Technical University Delft, Faculty Architecture


This paper describes the technique for building roofs constructed with the system known as Fusée Ceramic. This system was invented and patented by the French architect Jaques Coëlle and applied in The Netherlands, Belgium and France halfway through the twentieth century for building barrel vaults. These barrel vaults were composed of cylindrical elements, embedded in concrete and often reinforced with steel bars. The technique of construction resembles the techniques applied by Eladio Diëste for shells composed of reinforced masonry. Comparing these techniques will show the background to these techniques. During the nineteen fifties the building industry was booming, consequently the cost of materials were rising and architects had to find alternatives to save cement and steel. Applying fusées, the need of mortar could be reduced up to 50%. Further the weight of the structure was reduced too, so these barrel roofs were used for spans up to 25 m. Nowadays the world wide attention for the environment will stimulate architects and engineers to seek durable and environment-friendly techniques, saving energy and reducing CO2 emission. Possibly the Fusée Ceramique system can be transformed into new technical systems, fulfilling the demands of the present.

Key words
osite, ceramic elements, barrel vaults, sustainability