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Guastavino Vaulting: The Art of Structural Tile

John Ochsendorf

© Princeton Architectural Press, 2010

Reproduced by permission of the publisher.

(Indented Style)

 

Italic page numbers indicate drawings, photographs, and other illustrations.

 

Abele, Julian, 180, 183

acoustical architecture, 132–34, 142, 170, 182, 185, 185

Akoustolith tile, 132–33, 132–33, 142, 180, 181185, 244n22

American building/construction practices, 42

American Concrete Institute, 186

American infrastructure and industry, 137–45

American Institute of Architects (AIA), 64, 174, 198

American Renaissance, 150–53

Architectural League of New York, 114, 174

Arion Club (New York City), 45

Army War College (WashingtonDC). See U.S. Army War College

art deco, 114, 137, 142, 144–45, 147

Art Nouveau, 35, 241n7, 246n13

Arte y Uso de Architectura (San Nicolas), 21

Arts and Crafts Movement, 170, 172

Asheville (NC), 80, 108–9

See also Biltmore estate; St. Lawrence Basilica

Asland Cement Factory (Castellar de N’HugSpain), 214, 215–17, 240, 246n13

Astor tennis courts, 203, 204–5

Atlantic Terra Cotta Company of New York167, 167

Austin, Peter, 105

Aymerich, Amat, and Jover Wool Factory (TerrassaSpain), 214

Baird Auditorium, National Museum of Natural History (WashingtonDC), 211, 211

Baker Hall, Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh), 203, 238

Barcelona Exposition of Agriculture, Industry, and Fine Arts (1871), 35

Barcelona International Exhibition (1929), 147

Barclay-Vesey Telephone Building (New York City), 142, 231, 244n37

Basilica de los Desamparados (Valencia), 108

Basilica di Santa Maria del Flore (Florence), 126

Basilica of St. Lawrence. See St. Lawrence Basilica

Batlló factory (Barcelona), 25, 25–27, 29, 30–33, 31, 35, 214, 240, 242n32

Beaux-Arts architecture

American, 64

City Beautiful Movement and, 92

Guastavino Company prosperity and, 150–52

vs. Guastavino Sr.’s training, 25

Guastavino vaults in, 114

Guastavinos’ contributions to, 64

masonry construction and, 71

McKim, Mead and White as leaders, 96

vs. modernism, 170

revival waning, 142, 147

Belmás, Mariano, 214

Benton, Edward R., 48, 53, 243n21

Bernard Levy houses (New York City), 45, 233, 242n7

Beth Israel Temple (West HartfordCT), 167

Biltmore estate (AshevilleNC), 64, 71, 72–79, 76, 104, 109, 237, 243n17

Birmingham Terminal Station (AL), 92

Black Mountain (NC) estate, 104, 104–5, 109

Blodgett, Malcolm, 147, 194

Blodgett, William, 58, 76, 80–81, 104, 115, 147

Blondel, Jacques-François, 22

Bogotá observatory (Colombia), 22, 23

Bonet, Jordi, 220

Boston band shell (MA), 188

Boston fire, 45

Boston Public Library, 42–60

accident during construction, 58, 58

as collaborative effort, 48

competition lost by Guastavino Sr., 45

among extant buildings, 228

financial issues, 76

influence, 47–48, 150

patent for flanged tile, 156

structural systems, 142

Boston University Chapel (MA), 184

Boston UniversityMarsh Plaza (MA), 183

The Breakers (NewportRI), 71, 239

Brigham, Charles, 86

Bristol County Courthouse (TauntonMA), 67, 70, 70, 142, 228, 242n36

Bronx Zoo Elephant House (New York City), 118, 119, 231

Brooklyn Bridge, 42

Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences, 96

Brunelleschi, Filippo, 126, 244n7

Buffalo Central Terminal (NY), 132, 142, 143

Buhl Planetarium (Pittsburgh), 186, 186187, 188, 238

building codes, 102, 152, 154, 185–86, 211

See also safety in construction practices

Camilo Juliá house (Barcelona), 35, 35, 240

Carnegie Hall (New York City), 59, 232

Carnegie Mellon University, Baker Hall (Pittsburgh), 203, 238

Carrère, John Merven, 150

Carrère and Hastings architectural firm, 64, 67

“Catalan Architecture” (Puig i Cadafalch lecture), 104

Catalan Art Nouveau, 35, 241n7, 246n13

Catalan vaulting, 104, 147, 221, 223, 244n43

See also tile vaulting

Catedral Primada (Bogota), 22

Cathedral of Learning (Pittsburgh), 180, 239

Cathedral of St. John the Divine (New York City)

construction methods, 126

construction photos, 117122–25

dome, 120, 126, 165

as extant building, 232

as Guastavino Jr.’s crowning’ achievement, 117, 126

illustrated, 116

national/international attention, 123

newspaper account, 123

spiral stairs, 152, 153

steel reinforcement, 126

vaults, 165166

Cathedral of St. Philip (Atlanta), 194

Centennial Exposition (Philadelphia), 35

centering (construction technique), 20, 21, 115, 244n7

Central Congregational Church (ProvidenceRI), 67, 6769, 239

Century Hall (BreslauPoland), 186

ceramic arts, 126–31, 203

Chapel of Our Lady (St. Lawrence Basilica, AshevilleNC), 109, 111, 111

Chicago fire, 45, 45

Chicago World’s Fair (1893), 150

Church of Christ Scientist (Boston), 84–85, 86, 228

City Beautiful Movement, 86–87, 92

City Hall Subway Station (New York City), 87, 88–91, 126, 235

civil engineering projects, 96, 102

clay sources, 80

cohesion myths, 55, 57–58, 221, 243n35

“Cohesive Construction, Its Past, Its Present, Its Future” (Guastavino Sr. lecture), 66

Collens, Charles, 180

Collins, George R., 50, 57, 223, 244n43

Columbia University School of Architecture, 203

Columbia UniversitySt. Paul’s Chapel. See St. Paul’s Chapel, Columbia University

Columbian Exposition of 1893 (Chicago), 64–66, 70–71, 214

Comerma, John, 165, 167

Congress of the American Institute of Architects, 64

Cooper, Frank Irving, 70

Cours d’architecture (Blondel), 22

Cram, Goodhue, and Ferguson architectural firm, 132

Cram, Ralph Adams, 132–33, 150, 173, 183

Cram and Ferguson architectural firm, 180, 183

Cuban Ministry of Construction, 221

Cuban National Arts School (Havana), 220–21

Culmann, Karl, 162

Dater Residence (MontecitoCA), 170

The Decorator and Furnisher (journal), 43–44

DelawareLackawanna, and Western (DL&W) railroad station (HobokenNJ), 87, 92, 230

Delft ceramics, 128

Depression, 147, 180

Dieste, Eladio, 155

Dischinger, Franz, 155, 186

Domènech i Montaner, Lluis, 19, 214

domes

conical, 70

construction methods, 111, 115, 120, 123, 126–27, 151, 173–74, 180, 182, 185–89, 194

construction photos, 187189210

costs, 188–89, 194

double, 98, 119–20, 151, 157, 163

elliptical, 70, 105, 106, 108–9, 157, 244n48

flat, 76

forces, 164–65

Guastavino domes, 67, 7396, 151, 162–63

hemispherical, 162, 186

historical contexts, 22, 123

load testing, 245n4

long-span, 147

masonry, 96, 120, 123, 151, 151, 210–11

spherical, 39, 114, 124, 126

steel in, 151, 151, 186, 186–87, 188, 210–11

strength, 211, 213

See also specific buildings

Duke University Chapel (DurhamNC), 134, 180, 183, 184, 237

Duke University Library (DurhamNC), 183

Dyckerhoff and Widmann architectural firm, 186

East Liberty Church (Pittsburgh), 180

École des Beaux-Arts (Paris), 64, 67

Edison Electric Pearl Street power station (New York City), 59, 243n46

Eiffel, Gustave, 162

Ellis Island Registry Hall (New York City), 212, 213, 232, 246n10

Escola Especial de Mestres d’Obres (Barcelona), 19, 25, 35

Espie, Félix François d’, 22, 24, 54, 242n27

An Essay on the History and Theory of Cohesive Construction Applied Especially to the Timbrel Vault (Guastavino), 54, 54

Essay on the Theory of Cohesive Construction (Guastavino Sr.), 66

Ewing, William Wallace, 214

exposed tile. See tile patterns/exposed surfaces

Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes (Paris), 142

Fellheimer and Wagner architectural firm, 142

Fine Arts Medal of the AIA, 174

fire testing, 154, 154, 214

fireproofing

eighteenth-century European, 22, 24

Guastavino Sr.’s advancements, 42–43, 46 , 47–48, 50, 58

nineteenth-century American, 45

patents, 47, 155

tile vaulting as, 50

Woburn tile factory and, 81

First Church of Christ Scientist (New York City), 153, 233

First Congregational Church (MontclairNJ), 133

flying buttresses, 120, 120, 198

Forsyth Dental Institute (Boston), 127, 228

Franch, Juan, 21, 25

Franklin Institute (Philadelphia), 183, 238

Gaudí, Antonio, 19, 214, 220, 245n19

German Pavilion (Barcelona International Exhibition), 147

Gilbert, Cass, 96, 150, 157, 213

Gómez-Ferrer, Mercedes, 21

Goodhue, Bertram, 132–33, 170, 170, 172–74, 203

Goodyear Theater (AkronOH), 132, 237

Gothic architecture (medieval), 21, 120, 180

Gothic revival architecture, 42, 64–66, 114, 147, 180–85

Gould Library, New York University (New York City), 96, 97

Grace Cathedral (San Francisco), 187, 227

Grace Universalist Church (LowellMA), 114–15, 115, 228

Graham, Edward T.P., 127

Grand Central Terminal, Oyster Bar (New York City), 128, 138, 140, 142, 154, 233, 255n18

graphic statics, 162, 165, 245n19

gravity system, 54

Greco, Charles R., 183

Greek Orthodox Church (Milwaukee), 189, 194

Guastavino, Rafael (Guastavino Jr.’s son), 194

Guastavino Company (Guastavino Jr.), 114–47, 150–67

acoustical architecture, 132–34

advertised, 181185187

American infrastructure and industry, 137–45

American Renaissance and, 150–53

challenged by modernism, 147

vs. competition, 155, 165, 167, 189

crowning achievements, 116–26

decline, 170–95, 213

engineering and, 186, 188–89, 194

expansions, 114–15, 123, 150

Guastavino Jr. residence, 134–37

influence, 213–14, 220–21

innovations, 115, 133, 155–57

legacy, 198–223

See also specific buildings

Guastavino Company (Guastavino Sr.), 64–110, 150–67

advertised, 59

American Renaissance and, 150–52

vs. competition, 155, 165, 167

decline, 170–95, 213

expanded by tile production, 58–60, 80–81, 86

fire testing, 154, 154

founded, 50, 198

influence, 213–14, 220–21

innovations, 29–30, 35, 86, 155–57

legacy, 198–223

mortar joint innovation, 86

offices, 46

tile vaulting innovations, 155–56

See also specific buildings

Guastavino Exposito, Rafael (Guastavino Jr.)

biographical sketch, 114–15

death, 194

domestic life, 134

education, 194

hangar designs, 194, 194

national attention, 122, 123

photo, 137

residence, 134–36, 134–37, 244n34

on the Rodef Shalom dome, 96

on the St. John the Divine dome, 123

St. Lawrence Basilica and, 111

on the St. Paul’s Chapel dome, 96

talents, 156–57

See also Guastavino Company (Guastavino Jr.)

Guastavino Fireproof Construction Company. See Guastavino Company (Gustavino Sr.)

Guastavino Memorial Chapel (St. Lawrence Basilica), 110–11, 111

Guastavino Moreno, Rafael (Guastavino Sr.)

as architect, 45, 47

death, 109

domestic life, 39

early commissions, 25–33

education, 18–20, 19, 24–25, 241n7, 242n2

estate, 104, 104–5

family background, 18

final project, 104–5

financial issues, 44, 76

influence, 212–21

as lecturer, 54, 58, 64–68, 70, 104, 105

moves to the U.S., 39, 42

photos, 194349104109

retirement, 104, 104–5

talents, 156–57

See also Batlló factory; Bernard Levy houses; Bogotá observatory; Camilo Juliá house; Guastavino Company (Guastavino Sr.); La Massa theater

Harvard University, Widener Library (CambridgeMA), 180, 183, 183, 229

Hastings, Thomas, 150

Hayden Planetarium (New York City), 186

health/hygiene concerns (urban), 35

Heins and LaFarge architectural firm, 87, 119, 245n24

helicoidal stairs, 152

Helmle and Huberty architectural firm, 203

Hershey Arena (PA), 188

Holy Trinity Catholic Church (New York City), 127, 128–29, 233

Horace Trumbauer and Associates architectural firm, 180, 183

Hornbostel, Henry, 92, 134, 203, 245n4

Hospital San Pau (Barcelona), 214

Howells and Stokes architectural firm, 96, 162

Hunt, Richard Morris, 64, 71, 76, 243n13

The Improvement of Towns and Cities (Robinson), 92

International Style architecture, 147, 213

Jefferson, Thomas, 96–97

See also University of Virginia Rotunda

Jersey City YMCA pool (NJ), 157, 159, 230

Jofre Chapel (Valencia), 21

Klauder, Charles, 180

La Cerámica tile factory (WoburnMA)

closed, 194

construction, 109

enhancing decorative possibilities, 86–87

founded, 80–81

photos, 80–83

production levels, 147, 147, 174, 246n28

tile sample, 223

La Lonja de la Seda (Valencia), 65–66, 66

La Massa theater (Vilassar de Dalt, Spain), 35, 36–38, 39, 240, 242n50

Labrouste, Henri, 48

LaFarge, Christopher Grant, 165

Le Corbusier, 220

Levy, Bernard, 45, 47, 243n13

See also Bernard Levy houses

Lincoln Park Zoo Lion House (Chicago), 157, 159

load testing, 50, 152, 152, 243n42, 245n4

machine aesthetic, 213

Madrid Congress on Architecture, 104

Maillart, Robert, 162

Maisons Jaoul (Neuilly-sur-Seine, Paris), 220, 220

Manhattan Municipal Building (New York City), 157, 161, 234

Manière de rendre toutes sortes d’edifices incombustible (d’Espie), 22

masonry. See masonry vaulting; stone masonry; tile vaulting

masonry vaulting, 21, 21–22, 42–43, 58, 165, 183

See also stone masonry; tile vaulting

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), 53–54, 203

McGuire, Joseph H., 127

McKenzie, Voorhees, and Gmelin architectural firm, 142

McKim, Charles, 48, 50, 53, 59–60, 132

McKim, Mead and White architectural firm

Boston Public Library and, 42

defining American architecture, 47–48

dome construction, 96–97

Guastavino Company expansion and, 58–60

Guastavino Sr.’s collaboration, 150, 156–57

tile vaulting, 102

as training ground, 150

Mead, William, 48

Meière, Hildreth, 170, 170, 172–74, 174

Metropolitan Club (New York City), 59, 234

Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York City), 213, 234

Mies van der Rohe, Ludwig, 147, 213

Minnesota State Capitol Building (St. Paul), 96

“Modern Architecture: International Exhibition” (Museum of Modern Art, 1932), 170

modernism, 142, 147, 170, 198, 220

modernisme (Catalan Art Nouveau), 35, 241n7

Modernisme Movement (Barcelona), 213–14

Moreno, Rafael Guastavino. See Guastavino Moreno, Rafael (Guastavino Sr.)

mortar joint innovations, 86

Moses, Robert, 186

Moya Blanco, Luis, 214, 220

Muncunill, Lluís, 214

National Academy of Sciences (WashingtonDC), 170, 240

National Cathedral (WashingtonDC), 183, 194, 240

National Museum of Natural History (WashingtonDC), 119, 120121211, 211, 240

National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception (WashingtonDC), 127, 189, 189, 190–93

National War CollegeSee U.S. Army War College

Nebraska State Capitol Building (Lincoln), 60, 170, 170–79, 172–74, 230

New York Central Railroad Station (Rochester), 138, 139

New York City Department of Buildings, 154, 214

New York Public Library (New York City), 67

New York University, Gould Library (New York City), 96, 97

Observatorio Astronómico de Santa Fe (Bogotá), 23, 242n21

Olmsted, Frederick Law, 71

Palau de la Música Catalana (Barcelona), 214

Pantheon (Rome), 186

Parochial Church of San Agustín (Madrid), 220, 220

patents

awarded to Comerma, 165, 167

awarded to Guastavino Jr., 114, 126, 132, 132–33, 155, 156

awarded to Guastavino Sr., 46, 47, 49, 51111, 111, 151, 155, 243n13

PattersonNJ fire, 162, 162

Pennsylvania Station (New York City), 138, 138, 221, 222, 223, 234

Peter IV, king, 20, 39, 241n10

Petrés, Domingo de, 21–22, 22, 25, 39

Philadelphia Museum of Art (PA), 183

Phipps Natatorium (Pittsburgh), 157, 158

Phoenix Building Company, 47

Plaza Real (Barcelona), 25–26

Portland cement, 29, 47, 54, 126–27, 155, 242n36, 244n22

preservation challenges, 221, 223

Princeton University Chapel (NJ), 134, 180, 230

Progress Club (New York), 45

Prospect Park pavilions (Brooklyn), 203, 206–8209, 235

Puig i Cadafalch, Josep, 19, 104, 214

Queensboro Bridge (New York City), 92, 93–95, 96, 235

R. Guastavino Company. See Guastavino Company (Guastavino Jr.)

Renwick, James, 42

Rhododendron (Guastavino Sr.’s estate), 104, 104–5

Richardson, Henry Hobson, 48

Riverside Church (New York City), 180, 180, 181–82, 235

Roberts and Schaefer engineering firm, 186, 188

Robinson, Charles Mulford, 92

Rodef Shalom Synagogue (Pittsburgh), 96, 107, 238

Rogent, Elias, 19

Rome as architectural source, 151

Rondelet, Jean Baptiste, 22

Rookwood Pottery, 128, 130

Roosevelt Hall. See U.S. Army War College

Rumford tile, 132–33, 244n22

Sabine, Wallace Clement, 132–33, 142

safety in construction practices, 42, 152, 198

See also building codes

Sagrada Familia (Barcelona), 220

St. Francis de Sales Church (Philadelphia), 163–64, 165, 238

St. John of the Divine Cathedral (New York City). See Cathedral of St. John the Divine

St. Lawrence Basilica (AshevilleNC), 64, 105, 105–10, 108–9, 111, 237, 244n51

St. Louis Art Museum (MO), 212, 213, 230

St. Patrick’s Cathedral (New York City), 42, 236

St. Paul’s Chapel, Columbia University (New York City)

dome sections, 98–99

exposed tile surfaces, 50, 98, 119

as extant building, 232

forces on, 164

functionality vs. decoration, 102

graphic statics and, 162

Guastavino vaulting fully realized, 96

promotional drawing, 116, 117

size comparisons, 123

vaulted stairs, 199–201, 203

St. Thomas Church (New York City), 132–34

Sainte-Geneviève library (Paris), 48

San Nicolas, Lorenzo de, 21–22, 25

Santo Domingo monastery (Valencia), 21

Sawyer, Philip, 150

School of BalletCuban Art Schools (Havana), 221, 221

Seagram Building, 213

Sixth International Congress of Architects (Madrid), 214

Smith, James E., 47

Smith, Richard Sharp, 108–9

Smith College swimming pool (NorthamptonMA), 157, 158, 229

Society of Arts (MIT), 53–54

Spanish Colonial revival, 67

Spanish pavilion (Columbian exposition), 64–66, 65, 214

Spanish Renaissance architecture, 45, 105

stairs

circular, 66

helicoidal tile, 152

marble, 53

spiral, 152

tile, 134, 152–53199–201, 203

vaulted, 22, 23, 24, 29, 46, 105, 108135, 155, 199–202, 203

steel and concrete construction, 102, 114, 146, 170, 213

steel reinforcement. See under domes; tile vaulting

Stokes, Isaac Newton Phelps, 244n36

stone masonry, 29, 35, 180

See also masonry vaulting

stone vaulting, 20, 20, 42

Sullivan, Louis, 70

Sweet’s catalogue, 162, 163

synagogue (New York City), 45

Tedesko, Anton, 186, 188

telephone building (Denver), 59

Temple Beth Israel (West HartfordCT), 183, 227

tenement housing designs (New York City), 44, 45

thin-shell constructions

as economical, 126

German, 147

Grace Universalist Church, 114–15

Guastavino Sr.’s as unique, 223

methods, 38, 54–55, 55, 127, 227

Museum of Natural History, 120

origins, 21

as precursor, 155

technological development, 186, 188–89

Torroja on, 58

Third National Bank of Atlanta (GA), 167, 167

Thompson, Emily, 133

Tiffany Building (New York City), 156–57, 157, 236

tile factory (WoburnMA). See La Cerámica tile factory

tile manufacture, 80, 155–56, 156

See also La Cerámica tile factory

tile patterns/exposed surfaces

as aesthetic potential, 60

competition, 147

construction methods, 127–28

earliest examples, 67

Guastavino Sr. entrusted with, 71

herringbone, 52, 76, 87, 95, 96, 118–19, 119, 129, 167, 203

origins, 50, 243n28

possibilities expanded, 128, 199

samples illustrated, 51

sophistication, 126

as structural systems, 53

See also drawings and photos of specific buildings

tile stairs. See stairs, tile

tile vaulting

adaptations, 70, 137

construction photos, 49535587117122–23127160–61180

construction procedures, 126–27, 127, 142, 151, 155, 162, 165

costs, 188–89, 194, 246n26

decline, 170–95, 213

early designs, 35, 35

failure, 245n25

Guastavino Sr.’s explanations, 53–55

historical contexts, 67, 123, 198–99, 242n23, 242n34

influence in Spain, 214, 215–21, 220–21, 246n16

innovations, 155–56

load bearing vs. non-load bearing, 48, 76, 102, 127, 180

load capacities, 20, 46–48, 54–55, 55, 58, 66, 154, 165, 213

load paths, 162, 166

load testing, 48, 50, 152, 152–54, 213

long-span, 137, 147, 185–86, 194, 221

marketing, 162

McKim, Mead and White and, 150–51

Mies’s adaptation, 147

mosaic, 48, 58, 60, 81, 83, 170, 173, 174, 175, 214

myths surrounding, 53–55, 57–58

origins, 20, 241n11

as ornamental only, 142, 147

steel reinforcement, 126, 155, 180, 183, 184, 185, 223, 243n40

structural, 142, 180

tiles loosening, 246n11

traditions, 20, 20–22, 21, 25, 54

treatises, 21–22, 24, 24

See also specific buildings; domes; masonry vaulting; patents; stone vaulting; thin-shell constructions

timbrel vaults, 54, 126, 187, 243n34

Torras, Juan, 19

Torroja, Eduardo, 57, 155

Traité théoretique et pratique de l’art de bâtir (Rondelet), 22, 24

tubular construction, 35

Uffreduzi, Waffredo, 47

Union Club (New York City), 153

Universal Exposition (Vienna), 35

University of PennsylvaniaMuseum of Archaeology (Philadelphia), 133, 239

University of Pittsburgh, Heinz Memorial Chapel, 180, 239

University of Virginia, Cabell Hall (Charlottesville), 157, 161, 239

University of Virginia Rotunda (Charlottesville), 96, 97, 239, 244n35

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 102

U.S. Army War College (WashingtonDC), 99–103, 102, 240

U.S. Custom House (New York City), 157, 160, 236, 245n18

Vanderbilt, George Washington, II, 71

See also Biltmore estate; The Breakers

Vanderbilt Hotel, Della Robbia Room (New York City), 127–28, 130–31

vaulted stairs. See stairs, vaulted

Voorhees, Gmelin, and Walker architectural firm, 142

Walker, Ralph, 142

War CollegeSee U.S. Army War College

Ware, William R., 203, 210, 220

Warren and Wetmore architectural firm, 127–28, 138

West Point Military Academy swimming pool (West PointNY), 185, 236

Western Union Building (New York City), 142, 144–46, 244n38

Westwood High School (WestwoodMA), 185

White, Stanford, 48, 96, 203

White City, 150

Williamsburg Bridge (New York City), 92, 92–93, 96, 134, 236

Wilson, Richard Guy, 48

Windrim, John T., 183

Woburn tile factory. See La Cerámica tile factory

Wright, Frank Lloyd, 142, 189, 194

Yale Memorial Rotunda, (New Haven, Ct), 210, 210–11

York, Edward P., 150

Zeiss-Dywidag (Z-D) system, 186, 188, 188