Adobe brick vaults

Adobe brick vaults

There’s no detailed information about these particular vaults, but they look great and I wanted to share this with readers. They look like leaning adobe vaults by the famous Egyptian architect Hassan Fathy, author of Architecture for the Poor. This method uses thinner, medium sized adobe blocks mortared together with mud. The adobes are set into sloping arches that lean against an end wall..

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Adobe Vaults in Tamil Nadu, India — 4 Comments

  1. Owen, have you ever seen the Grand Designs episode about an eco-house built under a free-standing arch? You probably have. Anyhow, that’s what your post brought to mind. I am somewhat curious as to whether these types of arches offer some kind of structural advantage, as some arches do. The narrower the blocks are that make the arch, the more I wonder about the strength of these arches, if under pressure. Maybe I’m not seeing enough in the picture to know what makes them strong, though.

    • They’re not as strong as domes but they are quite strong. Like domes, everything is in compression. Adobe has good compressive strength. They will not hold up in earthquakes. These adobe vaults are for desert regions, because there’s no roof to protect them.

      If you or anyone else sees an especially good Grand Designs episode, please send me the link.

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