Timbrel domes of guastavino: Nondestructive assessments on a half-scale model

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7 Scopus citations


The Nebraska State Capitol in Lincoln (NE, USA) contains some of the best examples of timbrel vaults and domes utilizing the special Guastavino tile construction. A half-scale model of one of the concentric timbrel domes in the Nebraska State Capitol (called the Model Dome) is constructed at the Peter Kiewit Institute–Structures Laboratory of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Omaha campus). The experience of the construction of the Model Dome in itself is unique and therefore discussed in the article. After the Model Dome is constructed, experimental modal analysis is utilized as a nondestructive technique for updating three-dimensional computer models for this structure. As a result of this study, a validated three-dimensional finite element model of the Model Dome is obtained and several inferences are made regarding the construction, modeling, and dynamic testing of timbrel domes. The change in dynamic characteristics of a timbrel dome constructed with gypsum mortar due to environmental effects is also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)330-352
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal of Architectural Heritage
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 7 2008


  • Arches
  • Experimental modal analysis
  • Finite element models
  • Masonry
  • Model validation and updating
  • Nondestructive in situ testing
  • Structural dynamics
  • Timbrel domes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Conservation
  • Architecture
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts


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