At the end of the 19th century, an architectural style called Neomudéjar became quite popular in some areas of Spain. Very much like other historicist European styles in the same years, the Neomudéjar sought to recreate the local medieval architecture. The use of faced brick façades with complicated bonds -formed by stretchers and headers in and out the main wall plane- lead in term to a wide variety of results that resembled Arabic architecture. The brick façades of the Neomudéjar buildings are ideal case studies for the analysis of the local behaviour of masonry structures, especially regarding problems of stress concentration. There are several methods for studying the global behaviour of masonry structures – from the classic thrust line to the limit analysis tools – but, as the average stresses taken over by structural masonry elements are usually well below the compression strength of the constituent material, the classical methods of analysis are designed to verify only the global stability. Local behaviour, on the other hand, is quite elusive, especially when the properties of the material are uncertain. In such cases stress concentrations might appear, resulting on stress currents and low stress islets. A particular case of these phenomena occurs in the bonding of Neomudéjar façades. Local concentration of stresses is especially likely in these bonds, given the peculiar relative position of some bricks with respect to others. The paper proposed will use one of these buildings, the Aguirre Schools (Rodríguez Ayuso, Madrid, 1886), as a case study to evaluate local behaviour. Starting from a geometrical hypothesis of the internal distribution of the material based on recent photogrammetric surveys, and using conventional software of parametric design, the paper will describe a numerical model based on a non-deterministic random algorithm, although limited in its number of solutions, to discuss later the validity and scope of them. The limitations of the standard hardware in which these design tools are usually handled will also be considered in the discussion.

Full document

The PDF file did not load properly or your web browser does not support viewing PDF files. Download directly to your device: Download PDF document


[1] del Real Mateos, A. Estudio Histórico-Constructivo de las Escuelas Aguirre de Madrid.(2018) Master Thesis. ETS Arquitectura (Universidad Politécnica de Madrid)

[2] Camino Olea, M. S. Construcción y ornamentación de las fachadas de ladrillo prensado, al descubierto, en la ciudad de Valladolid. (2001) PhD Thesis. Universidad de Valladolid

[3] Drescher, A., de Josseling de Jong, G. 1972. Photoelastic verification of a mechanical model for the flow of a granular material. Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids, 20(5): 337–340.

[4] Mencías-Carrizosa, D., García, J. and Magdalena, F. Qualitative and quantitative approaches to highly local behaviours of historical masonry structures. In: Van Balen & Verstrynge (Eds.) Structural Analysis of Historical Constructions – Anamnesis, diagnosis, therapy, controls, (2016) Taylor & Francis Group

[5] Mencías-Carrizosa, D. La geometría analítica como herramienta de análisis estructural de fábricas históricas. (2017) PhD Thesis. ETS Arquitectura (Universidad Politécnica de Madrid). doi:10.20868/UPM.thesis.47167.

[6] Rajchenbach, J. Stress transmission through a cohesionless material. Material Physics Mechanichs (2001) 3: 1–4.

[7] Bigoni, D. & Noselli, G. 2010. Localized stress percolation through dry masonry walls. Part I – Experiments & Part II - Modelling European Journal of Mechanics A/Solids, 29, 291–298 and 299–307.

[8] Baig, I., Ramesh, K. ans Hariprasad, M. P. Analysis of stress distribution in dry masonry walls using three fringe photoelasticity. International Conference on experimental Me-chanics 2014. Cambridge: International Society for Optics and Photonic. 93022P–93022P.

[9] Magdalena-Layos, F., García-Muñoz, J. & Mencias-Carrizosa, D. Estructuras de fábrica: enfoques «antiguos» y «modernos» para fenómenos muy locales. Informes de la Construcción, 68(542): e150 (2016) doi: 10.3989/ic.16.032.

[10] Magdalena Layos, F. & García Muñoz, J. 2018. Approaches to strongly local phenomena in dry masonry structure. Int. J. Masonry Research and Innovation, (2018) Vol. 3, No. 2, doi:10.1504/IJMRI.2018.092460-4

[11] Magdalena, F. Aznar, A. de la Torre and J. F. Hernando, J. I. Recent Results on Sliding Collapse for Masonry Structures Under Static Load Test. Engineering and Applied Sciences. Vol. 1, No. 4, 2016, pp. 99-106. doi: 10.11648/j.eas.20160104.14

[12] Shahriar, A. Waldmann, D. Scholzen, F. and Louge, A. Numerical analysis for the determination of stress percolation in dry-stacked wall systems. 2016. Masonry International. 29. pp 27-38

[13] Grimmett G. Hiemer P. Directed Percolation and Random Walk. In: Sidoravicius (ed) In and Out of Equilibrium. Progress in Probability, Vol 51, (2002) Birkhäuser, Boston

[14] Pearson, K. The Problem of the Random Walk. Nature (1905) 72:294 doi:10.1038/072294b0

[15] Van Kampen, N.G. Stochastic Processes in Physics and Chemistry. North-Holland Personal Library. (2007) doi:10.1016/B978-0-444-52965-7.X5000-4

[16] McNeel, Robert. Rhinoceros: NURBS modeling for Windows v.5. (2016)

[17] Ruten, D. and McNeel, R. Grasshopper: Generative Modeling with Rhino v.0.9.0076 (2016).

Back to Top

Document information

Published on 30/11/21
Submitted on 30/11/21

Volume History of construction and building technology, 2021
DOI: 10.23967/sahc.2021.161
Licence: CC BY-NC-SA license

Document Score


Views 4
Recommendations 0

Share this document

claim authorship

Are you one of the authors of this document?