Construction 29: Brick and stone arches

17/07/12 | ۩ |

Stone and mixed technique vaults and arches, were built mainly in the lower floors or basement (cistern, cellar, kitchen and storeroom vaults).¹

In these pictures you can see two different kind of arches found in genoese buildings.
The first one it's fully made of bricks, while the other alternates bricks and stone. This grants a higher resistance to the structure, performing at the same time a decorative function.

I don't believe though this kind of arch was very common. Stone structures, when not placed on the front of the house or at the main floor, were not built using squared blocks but irregularly shaped stones well locked together.
This technique, called "a scapoli e tocchetti" (something like "pieces and chunks"), found its diffusion at a later time, when fronts started to be plastered and painted. It's been used then to build perimeter walls too, and it came often with the use of bricks around the openings and on those parts where a greater precision was needed.

Decorative features were the reason of my choice to build two arches of the basement with this second kind of arch.
The arches will be placed in the wider area of the basement, used as a cellar and storeroom, and they'll be aligned with the side door.


The slate I used is the same of the stone arches, and it succeed the limestone blocks commonly used in genoese construction for its easy availability and great resistance.


¹ - Manuale del recupero di Genova antica - v.a. - DEI s.r.l. 2006.



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