Conservation-Oriented Structural Analysis of the Spire of Barcelona Cathedral
International Journal of Materials Science and Applications
Volume 5, Issue 6-2, December 2016, Pages: 1-9
Received: May 13, 2016; Accepted: Jul. 22, 2016; Published: Sep. 3, 2016
Views 3274      Downloads 84
Ahmed Elyamani, Archaeological Conservation Department, Faculty of Archaeology, Cairo University, Giza, Egypt
Article Tools
Follow on us
The spire of Barcelona cathedral suffered from severe problems due to the corrosion of the steel ties used in reinforcing its stone masonry beams. Wide visible cracks were noticed in the stone beams and large parts were detached. Therefore, the full spire was dismantled and reconstructed using titanium ties to eliminate the corrosion problem. A finite element model of the spire was created and analyzed using DIANA software to support this decision. This analysis helped in understanding the role and strength contributions of these ties in resisting the applied loads on the spire, specifically, the lateral loads of earthquakes and wind. A nonlinear static (pushover) analysis was carried out to assess the spire capacity under the lateral loads. A number of constitutive models for modeling the masonry behavior were tried. Also, a number of seismic actions patterns were considered. As a main conclusion of this study, the ties were highly needed to carry the tensile stresses caused by earthquakes and wind loads. Therefore, in the reconstruction of the spire, such ties must be kept in the masonry beams.
Conservation, Structural Analysis, Spire, Corrosion, Ties, Pushover, Wind, Earthquake
To cite this article
Ahmed Elyamani, Conservation-Oriented Structural Analysis of the Spire of Barcelona Cathedral, International Journal of Materials Science and Applications. Special Issue: New Strategies for Conservation of Historical Objects, Principles and Practical Applications. Vol. 5, No. 6-2, 2016, pp. 1-9. doi: 10.11648/j.ijmsa.s.2016050602.11
Copyright © 2016 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Elyamani, A. "Integrated monitoring and structural analysis strategies for the study of large historical construction. Application to Mallorca cathedral", PhD Thesis, Technical University of Catalonia, Spain (2015).
Lourenço, P. B. "Recommendations for restoration of ancient buildings and the survival of a masonry chimney", Construction and Building Materials, 20, no. 4 (2006): 239-251.
Asteris, P. G. “On the structural analysis and seismic protection of historical masonry structures”, Open Construction and Building Technology Journal 2 (2008): 124-133.
Ademovic, N., Mustafa H., and Oliveira, D. V. "Pushover analysis and failure pattern of a typical masonry residential building in Bosnia and Herzegovina." Engineering Structures 50 (2013): 13-29.
Peña, F., Lourenço, P. B., Mendes, N., and Oliveira, D. V. "Numerical models for the seismic assessment of an old masonry tower." Engineering Structures (2010), 32 (5): 1466-1478.
Akcay, C., Bozkurt, T. S., Sayin, B. and Yildizlar, B. "Seismic retrofitting of the historical masonry structures using numerical approach." Construction and Building Materials 113 (2016): 752-763.
Caselles, O., Clapes, J., Roca, P. and Elyamani, A. "Approach to seismic behavior of Mallorca cathedral." 15th World Conference of Earthquake Engineering, Lisbon, Portugal, 24-28 September (2012).
El-Derby, A. A. and Elyamani, A. "The adobe barrel vaulted structures in ancient Egypt: a study of two case studies for conservation purposes". Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry, 16(1), pp.295-315, (2016).
[9] Visited on July, 2016.
DIANA. Diana 9.4, user’s manual. The Netherlands: TNO Building and Construction Research. Available from (2009).
EN - Eurocode 1: Actions on structures, Part 1-4: General actions – Wind actions, (1991).
EN - Eurocode 8: Design of structures for earthquake resistance, (1998).
Canada, A. "Analisi d’estabilitat del cimbori de la cathedral de Barcelona", Graduation thesis, Technical University of Catalonia, Barcelona, Spain. (2010).
Roca, P. and Molins, C. "Computer analysis of a Gothic cathedral", Engenharia Civil. UM, Numero 9, (2000).
Elyamani, A. Wind and earthquake analysis of spire of cimborio of Barcelona cathedral. MSc thesis, Technical University of Catalonia, Barcelona, Spain. (2009).
Murcia, J. "Seismic analysis of Santa Maria del Mar church in Barcelona". MSc thesis, Technical University of Catalonia, Barcelona, Spain. (2008).
Science Publishing Group
1 Rockefeller Plaza,
10th and 11th Floors,
New York, NY 10020
Tel: (001)347-983-5186