A rib vault, also known as a ribbed vault, is an architectural element used to cover a large space, such as a church nave, that is made up of a framework of crossed or diagonally arched ribs. This trait enabled Gothic cathedral architects to create higher and thinner walls, as well as significantly bigger windows. The ribs may be plain (just the curved ends remain) or fluted (with a spiral groove down the center). They may be made of wood or steel. The word "vault" here does not mean anything particularly special about the shape of this type of roof; rather, it refers to the fact that it covers a void.
The first ribbed vaults were probably built in France around 1150. They were mostly used for religious buildings, especially churches. The name comes from the appearance of the ribs when seen inside the building: they resemble the ribs of a chest cavity!
In Europe, wooden vaults began to replace the older style of construction, which used overlapping boards covered with clay or dung, after about 1300. The new design was stronger and allowed for larger openings than the old system. By the late 15th century, cast iron ribs had been developed which were much more durable than wooden ones. These early iron vaults were usually made in one piece and included both top and bottom chords connected by several hundred feet of cross-members.
The perpendicular junction of two barrel vaults creates a groin (or cross) vault. A rib (or ribbed) vault is supported by a set of arching diagonal ribs that split the surface of the vault into panels. A fan vault is made out of concave sections with ribs that extend out in the shape of a fan. The term "vault" here refers to the roof itself, not a box shaped room like in some castles where a vaulted ceiling is used.
Ribbed vaults were commonly used for large public buildings such as churches because they provided more light inside the building. They are also useful when space is limited because you can pack more into a small area. Groin or cross-vaults were used instead when privacy or aesthetics was important. They can be seen in many large public rooms of castles including hallways, dining spaces, and salons. You will also find them in smaller private rooms such as en-suites because they provide more insulation from outside noise.
You should know that a groin or cross-vault has openings in the middle of each rib to let in air and light. These openings are usually covered by flat panels attached to the ribs. The vault may have additional horizontal members called ties that connect adjacent pairs of ribs. These help keep the vault rigid so it doesn't collapse under its own weight or that of any contents that might be inside it.
A quadripartite rib vault is a rib vault with two diagonal ribs dividing it into four pieces. Also known as a rib vault. Fan, net, and sexpartite rib vaults are examples of other forms of rib vaults. In general terms, a quadripartite vault has 4 diagonals dividing it into 4 sections or quarters.
The word "quadripartite" comes from the Latin for "four ways", referring to the way the ribs divide the vault into four sections or quarters. The ribs may be straight or curved, but they must connect with each other at four points: two ends and two sides. A flat roof would cover the quadripartite vault if no door or window was required for access. However, a door or window would be necessary for access to some parts of the building. Therefore, the only true quadripartite vaults are those with exposed structures.
Examples of quadripartite vaults include Roman Catholic churches with their fan vaulting (which includes French, Belgian, and Italian styles) and Russian Orthodox churches with their net vaulting (which includes Bulgarian, Serbian, Romanian, and Ukrainian styles).
Greek Orthodox churches have a form of quadripartite vault called a sexpartite vault because there are six rather than four ribs dividing the vault into three equal sections.
A vault is a structural element in building construction that consists of an arrangement of arches, commonly forming a ceiling or roof. When two barrel vaults crossed at right angles, they produced a groin vault, which, when repeated in sequence, could span rectangular expanses of infinite length. The word "vault" comes from the Latin verb vehere, meaning "to bear up." In architecture, a vault is a supporting structure used to cover an open space, usually containing air or water, as in a dome or shell structure.
The word "vault" is also used in a more general sense to describe any large cavity beneath a floor or roof. In this context, the term generally implies that the cavity is covered by its own material rather than being supported by walls or columns. Examples include caves and mines. A void enclosed only by exterior surfaces is called a hollow. Hollow objects with volumes of less than 1 m3 (1 cubic foot) are not usually called vaults but instead are referred to by their functional category, for example, boxes or jars.
In buildings, vaults are usually found in the interior spaces such as halls, galleries, and rooms. They may be part of the original design or added later. Some buildings have multiple vaults, each serving a different purpose. Vents can be found in some vaulted ceilings. These openings allow smoke and other gases to escape while keeping the room dry and comfortable.
A sexpartite vault is a rib vault split into six bays by two diagonal ribs and three transverse ribs in architecture. The name comes from the fact that each bay contains one half of a complete set of human ribs.
The sexpartite rib pattern is very common in medieval European church building. It was used primarily for its decorative effect, but it also provides much-needed support for the roof. Without the presence of these ribs, the roof would collapse under its own weight.
This type of vault was popular in England during the 11th century. It can be seen, for example, in Ely Cathedral. Sexpartite vaults were also used in France, Germany, and Italy at this time. They became less common after the 13th century, when better designed gothic vaults were being built. However, the sexpartite vault remains popular today with architects who want to use deco rtic elements in their designs.
Sexpartite vaults are divided into two parts: the triforium and the nave. The triforium runs along one side of the church, and the nave covers the other three. These are the main rooms in any ribbed vaulted church.