Domed roof over an irregular shape

The following pictures give an idea of the construction process of the domed roof of my room. It is made with the technique explained before in the post: “Dome made with unfired earth bricks”. The difference here is that the roof is over an irregular shape and partly lies over another smaller dome. The shape is easier to understand by looking at the following pictures and the explanations.

Here below you can see me over the roof, it gives an idea of the proportions. You can also see that four curved sides are coming together.DSC_6782

The picture below shows the location of the room in relation to the house. The room is in a rounded corner of the house, its ground level is one meter over the the outside level. That elevates the house and isolates it from the ground humidity. All the sandbags that form the lower part of the outside wall will be removed and stuccoed in its due time.DSC_6768_m

The following three pictures show how the bricks are placed. Only mud is used. The bricks form an arch, the mud to place the bricks is rather liquid, the bricks have a certain proportion and are dry when placed. If not all the conditions above are met the brick or roof (if arches are not formed) could fall.DSC_6764_m



Below you can see that the left side of the roof lies over a dome. A dome that will probably be a bathroom. I am standing more than a meter above the ground level of the room while a place the bricks.DSC_6757_m

Here you can see how the roof sides are “advancing” and closing themselves.DSC_6749_m

I stand over some pieces of wood in order to have enough altitude to place the bricks. Some steel rods were temporarily placed over the dome in order to give an idea of the direction of the roof. They confused and annoyed me more than helped so I took them out, they are not necessary.DSC_6748_m

My head can be seen popping out. As you can see the left side of the roof is not a straight line, it curves to the inside so the dome obtained has an interesting form.
Here are the bricks used. The dimension in centimeters is 20x10x5. They are made of earth, with mud. An earth that I estimate has around 30 % of clay.
Here you can see how the sides of the roof are coming together in order to close themselves. It is interesting to see the bricks forming arches everywhere, strategically integrated, to make a roof. It shows that basically any form can be closed using that technique. Note that each side is formed by arches and the superposition of all sides forms the dome. You can also here see that the right side is curved to the outside. It is clear in this picture how one side of the roof lies over a smaller dome.
Here again you can see how several arches are forming the roof.

It is now time to say goodbye, here below I wave you (so you can easily spot me) my best wishes !DSC_6774




3 thoughts on “Domed roof over an irregular shape”

  1. Wow. I someday will do free vaulting but not yet. I want to see this in person. It is like you have double curvature on some. Most amazing roof .

    I dont even know what to say but that is a dream room. I could stare at the ceiling for hours.

  2. Interesting tips for the roof mortar water resistance and unfired bricks compressive strength:

    I just read in the Minke book (considered by some as the bible manual for earth construction).

    That if you add lime to the mud it increases a lot the water resistance of the final stucco, it does not say how much lime to add… Very useful for exterior plastering.

    Also if you add 5% of lime it increases the compressive strength of an unfired brick by around 30% (depending on the amount of clay and sand) reaching the maximum then it goes a bit down but still more than without lime. Be careful that if it is much less than 5% it could decrease the original strength (without lime).

    So conclusion I might add for the roof some lime to the mud mortar to make it water proof in addition to compacting it with a trowel and river stone. I just do not know yet how much lime to add for that mortar. I just found that this thesis explains very well how much lime should be added:

    And for the next bricks i make I might use 5% of lime to increase their strength, which will also make them more water resistant.

    Ahh and also if you add 10% of cement to the unfired bricks mixture you basically increase the compressive strength by 3 times, as well as make them more water resistant, thats good to keep in mind too.

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