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Guastavino Vaulting: The Art of Structural Tile Paperback – September 17, 2013
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American architects of the late 19th and early 20th centuries would leave empty spaces in their blueprints and simply write "Guastavino Here." -Boston Globe
About the Author
John Ochsendorf was the first engineer to be awarded a Rome Prize (2007) and the first structural engineer to be awarded a MacArthur Fellowship (2008). He currently teaches at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
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Ochsendorf's insightful writing about the technical virtuosity and business sense of the Guastavinos, father and son, is coupled with stunning color photographs by Michael Freeman that reveal for the first time th full glory of their aesthetic achievements. The author gives us delicious surprises throughout the book: In a 1900 poll of U.S. architects to designate the ten most beautiful building in the country, all but two employed Guastavino construction. The 70-foot dome he built for a church in Lowell, MA is proportionally half the thickness of an eggshell. The floor structure of Mies van der Rohe's Barcelona Pavilion, though not by Guastavino, was spanned with a similar system that is totally out of character with the iconic building that it supports.
This book is a must-read for architectural historians and structural engineers as well as anyone who appreciates beautifully crafted buildings. It is especially recommended to Manhattanites and Bostonians, who have easy access to hundreds of the Guastavino buildings listed in the appendix.
The author's excitement and enthusiasm are contagious and he has given us a wonderful book that is truly the definitive word on the subject. And that subject, the amazing Catalan vaults of the Guastavinos, is a story that every architect and structural engineer should know about!
It does not have enough information for a person to make this type of vault at home. There is some information like that on the Internet, but it would be a nice addition to the book.