Top 8 Modern Vaulted Ceiling Styles

Top 8 Modern Vaulted Ceiling Styles

Top 8 Modern Vaulted Ceiling Styles

The vaulted ceiling is a staple of architectural design that has helped create some of the most beautiful cathedrals and palaces in the world. Vaulted ceilings are heavily arched ceiling structures made out of stone, reinforced concrete, brick or wood. A vaulted ceiling encloses a indoor space and comes in a variety of types. Today weve compiled a list of some of the most common types of vaulted ceilings that can be found in building designs. Some of the structures on the list originated in ancient architecture, but their styles have been modernized in order to be included in modern structures.

The Barrel Vault

This style of vault is both the most traditional and simple style of ceiling vaulting. Quite ironically this simple design is often used as a base for more intricate designed ceilings. The barrel vault is characterized by its ongoing series of semi-circular arches. Each semi-circular arch is directly behind another semi-circular arch. This creates a half barrel look that also resembles a tunnel. This typical style of vault are placed in entranceways, foyers and hallways. Using a barrel vault is a great way to accent a first or second floor of a home, while also providing a higher ceiling space.

The Diamond Vault

This form of vaulting is one of the most ornate types on this list. Hundreds of years ago the diamond vault began to be used in both the Renaissance and Gothic styles. The diamond vault is an extremely complicated convex-concave ceiling structure. This type of vault is created through the use of elaborate systems of cavernous vaults which create diamond shaped fixtures in the ceiling of the building. Many who glance up at a diamond vault are immediately reminded of the diverse facets of a cut diamond or other gemstone, hence the styles name. Visually diamond vaults play a variety of roles. A properly constructed diamond vault can visually compartmentalize, simplify and or integrate the interior of a room. This creates a sense of expansion the can diminish the visual effects of claustrophobic ceiling ridges.

The Groin Vault

The groin vault is created by the intersection of two barrel vaults at 90 degree right angles. This intersection creates four curving surfaces on the ceiling that serve to draw the eyes up to the center of the vault. This barrel vault intersection creates ribs that inspire strength and are visually appealing. The groin vault is characterized by its arches that are either rounded or pointed. The picture above depicts a home building design that incorporates an expensive barrel vaulted ceiling flanked by dual groin vaults. The great thing about groin vaults is the fact that they can be very decorative or simplistic.

The Cloister Vault Arched Ceiling

The cloister vault is characterized by its dome shape, and its base that is either square or polygon shape. Along with diminished courses drawn from the top and bottom of the ceiling, the horizontal sections both create a frustrum or pyramid-eseque shape that has an outwardly curved sides. The cloister vault is also distinguished from other vaults by its curved sections that rise from the base to the centered point of the ceiling.

The Catalan Vault

Looking to add a little Spanish culture into your home design? Well look no further than the catalan vault, which is also known as the timbrel vault, catalan turn and catalan arch. This style of arch is the lowest arch on our list. Made out of simple bricks this type of arch is created by placing bricks lengthwise over a wooden center. This creates a softer curve than typically found in other types of vaults. This style of vaulting originated in Catalonia but has made its way to the U.S. When used in home design this lower arch is used for a low-fi earthy effect.

The Parabolic Vault

Top 8 Modern Vaulted Ceiling Styles

The parabolic vault has a domed roof along with a cross section that moves in all directions. Essentially a parabolic vault serves to create a parabola shape in the ceiling. A parabola is mirror-symmetrical curve that is two-dimensional and makes a downward U-shape. While as a shape the parabola does not have an end point, the parabolic vaults endpoints are often all the way to the ground of the structure.

The Rib Vault

The rib vault is a classic vault that is then reinforced with masonry ribs known as ribbed vaults. This style of vault deviates from the original groin vault, while the transmission of weight to the outward pillars remains the same. Importantly, this style of vaulting allowed for the placement of higher windows in the buildings walls. The rib vault involves using two masonry ribs and then dividing these ribs into different sections. The quadripartite rib vault involves dividing the ribs into four sections. While a rib vault that is divided into three separate masonry ribs creates a sexpartite rib vault that creates a total of six sections in the vault.

The Shell Vault

The shell vault is a vaulting structure made out of thin material. It develops rigidity in its shape instead of through the strength and bulkiness of the vault. This style of vault is exterior in nature and often times is a shell put over the exterior of a structure. Thus, the shell vault typically does not have a visual or structural effect on the interior ceiling of the structure. Essentially, the shell vault gets its name because it is a vaulted structure used as a shell to cover a building.

The vaulted ceiling comes in a variety of shapes but all styles share a few similarities in common. A vaulted ceiling can be used to emphasize light or space by creating depth and range with a ceiling. Or a vaulted ceiling can be used as an outdoor shell for the exterior of a building. Regardless of the various vaulting styles that interest you, we hope this list of the top 8 modern vaulted ceiling styles has been informative and helpful.


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