CHURTICHAGA, Josemara de

Circumstance and Reinvention: The Story of the Vaults Without Falsework

Date: Friday 15 February 2002
Time: 18:00
Running time: 62 mins

During the Spanish Civil War the town of Villanueva de la Cañada, just north of Madrid, was situated on the line of conflict. Its buildings were reduced to rubble in the crossfire. After the war the town was chosen for reconstruction, but the architects were faced with a major technical problem - there was no steel or wood from which to make beams and lintels. The architects found the solution in what is known outside of Spain as the Catalan arch or vault, a light barrel vault made of brick and constructed without falsework. Josemaría de Churtichaga’s lecture traces the history of this construction device from the early middle ages (it was used in the dome of Hagia Sophia) to its use by Gaudi (in the school of the Sagrada Familia), to Le Corbusier, and then, via the work of Guastavino, to the USA. Churtichaga is a structural engineer and co-founder of an architectural practice with his wife Cayetana de la Quadra-Salcedo. Quadra-Salcedo joins him for the Q & A.

All lectures are open to members of the public, staff and students unless otherwise stated.

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The Architectural Association receives Taught Degree Awarding Powers by the Lords of Her Majesty’s Most Honourable Privy Council.

The Architectural Association (AA), the oldest independent school of architecture in the United Kingdom, is pleased to announce that it has been granted the power to award its own degrees. As of 1 October 2019, the AA has the right to establish new academic programmes and degree awards and is working to create some of the world’s most pioneering courses in architecture to shape and build the future.

Taught Degree Awarding Powers (TDAP) give UK higher education institutions the right to award bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Prospective students worldwide can apply to the AA Foundation Course (Foundation Certificate), Experimental Programme BA(Hons), Diploma Programme (MArch), and nine taught postgraduate programmes encompassing History and Critical Thinking in Architecture (MA), Projective Cities (Taught MPhil) and Sustainable Environmental Design (MSc/MArch), amongst others.

AA Director, Eva Franch said, ‘since our founding in 1847 we have never ceased to create new horizons, institutionally and academically. This is a significant milestone for the AA and demonstrates how we have grown and progressed as an institution that has always valued independence. Receiving TDAP marks a new era for our institution; these are exciting times for the AA. The process has required considerable work from all members of staff and students. I would like to take this opportunity to credit them for this major achievement’.

President of the AA Council, Victoria Thornton added, ‘the TDAP process has recognised our strong governance, academic standards, scholarship and teaching as well as the environment supporting the delivery of taught higher education programmes’.

The School’s application for Taught Degree Awarding Powers was supported by the Architects Registration Board, the Royal Institute of British Architects and The Open University.