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1-3 April 2022

The Ninth Annual Conference of Construction History Society was held in Queens’ College, Cambridge on 1st, 2nd and 3rd April 2022.

This year the first day of the conference (Friday 1 April) was devoted to the use of timber in building construction. The second day (Saturday 2 April) included general papers as well as the International Symposium, Annual Lecture, Annual Building History Lecture and Gala Dinner.

Any queries please contact Natcha Ruamsanitwong (

Download the programme here.

Recordings of the Conference can be found below:

Session 1 Timber Roofs

K. Russnaik Timber Roof Structures of 19th-century Casinos in Switzerland S. Kuban The Livestock Auction Hall in Riedlingen – Regional Timber Construction in the 1930s in the South-West of Germany L. Romano, M. Falcone Wooden vaults in Naples between survey and construction knowledge: the case of the church of Santa Maria Egiziaca all’Olmo

Session 2 Timber Construction 

  • J. Jacobs - Pugin’s role as Superintendent of Woodcarving
  • E. Ferreira Crevels -  A Joint of Many Worlds: Entangled Stories in Battaile en Ibens's 78+ Construction System in Timber
  • C. Knobling - From model to reality – a case study on the timber bridge of Baden (CH)


Keynote Address - David Yeomans - Tudor King Post Roofs 


Session 3 Concrete

  • L. Greco, F. Spada - The Palazzo Galbani by Eugenio and Ermenegildo Soncini and Pier Luigi Nervi (1956-59). A case of building prefabrication in Milan
  • N. von Behr - The patent war between François Hennebique and Armand Considère: competing reinforced concrete systems in ‘fin de Belle Époque’ France
  • J. Burchardt - Systems for Standardised Precast Concrete Elements: The Case of the Larsen & Nielsen System
  • V. Korensky - Early Reinforced Concrete Shells in Russia


Session 5 Vaults and Vaulting 

  • S. Nazari and A. Mahmoudnejad - Documentation and Analysis of The Free-Handed Vaulting Technique at The Toor Caravanserai, Iran
  • R. Schmitt - Geometric design and construction of a Late Baroque brick vault: Kilian Ignaz Dientzenhofer’s Benedictine Church of the Holy Cross and St. Hedwig at Legnickie Pole


Session 6 Vaults and Vaulting II

  • D. Wendland, M. Gielen - The Design and Construction of the Vaults in Notre-Dame in Paris and the Development of Medieval Vaulting and Stereotomy: Surveys, Analyses and Experiments
  • R. Maira-Vidal - English Master Builders in The Iberian Peninsula in The 13th Century: The Construction of The Sexpartite Vaults of Lincoln Cathedral and Their Influence on The Monastery of Las Huelgas Reales in Burgos
  • J. Lengenfeld - The complex masonry of the Schönburg Castle Keep chimney system (1201 CE) in the context of contemporary examples


Session 7 The 20th Century Belgium

  • L. Reyniers, S. Van de Voorde, I. Wouters - Capturing the Practice of Deconstruction in Brussels (1903 – 1939): Photographic Heritage Collections as A Starting Point for Construction History
  • J. Angillis, I. Bertels - Voices from the Post-War Belgian Building Industry: A Study of a General Contractor and its Involvement in Building Practices via Oral History
  • M. Parein, I. Wouters, S. Van de Voorde - Fibre Cement Slates: An Industry Reinventing Itself (1970-2000)


Session 9 Timber Construction and Supply

  • M. Gantner - Innovation and Tradition: ‘Signature’ roof constructions and master builder’s networks in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries in in the catholic regions of central, northern and eastern Switzerland
  • M. Diaz, L. Vandenabeele - The eighteenth-century timber trade towards the Basilica of St Anthony in Padua through archives, shipping marks and dendrochronology
  • M. Motta - The Wood Sector and the King's Works. A Different Perspective for the Study of 18th Century Royal Construction Sites in the Kingdom of Sardinia


Keynote Address - Stefan Holzer - How to erect a roof truss


Session 10 Bridges and Canals 

  • G. M. Prisco - Iron bridges and the influence of international models in 19th century Spanish architecture
  • M. Maissen - Early Iron Bridges in Switzerland 1850-1875: A Primer
  • M.Chrimes - Thomas Telford and the construction of Canal Tunnels 1794-1830


Session 12 Studies in Timber

  • L. Vandanbeele - The Paduan ties of Poleni
  • R. Haddadi, M. Rinke - National, traditional, scientific – the formation of a multifaceted early glulam identity
  • L. Prosser - Some Experimental Trussed Floors at Kensington Palace, London


James Essex (1722-1784) Architect and Carpenter Conference 

Part 1

  • Life of James Essex - Dominique Lazanski 
  • Classicising Cambridge - James Campbell
  • Essex's work on Vaults and Structural Engineering - Santiago Huerta


Part 2

  • Essex and Carpentry: Lincoln and Ely- David Yeomans
  • Essex and Cathedral Archaeology Alex Buchanan


Part 3

  • Queens' Mathematical Bridge - Jacques Heyman
  • Essex and Strawberry Hill - Claudia Marx
  • Final thoughts and farewell – James Campbell and David Yeomans