« Los Grumildos: low-tech mechanical puppets on the fringes of society | Main | Building backwards / mixed links & updates 1 »


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

simone swan


i build nubian vaults out of small adobe bricks in southwest texas, on the texas-mexico border and in mexico. we also teach the skill to people around us. the ancient engineering technique stems from village masons in upper egypt and is now being taught in US deserts by adobe alliance, inc. it is wonderful to see the guastavino vaults in photos here since i grew up with those in downtown manhattan, and in the oyster bar.



The timbrel vault is back !



And check out this site for more fascinating pictures:

Ogbeifun, Edoghogho


I am excited about the workings of this age long art and will want to know more about it and use in the twenty-first century. How are where can one learn the art?

Frame and Form


very interesting post!
here an article about the prize World Building of the Year, the Mapungubwe Interpretation Center in South Africa. I hope you enjoy it!


kris de decker
Mark Van den Borre


One of the pictures referenced is not available anymore except at archive.org:


Kris De Decker


Thanks for the note and the link, Mark. I have put the picture in the article, before it disappears altogether.

Ben Hyde


There is currently an exhibit at the Boston Public Library about Guastavino's work and it travels to the National Building Mueseum in Washinton next. Ochsendorf will be giving a talk at the Library on the 17th.



While reading about the timbrel vault I reminded of the structure of nacre which consists of platelets of aragonite interwoven with each other embedded in an organic matrix and is much tougher than pure aragonite.
here's a link to an article about nacre

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

News & Links

Other Languages

  • Some articles have been translated into French, German, Spanish, Italian and Dutch. Find them here.

Food Storage Links

Solar Power Links

Pedal Power Links

Wind Power Links

DIY Links

Building Links

Farming Links

Primitive Technology Links