First Conference of the Construction History Society

Queens’ College, Cambridge

11-12 April 2014

The papers are published in the proceedings


Friday 11 April
Conference day one


9.00-9.30 am Arrival at Queen’s and registration

9:30am Welcome talk: Fitzpatrick Hall

10:00 11:15 Early Morning Sessions (1 & 2)


Session 1 Fitzpatrick HallIron BridgesSession Chair: Bill Addis


James Miller, Jackie Heath

The History of Defect and Repairs of Iron      Bridge

Dermot O’Dwyer, Ronald Cox

Old Ennisnag Bridge

Inge Bertels and Ine Wouters

Production and assembly marks in wrought iron structures

Session 2 Bowett RoomMeasuring and RecordingSession Chair: Robert Carvais


John Gelder

Two Egyptian curves revisited

Francisco Javier Rodríguez Méndez

Spatial unification of Romanesque churches in Zamora and its influence on the buttress system

Piero Gilento

A proposal for cataloguing the building techniques in Roman-Byzantine and Islamic Jordanian Hawrăn


11:15-11:30 Coffee and biscuits


11:30-12:45 Late Morning Sessions (3 & 4)


Session 3 Fitzpatrick HallContracts and FinanceSession Chair: Linda Clarke


Gabriel Byng

‘Fabric Wardens’ and the Organisation of Parish Church Construction in the Late Middle Ages

Melody Mobus

Surviving late payments: Strategies of Christopher Wren’s masons from Burford

Conor Lucey

The developer, the builder, his contractors and their tradesmen

Session 4 Bowett RoomPost-1945 ConstructionSession Chair: Nicholas Bill


Stephanie Van de Voorde

The Emergence of a new Generation of Building Products in Post-War Belgium. The Case of Lightweight Concrete

Christopher Domin

Hang the Roof: Building the Aerial Site [Lightweight Roofs]

Benedetta Stoppioni

New Technologies for a New Society: German Museum Architecture after 1945


12:45-2:00 Lunch in Cripps Dining Hall


2:00-3:00 Keynote Lecture Fitzpatrick Hall


Richard Harris

The Fruit of Dendrochronology: New Insights into Roof Carpentry in England, Germany and France

3:00-4:15 Afternoon Sessions (5, 6)


Session 5 Fitzpatrick HallCarpentry and JoinerySession Chair: Stefan Holzer


David Yeomans, Hugh Harrison

The construction and structure of medieval gates

Patrick Fleming, Sofia Singler, Michael Ramage

Construction History and Alteration of the Oak Roof Structure of the Sidney Sussex College Hall

Robert Beech

Form v Function: The Structural Development of Early fifteenth-century Hammer-beam roofs

Session 6 Bowett RoomCements and RendersSession Chair: Ine Wouters


Salvatore Aprea

The early German production and use of modern hydraulic binders: between English influences and the search for a scientific approach, 1817-1839

Y. Govaerts, A. Verdonck, M. De Bouw, W. Meulebroeck

The introduction of ready-mix rendering mortars for stone imitation in Belgium [1920-1940]

Maris Mändel

Dreaming of a Cementless Future: The Story of Silicalcite


4:15-4:30 Coffee and Biscuits


4:30-6:30 Late Afternoon Sessions (7, 8)


Session 7 Fitzpatrick HallVaults, Domes and CastlesSession Chair: Santiago Huerta


Jacques Heyman

Wren’s domes

Cristina Gonzales-Longo

The transformation of Drumlanring Castle at the end of seventeenth-century

Dimitris Theodossopoulos

Stone barrel Vaulting in late medieval churches in Scotland

David Wendland, Maria Aranda Alonso, Alexander Kobe

The vault with curvilinear ribs in the “hall of Arms” in the Albrechsburg Meissen: studies on the concept, design and construction of a complex late Gothic rib vault

Session 8 Bowett Room20th Century ConstructionSession Chair: Tom Leslie


Fiona Smyth

Acoustic Design in the 1930s: Robinson and Keefe’s Church of Corpus Christi, Dublin

Kenneth F. Robson, Somik Ghosh

Lean Principles in the Design and Construction of the Empire State Building

Laura Greco

The evolution of building techniques in the Italian Alpine context from the 1950s-1960s

Oscar Fiertes, Joaquin Fernandez

The traditional wooden shipyards on the northwest coast of Spain

End of first day

Free evening in Cambridge


Saturday 12 April
Conference day two


8.30-9.30 am Morning Registration for those arriving day two

9:30am Welcome to Day two: Fitzpatrick Hall

10:00 11:15 Opening Sessions day two (9, 10)


Session 1 Fitzpatrick HallThe Building WorldSession Chair: Robert Thorne


Christine Wall

Recording the ‘building world’: how oral history transforms construction history

Robert C. McWilliam

Transferring construction technology and conflicts of interest – a century ago

Linda Clarke

Building by Direct Labour: the significance of DLOs.

Session 2 Bowett RoomVaulting AmbitionsSession Chair: David Wendland


Carmen Pérez-de-los-Rios, Enrique Rabasa-Díaz

Stretched templates in Gothic taste-charge construction

Alberto Calderón

Startegies for the accord of Gothic and Classical stone construction systems in 16th and 17th century buildings in Northern Spain.

Elena Pliego de Andrés, Alberto Sanjurjo Álvarez

Robert Willis’ Contribution to Understanding the Gothic Flamboyant Style


11:30-11:45 Coffee and biscuits


11:45-12:45 Keynote lecture Fitzpatrick Hall


Mark Wilson-Jones

Thoughts on Greek and Roman Building Construction


12:45-2:00 Lunch in Cripps Dining Hall


2:00-2:30 Fitzpatrick Hall

Annual General Meeting of the Construction History Society (all welcome)


2:30-3:00 Fitzpatrick Hall

Bill Addis (editor of Construction History)

The contribution made by the Journal Construction History towards establishing the history of construction a discipline.


3:00-4:15 Mid-Afternoon Sessions (11, 12)


Session 11 Fitzpatrick HallThe Concrete WorldSession Chair: Hermann Schlimme


Stefan M. Holzer

Mixing concrete – remaks on the early history of modern Concrete

Jan Moksnes

Concrete Platforms in the North Sea –a golden era for development of advanced concrete structures

Francesco Carlo Toso

An alpine hydroelectric construction site. Works for the utilisation of hydraulic resources in Alta Valtellina 1907-1930

Session 4 Bowett RoomDeveloping MaterialsSession Chair: Michael Heaton


Chris How

The British Cut Clasp Nail

Yiting Pan

Timber Supply in Colonial China. 1840-1940

Yu-sen Chou, Dimitris Theodossopoulos

Building Material Migration : Imported Brick and Localization in Taïwan in 17th Century.


4:15-4:30 Coffee and Biscuits


4:30-6:30 Final Sessions (13, 14)


Session 13 Fitzpatrick HallTransferring ideasSession Chair: Inge Bertels


L. Dekeyser, A. Verdonck

Knowledge transfer of vernacular finishing techniques in the interwar period: on the history of cimorné ender

Christiane Weber

Frei Otto and model testing: “I cannot trust the pure calculation, if this cannot be verified with a model”

Robert Carvais

A Digital Edition of the Didactic Knowledge of Construction: the Courses of Antoine Desgodets

José Antonio García-Ares, Fabio Tellia

Some instances of Arch and Vaulting Construction at the New York Public Library

Session 4 Bowett RoomInnovative structuresSession Chair: Bill Addis


Dermot O’Dwyer, Jay Cummins, Ronald Cox

John Rennies’s Dublin cast-iron trusses

Paul Bell

Some examples of structural innovation in the construction of English churches in the long 19th century

Alberto Pugnale, Alberto Bologna

Dante Bini’s air structures (1964-1979). From early Italian prototypes to the Australian experience

Dr Luciano Cardellicchio

Pier Luigi Nervi vs Fazlur Khan: the developing of the outrigger system for skyscrapers



6:30-6/45 Closing Words: Fitzpatrick Hall

7:00 Drinks Reception Old Kitchens

7:30 Gala Dinner in Old Hall (Optional)