Stonework in general terms

Chapter 2 touched upon stonework construction although it was primarily concerned with the systematic comparison of stairs. It is useful to list the types of construction and to cross reference these to the buildings illustrated in Chapter 2 alongside symbolic sketches in Figures 9.1a-/giving the principles involved.

• Stone slabs spanning enclosing walls.

• Stone blocks as a stylobate, namely stonework forming a stepped plinth, e.g. the steps to the Acropolis (Figure 9.1b and compare Figure 2.1c).

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Figure 9.1b Principles for stonework stairs: Stone blocks as a stylobate

Brick steps over concrete filling

Sloping barrel vault

Brick steps over concrete filling

Sloping barrel vault

Arcaded walls

Figure 9.1c Principles for stonework stairs: Sloping barrel vault or sloping cross vault

Arcaded walls

Figure 9.1a Principles for stonework stairs: Stone slabs spanning enclosing walls

Figure 9.1c Principles for stonework stairs: Sloping barrel vault or sloping cross vault

Stone vaults, either as a sloping barrel vault carried on walls or as cross vaults supported on columns, e.g. Palazzo Municipio, Genoa, or double circular stairs at Blois and Chambord (Figure 9.1c and compare Figures 2.11, 2.20 and 2.21).

Turret stairs, with treads used as bonding stones between two independent towers (Figure 9.1 d).

Inner drum (built perhaps with piers)

Figure 9.1d Principles for stonework stairs: Turret stairs with two independent towers

Enclosing wall

Figure 9.1d Principles for stonework stairs: Turret stairs with two independent towers

Turret stairs, with treads tapered and built up as a central newel or pier with tread ends built into the enclosing wall, for example, the stairs within corner piers at Chiswick House, London (refer back to Figure 2.18), or treads cantilevered out towards an open well (Figure 9.1/).

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