Bethelhem based Studio AAU Anastas, designed the flat stone vault of the new shop of St Mary of the Resurrection Abbey in Jerusalem. The system is inspired by the invention of French Engineer Joseph Abeille (1673-1756), who patented in 1699 a special system that allowed the building of flat vaults. The St Mary of the Resurrection Abbey is one of Jerusalem’s most valuable witness of crusaders’ architecture. The site is one of the five French domains in Jerusalem including the Tombs of the Kings, the Pater Noster, Sainte Anne, and the French General consulate.
The church was built in the 12th century by the Crusaders. Its architecture offers a complete example of what was the architecture of the Crusaders in Palestine; a combination of different architectural elements that they brought from abroad and local elements that they found in situ. The newly built flat stone vault is an extension of the monastery’s shop. Architecturally, it consists of a juxtaposed volume addition. However, the strategy of integration in the site does not rely on the formal aspect of the architectural element but rather on the construction techniques: the new shop is thought as a stone structure. Just like most of the architecture of the monastery – including the church’s crypt – the soundness of the structure relies on a delicate work of stereotomy.
The columns of the new shop are made out of massive stone, and the ceiling is a flat stone vault composed of 169 interlocking voussoirs. The system is inspired by the invention of French engineer Joseph Abeille (1673-1756), who patented in 1699 a special system that allowed the building of flat vaults. The design for the new shop is based on an innovative construction principle, literally weaving stones together to achieve the first reinforced flat stone vault of such a scale. The techniques used for the construction rely on novel design and simulation techniques of the structure’s structural behavior, as well as on fabrication and mounting methods allowing for the assembly of precise topological interlocking.
The extension of the monastery’s shop – in such a heavy historical context – is above all an attempt to adapt existing construction principles to novel design and fabrication methods as well as a specific local stonemasonry know-how. The flat stone vault echoes stone construction techniques, inherent to the monastery’s architectural history and to the crusader’s architecture in Palestine, in a contemporary way. For further information, please visit www.aauanastas.com.
PROJECT The Flat Vault ARCHITECT AAU Anastas LOCATION Jerusalem, Palestine YEAR 2018 PHOTO Mikaela Burstow
To provide the best experiences, we use technologies like cookies to store and/or access device information. Consenting to these technologies will allow us to process data such as browsing behavior or unique IDs on this site. Not consenting or withdrawing consent, may adversely affect certain features and functions.
The technical storage or access is strictly necessary for the legitimate purpose of enabling the use of a specific service explicitly requested by the subscriber or user, or for the sole purpose of carrying out the transmission of a communication over an electronic communications network.
The technical storage or access is necessary for the legitimate purpose of storing preferences that are not requested by the subscriber or user.
The technical storage or access that is used exclusively for statistical purposes.The technical storage or access that is used exclusively for anonymous statistical purposes. Without a subpoena, voluntary compliance on the part of your Internet Service Provider, or additional records from a third party, information stored or retrieved for this purpose alone cannot usually be used to identify you.
The technical storage or access is required to create user profiles to send advertising, or to track the user on a website or across several websites for similar marketing purposes.