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The triple spiral staircase in the convent of Santo Domingo de Bonaval (Santiago, Spain): design and construction hypothesis. (2017)

ARTICLE: (Article)

Title: The triple spiral staircase in the Santo Domingo de Bonaval Convent (Santiago, Spain): design and construction hypothesis. (2017)

  • Author(s): Miguel Carlos Cabo Fernandez, Ana Gonzalez Uriel and Manuel de Miguel.
  • Magazine (magazine): Construction reports.
  • Pages: 0-10.
  • ISSN: 0020-0883 .
  • DOI: 10.3989/ic.16.119.
  • Summary: Around 1700, in the last years of his career, the senior master of santiago de Compostela Cathedral, Domingo de Andrade, made an unprecedented technical boast by building a unique spiral staircase in the Convent of Santo Domingo de Bonaval. This work offers a constructive hypothesis of the work based on the knowledge and means available at the time, taking into account its geometry, layout, work of the steps and putting in place under conditions of structural stability. A 1:5 scale model has been made, which has allowed to demonstrate the hypothesis that the ladder could be lifted without any need for apeos. Such a circumstance would have meant for Andrade, architect and contractor, a significant reduction in construction costs. Beyond the undoubted demonstration of expertise, it is quite possible that economic motivations would encourage the master in his audacity.
  • Keywords: Spiral stairs, stonework, traces and cuts, architecture, construction history.
  • Abstract: By 1700 Domingo de Andrade, at that time master builder of the Santiago de Compostela cathedral (North-west of Spain), built a unique spiral staircase in the Santo Domingo de Bonaval’s Convent, on the outskirts of the city. This pa- per provides a construction process hypothesis based on the available knowledge and technical resources at that time, involving the geometry, layout, stonework of the steps and their on positioning on the site. A 1:5 scale model has been made to demonstrate that the staircase could have been built with no scaffolding at all. That would have meant for Andrade, architect and builder, an important cost reduction. Moreover been a masterpiece with an undeniable show of prowess, it is quite possible that economic reasons had driven the master to this bold design.
  • Key words: Spiral staircases, stonecutting, architecture, construction history.
  • Link: http://informesdelaconstruccion.revistas.csic.es/index.php/informesdelaconstruccion/article/view/5851

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