25
© Chao Zhang

Tangshan Mine Bookstore of Librairie Avant-garde / SEU-ARCH + art+zen architects

Engineering by Zhu Peng. 

Concrete Barrel Vaults Applied in 10 Projects of Contemporary Architecture  - Image 17 of 25
© Timeraw Studio
Concrete Barrel Vaults Applied in 10 Projects of Contemporary Architecture  - Image 18 of 25
© Timeraw Studio

Municipal Archive / Aulets Arquitectes

Structural Engineering by Alfons Romnero and Construction by Construcciones Marín.

Concrete Barrel Vaults Applied in 10 Projects of Contemporary Architecture  - Image 16 of 25
© José Hevia
Concrete Barrel Vaults Applied in 10 Projects of Contemporary Architecture  - Image 3 of 25
© José Hevia
Concrete Barrel Vaults Applied in 10 Projects of Contemporary Architecture  - Image 15 of 25
© José Hevia

Bewboc House / Fabian Tan Architect

Engineering by Projurutek Consulting Engineers.

Concrete Barrel Vaults Applied in 10 Projects of Contemporary Architecture  - Image 10 of 25
© Ceavs Chua
Concrete Barrel Vaults Applied in 10 Projects of Contemporary Architecture  - Image 11 of 25
© Ceavs Chua

Martha House / naso

Concrete Barrel Vaults Applied in 10 Projects of Contemporary Architecture  - Image 4 of 25
© Maureen M. Evans

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Cite: Paula Pintos. "Concrete Barrel Vaults Applied in 10 Projects of Contemporary Architecture " 06 Apr 2022. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/978142/concrete-barrel-vaults-applied-in-10-projects-of-contemporary-architecture> ISSN 0719-8884
© Timeraw Studio

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