Tile Vaulting Innovations by Rafael Guastavino Jr. and Eduardo Torroja
|Published in:||Journal of the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures, March 2020, n. 1, v. 61|
This paper expands on David Billington's pioneering writings on the Spanish school and demonstrates construction innovations by two important 20 th century shell builders: Rafael Guastavino Jr. (1872-1950) and Eduardo Torroja (1899-1961), who each extended traditional tile vaulting to create new possibilities. Guastavino pursued the potential of tile vaulting as a system of load-bearing structure, creating complex geometries in advance of similar innovations in concrete shells, while Torroja repeatedly used tile vaulting as an economical system of formwork for concrete shells. Though neither designer was aware of each other's work, in particular because Guastavino Jr. had immigrated to the United States from Spain before Torroja was born, their work shares a number of important similarities. Both builders demonstrate that the Spanish school of shells continues to inspire designers today.
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