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Tiled vaults in western Sicily. Originality and continuity of an imported building technique

  • Autori: Fatta, G.; Campisi, T.; Vinci, C.
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2012
  • Tipologia: Capitolo o Saggio (Capitolo o saggio)
  • Parole Chiave: Tiled vaults; Western Sicily; building technique
  • OA Link:


Abstract The search for alternatives to wood for floorings has led to very interesting experiments on vaulted structures, with diffusion in specific areas. We analyze the Sicilian ones consisting of three layers of tiles with plaster, introduced in the mid-eighteenth century, reinterpreted with the local materials and building culture, with original and ingenious solutions as to seismicity of area. The oldest examples in Palermo date back to the period following the earthquake of 1726, considered a good solution because of their lightness and presumed monolithic structure, able to reduce the pressure on walls. This report is an assessment of this building system, that we found during many restoration works. Totally ignored by official current technical culture, tiled vaults usually are demolished or transformed into decorative ceilings. A comparative examination of several cases has enabled us to properly assess the actual possibility for maintenance, rehabilitation or re-proposal, whilst preserving the structural function.