More than just remedial rhetoric, it’s a phrase that’s been ingrained in our brains with the greatest of intentions; rooted in the notion that it’s always better to carefully calculate your next step than to take a blind leap. While it’s a common-sense approach to most life-ventures, especially construction, there’s a special group of brick builders who simply refuse to subscribe.
They are “The Bovederos.”
Deep in the heart of Querétaro, Mexico, brick construction workers practice an intuitive craft that has deep roots in Catalonia, Spain. YouTube user Coleman Priske uploaded the video below on Sept. 8, 2015, which shows master craftsmen constructing a vaulted brick ceiling without any framework or ceiling mount. All the bovederos use are their experience, instincts, and according to a case study fromScienceDirect, fast-setting mortar.
“To create such a curvy ceiling with bricks and no framework needed, builders have to use a fast setting mortar to allow the brick to hold itself after being tapped into place,” according to an article from Barcelona real estate and lifestyle services website,SuiteLife. The vaulted ceilings, commonly known as Catalan vaults, or bovedas (hence the moniker “bovederos”), are placed by hand, brick by brick, without measuring or pre-cutting. As you can see in the video, they construct these buildings on the fly by using their trowels to swiftly chop bricks down to the appropriate size they need.
Noted for it’s remarkable strength, arched architecture was first used on a large-scale by the ancient Romans. For those unconvinced by the ancient Romans’ methods, Priske posted an additional YouTube video to demonstrate the force it would take to crumble a brick boveda.
What doesn’t take convincing is the expert abilities these master craftsman possess. The end result from their effort is a spectacular building with a brick ceiling built with the warmth, quality, and the slight imperfections of the human touch. Something that a more calculated, automated processes simply can’t replicate.