The Spanish company Rosal Stones has stonemasons and students rebuild the Junterones vault from Murcia Cathedral to scale

Project “Construir en Piedra Hoy“.The “Bóveda de Junterones“ vault.

The project entitled “Construir en Piedra Hoy“ (Building with Natural Stone Today) also focused on the ecological strengths of the material

Natural stone companies that want to attract budding architects usually invite students to visit their quarries and workshops. The Spanish company Rosal Stones has now gone a big step further by inviting budding planners to take part in a practical project, namely the reproduction of an architectural highlight from Spain.

This combined basic knowledge of traditional craftsmanship with the architectural wealth of the region and the ecological characteristics of natural stone.

It was about the Junterones vault in Murcia Cathedral, not far from Rosal Stones’ headquarters.

The “Bóveda de Junterones“ vault.

The toric vault is a masterpiece by the ancient builders. It is mentioned in a 16th century manuscript by the architect Alonso Vandelvira and is known today as the “Bóveda de Junterones.“

To clarify: the young people were only supposed to create a scaled-down replica of the vault, even without the rich decorations. In the original, it is a self-supporting construction of limestone elements spanning a width of around 8 m, high above a chapel in the cathedral.

The scale for the replica was 1:4, but, as Catalina Sánchez, head of Rosal Stones, emphasizes, the scale is sufficient to illustrate the principle of the construction.

Project “Construir en Piedra Hoy“.Project “Construir en Piedra Hoy“.

Participants in the project were stonemasons from the French Compagnons du Devoir, students from the University of Cartagena UPTC and pupils from local secondary schools and the Murcia Arts School.

It all started with theory: the stonemasons came together at the Polytechnic University of Madrid from January 08 to 12, 2024, where professors Enrique Rabasa and José Calvo (Polytechnic University of Cartagena) taught them how to calculate and illustrate such constructions. In subsequent days, already in the company headquarters in Caravaca, the professors also transmitted this knowledge to the employees of Rosal Stones.

The students joined them for a day, as did the pupils. They continued with reports on the experiences of various architects with solid stone constructions from the present day.

Then it was on to the stones: from January 15 to 25, the young people worked on the raw blocks in the Rosal Stones workshops, using the usual tools of stonemasons.

The next steps also included assembling the scaffolding and finally fitting the stones together.

Project “Construir en Piedra Hoy“.Project “Construir en Piedra Hoy“.

The highlight of the project was the inauguration of the vault on January 26. The citizens were also invited to the small ceremony with wine and toasts. Because Rosal Stones expressly sees itself as part of the country and its people, as Catalina Sánchez emphasizes.

At the end of the afternoon, there was a panel discussion with the experts involved, where the overall theme of the project “Constfuir en Piedra Hoy“ (Building with Natural Stone Today) was examined from all angles.

One of the topics discussed was the use of local stone and its favorable ecological footprint.

The project was support by Erasmus+ from the EU, the Caravaca City Council and the the Brotherhood of Vera Cruz.

Construir en Piedra Hoy (Spanish)

Rosal Stones

Photos: Rosal Stones

Inauguration of the vault. The citizens were also invited to the small ceremony with wine and toasts.Panel discussion with the experts involved. Far left: Catalina Sánchez.

Video: (Spanish)

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(06.05.2024, USA: 05.06.2024)