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The ‘wine cathedrals’ were wine cellars built for agricultural cooperatives in southern Catalonia in the early twentieth century. They were developed by Cesar Martinell (1888–1973). As the cooperatives could not afford to build with steel or concrete, he used traditional masonry and drew on the achievements of contemporary modern architects such as Antoni Gaudi´, Lluis Dome` nech and Josep Puig. Martinell took advantage of the constructive and architectural possibilities of brick by using it not only for walls and pillars but also to replace main beams, joist beams, floor slabs and roofs. This gave rise to a type of building in which the constructive system becomes the architectural form and satisfies the technical and functional requirements. Some of the resources used by Martinell are still valid in low-cost and sustainable construction today when labour and local resources are more readily available than energy and imported products.
CitationLlorens, J. Wine cathedrals: making the most of masonry. "Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers. Construction materials", Juliol 2013, vol. 166, núm. 6, p. 329-342.
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