The Colegio de Nuestra Señora de la Antigua (1593-1619), in Monforte de Lemos, Spain, is the best example in Galicia of the classicism influenced by the Monastery of El Escorial and his architect, Juan de Herrera. This thesis analyses the technical aspects of the construction of its masonry vaults within the discipline of Construction History.
The Colegio exhibits various types of vaults, among which the extradosed ashlar dome and the grand staircase are particularly worth mentioning. Some of the vaults have undergone important deformations that have raised concerns about their stability.
The study is organized in three sections: geometry, construction, and mechanics, the three clearly interrelated in this type of structures.
The geometrical study starts out with a metric survey. The resulting measurements were used to draw the vaults, and analyse their dimensions and irregularities. The section is completed with the gathering of the dimensional rules appearing in the various historical treatises, which are compared with the dimensions of the actual vaults.
The construction study deals with the quartering of the structure, whose results are compared, on the one hand, with the approaches appearing in the main treatises of the 16th- 18th centuries, and on the other, with the descriptions in the historical documents of the Colegio itself. In one of the cloister’s walls, a hitherto unheard-of construction drawing at actual size was found. Its survey and analysis is included in this section.
The mechanical study analyses the Colegio’s vaults stability within the theoretical frame of the Modern Limit Analysis of Masonry Structures. The interpretation of the structural behavior, coupled with the precision of the surveys, has allowed a deep understanding of the masonry’s movements and the original geometry of some of the vaults —not always evident in the case of strong deformations— has been inferred.
Guerra Pestonit, Rosa Ana. 2012. «Bóvedas y contrarresto del Colegio de Nuestra Señora de la Antigua de Monforte de Lemos: Geometría, construcción y mecánica». PhD dissertation. Universidad Politécnica de Madrid.