Designs & Architectural StylesHome & Garden

Groin Vault Ceiling: Not Your Typical Ceiling: English Cottage-Style Home In The Making: Part 7

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By Randy

When I first saw the framing for the groin ceiling in the vestibule just off the foyer I was curious about the final result. The construction isn’t quite finished on the groin vault ceiling but it is coming along nicely. A groin vault isn’t an easy choice for a ceiling but I’ve come to expect the unexpected at this English cottage-style home at The Retreat.

There’s Nothing New About Groin Vault Ceilings

“Vaulted construction, using barrel and groin vaults, and sometimes domes, to distribute the weight of the ceiling and roof, is an ancient form of building, once used extensively by the Romans.”

The above is a quote from:
Office of the Curator website – U.S. Dept. of the Treasury

The Romans were way ahead of their time, regarding construction, in many ways. Don’t believe me??!!! Read this from a small sampling of their extraordinary construction innovations.

The use of groin vaults was one technique used to help alleviate the immense outward thrust of masonry vaults on the walls supporting it. An ingenious technique, indeed. Heck…even The White House has an example of groin vault architecture.

Back to the English cottage-style home I’m writing about…

Taking on the construction of a groin vault ceiling for this home meant that the builder would need to have in his employ skilled craftsmen, such as Isaac Tate (right inset) , to frame it and another generously skilled craftsman to plaster it. He obviously has that part handled because it has turned out beautifully.

Basically, they have completed the following steps:

  • a) framing (I’m not going to get into the specs and engineering)
  • b) installed the wire mesh for the plaster to hold onto
  • c) plastered and sanded
  • Have a viewing of what’s been done so far:

    Wanna see more examples of groin vault ceilings?

    If you find this article interesting, you may want to check out the whole series of posts on this English-cottage style home and all of the beautiful craftsmanship and materials that go into constructing it.