Laying Brick Arches
A masonry inglenook becomes the warm center of an architect's new house.
Synopsis: In this project, the author describes construction of a brick arch, including the design of a form supporting the bricks as the arch is built. A sidebar has tips for amateur bricklayers.
When Ed Allen and his wife Mary started thinking about designing their own house seven years ago, they knew they wanted something big and barnlike, yet New England simple and cozy. Ed, an architect, had been fascinated by domes, vaults and arches during his studies, but it wasn’t until the couple spent six months living in Liverpool during the winter of 1975-1976 that an inglenook became part of their house plans.
“We spent a lot of cold evenings huddled around a fire, trying to keep warm in an unheatable English house,” remembers Allen. “We kept sketching our ideas and dreaming about how we wanted to have a house where we wouldn’t be so cold.”