The Barrel-Vaulted Roof

Found in both residential homes and commercial buildings, the barrel-vaulted ceiling technique is used to shape, direct and focus indirect light from multiple directions throughout the day and night with various […]

Found in both residential homes and commercial buildings, the barrel-vaulted ceiling technique is used to shape, direct and focus indirect light from multiple directions throughout the day and night with various shapes, locations and sizes of windows. This system ultimately creates very unique and intimate modern interiors using integrated sources of natural light and designed uses of lighting.

Barrel-vault roof systems are nothing new. They are known from Ancient Egypt and Italy, and were used extensively in Roman architecture. They can be seen all over Europe. In medieval Europe, the barrel vault was an important element of stone and masonry construction in cathedrals, monasteries, castles, tower houses, cellars, crypts, cloisters and great halls. Nowadays, this technique is better known in modern architecture, and can be seen particularly all over the West coast of the U.S., in cities as well as in the countryside.

As barrel-vaulted ceilings help bring natural light indoors to make spaces look larger than life, this technique is particularly applicable in any setting that has great views, or stands within majestic landscapes, the Northwest being a great example. The gentle arched form located both inside and out gives a property a very soft rolling form, and acts as a bridge between indoor and outdoor spaces framing the views of outside elements and enhancing indoor spaces, e.g. a swimming pool, vistas or a great landscaped garden.

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