Valencia, a coastal city on the eastern coast of Spain, is famous for its beautiful architecture that seamlessly blends the old and the new. One of the most striking features of Valencia’s modernist houses is the use of old brick vaults in their construction. These structures are not only aesthetically pleasing but also incredibly solid and durable. In this blog post, we will delve into the history and construction of these brick vaults and explore their enduring appeal in modern architecture.
Valencia’s use of brick vaults dates back to the Roman era, when the city was a major hub for trade and commerce. The Romans were renowned for their engineering feats, and their use of arches and vaults in construction was no exception. These structures were not only visually striking but also highly functional, providing stability and support to buildings and bridges.
Over time, the use of brick vaults in Valencia evolved to reflect changing architectural styles. During the Middle Ages, the Moors introduced their own style of architecture to the city, characterized by intricate geometric patterns and the use of brick and tile. This influence can still be seen in the distinctive azulejo tiles that adorn many of Valencia’s modernist houses.
One of the key advantages of using brick vaults in construction is their exceptional strength and durability. Unlike traditional flat roofs, which can be prone to leaks and other forms of water damage, brick vaults are incredibly robust and resistant to weathering. This makes them ideal for use in Valencia’s Mediterranean climate, where temperatures can soar in the summer months.
Moreover, the weight of the brick vaults actually adds to the structural stability of the building as a whole. Because brick vaults distribute weight evenly across their entire surface, they can support much heavier loads than traditional flat roofs. This makes them an excellent choice for buildings that need to withstand earthquakes or other seismic activity.
Despite their long history, brick vaults remain a popular feature in modern architecture. Their elegant curves and distinctive texture lend a sense of timelessness to buildings, while their solidity and durability make them an excellent choice for contemporary construction.
In Valencia, many architects are using brick vaults as a way to bridge the gap between the city’s rich architectural heritage and its future. By incorporating these ancient structures into modern designs, they are creating buildings that are both visually stunning and structurally sound.
In conclusion, brick vaults are a fascinating aspect of Valencia’s architectural heritage that continue to inspire architects and builders today. Their history can be traced back to the Roman era, and their use has evolved over time to reflect changing styles and needs. Today, brick vaults are admired for their exceptional strength and durability, as well as their enduring appeal in modern architecture. Whether you’re a fan of traditional or contemporary design, there’s no denying the timeless beauty of these remarkable structures.