Building the space: vaults’ geometry and stereotomy. Materials and architectural technologies in the Mediterranean area

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


In the history of construction, the erection of a vault has always been an architectural/engineering challenge. Such a structures, indeed, were able to cover large spaces with complex geometries and a high effort in design and construction. Often, beyond the successful examples, many failures occurred along with disastrous collapsing and changes of mind. In any case, the whole available apparatus of structural and technological knowledge was exploited, leaving a large space to imagination and experimentation. On the other side, consolidated structural and architectural schemes were often taken from the rule of the art or from manuals. Technological innovation were always merged with the science of construction, with design and drawing – of the whole structure as well as of meticulous illustrations – and with a wise usage of traditional local materials.Stereotomy is the true heart of the vaulted construction. A precise science able to shape the constitutive material, the stone, with an absolute precision, useful not only to the statics of the system but also to the aesthetic output of the pushing structure. In this work many examples and constructive experiences are reported and compared. Furthermore, originalities and typologies are highlighted to show how the technical knowledge was highly transversal and shared, thanks to a large diffusion of ideas and artisans through the various countries.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationREHABEND 2018 - Construction pathology, rehabilitation technology and heritage management
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Building and Construction
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Cultural Studies
  • Urban Studies

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