Thin-tile vault for the Seventh World Urban Forum in Medellin
Document typeConference report
PublisherInternational Assiociation for Shell and Spatial Structures
Rights accessRestricted access - publisher's policy
This paper presents a project designed and built for the Seventh World Urban Forum (WUF7) in Medellín, Colombia, commissioned by the Department of Habitat of the United Nations (UN-Habitat). The project is a “free-form” masonry shell, built using the technique of thin-tile vaulting (also known as Catalan or Guastavino vaulting). UN-Habitat intended this shell to be a demonstration for the technique’s efficiency, versatility, durability, sustainability and economy as an example to be exported to developing countries. The shell’s shape was designed using the form-finding software RhinoVAULT, which allows the design of compression-only surface structures. Special care was taken to integrate the vault in its surroundings, a park in an urban area of Medellín. It wanted to be visible, but at the same time also a natural part of its environs. The shell emerges from the earth to shape a new topography featuring a green roof that continues the park’s landscape, while showing a surprising brick-patterned interior, creating a warm, cozy space as a contrast to its exterior. The design process, structural analysis and production of an efficient falsework and the different processes related to the construction are also detailed in this paper.
CitationLópez López, D., Domenech-Rodriguez, Marta, Brazo, J., Block, P. Thin-tile vault for the Seventh World Urban Forum in Medellin. A: IASS Annual Symposia. "Proceedings of the IASS-SLTE 2014 Symposium: Shells, Membranes and Spatial Structures: Footprints". Madrid: International Assiociation for Shell and Spatial Structures, 2014, p. 1-8.