Prof. Dr. Santiago Huerta| Universidad Politécnica de Madrid
Mechanics of masonry architecture
Geometry, construction and stability
Masonry structures are no longer built. The basis of its structural behaviour are not taught, neither their principles of construction. Archeologists, historians, architects and engineers find themselves perplexed in front of an architecture so different from contemporary constructions. Indeed, the tradition of masonry building, which can be traced back to the origins of civilisation, was swept away in the first half of the 20th Century by the so-called Modern Architecture. Other structural types substituted arches, vaults and buttresses: namely, trussed and framed structures, made of steel or reinforced concrete. However, we need to understand historic masonry buildings, either for academic research or in the context of preservation and intervention. The lecture will address the problem of the mechanics of masonry and its importance for a deep understanding of historic architecture, of its geometry, construction and stability.