Soil-Cement Vaults in South Africa

A team carried out a detailed design of structural vaults built from local soil for a new museum at the World Heritage Site of Mapungubwe in South Africa designed by Peter Rich Architects. Michael Ramage (Cambridge), John Ochsendorf, and Philippe Block designed the unreinforced structural masonry vaults in collaboration with Henry Fagan in South Africa. Matthew Hodge developed the cement-stabilized tiles in collaboration with Anne Fitchett (Univ. of Witwatersrand). Based on his experience building the domes of the Pines Calyx in the UK, James Bellamy supervised the vault construction on site. The project was part of masonry research conducted by MIT.

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