"Bricktopia", is a vaulted structure made of brick using a traditional construction technique called tile-vault (or "Catalan vault"). It has been designed with new digital tools to optimize the structure through geometry. The proposal is the result of the academic research currently carried out by Marta Domènech Rodríguez, David López López and Mariana Palumbo Fernández, co-founders of the group Map13, with the help of different Professors from different fields and various schools of architecture.
This project used the “RhinoVault”, a plug-in for Rhinoceros, developed by Philippe Block, Matthias Rippmann and Lorenz Lachauer at the Technical University of Zurich.
This research collects the material tradition and the constructive knowledge of tile vaulting and combines them with contemporary computational tools. This project, developed in the enclosed area of a nineteenth-century factory made of brick, uses the same material raising a new topography in the old courtyard. However, it is opposed to the industrial construction offering a concave and protected space that links the origins of all cultures.
The vaulted pavilion sets out the contemporary validity of this traditional system, native of Catalonia and widely used in various parts of the world for centuries. It is economical, sustainable, with formal and functional versatility and nowadays it is also offering the possibility of being built in developing countries for roofs, stairs, drainage systems, etc. Unlike the construction that can be seen these days, this project aims to restore the expertise and imagination of the building hands. “Bricktopia” has been built by excellent builders who have made an unprecedented craftsmanship. The challenge that requires good layout in tile vault construction, specially with a complex shape like this one, suggests the work as an opposite to the mechanical work.