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.
Vault: The Latest Architecture and News
The Catalan Vault in Spanish Architecture: 15 Projects that Are Breathing New Life into An Old Technique
Italy-based New Fundamentals Research Group recently designed and built a full-scale prototype of an experimental barrel-vaulted stone structure for SNBR, a French company that specializes in cutting-edge stone construction. The structure is named Hypar Vault in a reference to the geometry of its constituent blocks; it uses two types of prefabricated stone modules—one type is the mirror image of the other—whose designs are based on the hypar (hyperbolic paraboloid), one of the only "doubly-ruled" surfaces in geometry. The use of these configurations allowed the vault to be constructed with almost zero wasted stone.