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Закрити книгу / close this bookBasics of Building with Arches, Vaults and Cupolas (SKAT)
Перегляд документу / View the documentAcknowledgments
Перегляд документу / View the documentArches, vaults and cupolas
Перегляд документу / View the documentTradition, present and future
Перегляд документу / View the documentArches, vaults and cupolas
Перегляд документу / View the documentAdvantages and possibilities
Перегляд документу / View the documentArches and their uses
Перегляд документу / View the documentVaults
Перегляд документу / View the documentCupolas
Перегляд документу / View the documentUses of vaults and cupolas
Перегляд документу / View the documentDevelopment projects
Перегляд документу / View the documentBuilding market
Перегляд документу / View the documentKey questions
Перегляд документу / View the documentRecommendations
Перегляд документу / View the documentBuilding options and architectural/engineering design
Перегляд документу / View the documentBuilding materials
Перегляд документу / View the documentExecution
Перегляд документу / View the documentTools and skills
Перегляд документу / View the documentProfessional training
Перегляд документу / View the documentProject management
Перегляд документу / View the documentSelect bibliography

Tools and skills

Sliding formwork:

Building takes place in stages, with the formwork being repositioned as often as necessary. This is one of the most interesting methods, but applies only to barrel vaults.

Without formwork:

Corbel vaults can be built only using small spans. Building in so-called "slices", without formwork, is the most economical method. This exploits the properties of certain mortars which enable the bricks to be laid face on layers leaning at a steep angle to the vertical. To improve adhesion, small and fairly thin elements of regular dimensions should be used. Using this principle, and by varying the shape and the size of the courses, one can build barrel, groined, dominical, trough, squinch and boat vaults. Traditionally, all these vaults are built "by eye", but light tools can be used to guide the masons so that they build the required shape correctly.

Building cupolas

Building techniques without formwork are always preferred as a formwork would be too complicated to manufacture.


This enables large areas to be covered, but results in conical forms which are very high relative to the span.

Increasingly inclined rings:

Horizontal rings which gradually decrease in diameter can be used to create all types of cupolas. This method uses the same brick-laying technique as for vaults built in "slices". Simple rotating guides which describe the form in the air can be used to obtain correct, regular forms.

Hand shaping:

Using a straw-reinforced earth mortar, it is possible to build fairly large sized cupolas. These are built up in successive layers.

Building a barrel vault in “slices”

Squinch vault

Building a cupola using inclined ring-courses

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