This two-cone trullo on our property is around 200 years old. At some time in the past the two cones were covered with a cementitious plaster, probably because it was leaking. I like to think of trulli (plural of trullo) as having two independent and completely necessary systems- the structural system and the water-shedding system (more on the construction of a trullo in the sketches). The structural system is a corbelled dome while the water-shedding system is comprised of stone shingles (chianche). We restored the water-shedding system of the trullo by first removing the plaster, and then removing and reinstalling the stone shingles.
The project began in 2014 when we started restoring the large cone during a Trullo Restoration Workshop that I had coordinated (see the full project here) with the help of 17 people from 6 countries, lead by a local trullaro (master trullo builder). The small cone remained unfinished, under plastic, until May of 2016 when we finally had the time, and help from a good friend, to complete the work.
View the photos and sketches below to learn more about the process of how we did it.
The trullo in 2014, with the cones covered with a cementitious plaster.
The 2014 Trullo Restoration Workshop group. We got about half of the cone finished during the course.
Drawings showing the two systems of the trullo.
Section and plan of the trullo.
We finished the remaining half of the large cone.
The completed large cone.
The trullo before the restoration of the small cone, in May 2016.
Although trulli are traditionally built without mortar, we discovered an earth-based mortar between some of the chianche (stone shingles).
The structural cone remains intact when the chianche are removed.
The chianche are then reinstalled, course by course.
Looking down at a course of chianche.
A chianche course near the top.
La bella squadra of the project
The trullo complete.
I started a small sketchbook to document the process of restoring the small cone. Everyday before we began I would sketch what we did the day before.
Sketches of the trullo before demolition.
The tools used to restore a trullo (not many needed!)
The team and the purpose of the string.
The 4-piece pinnacolo (the part on top) and the completed trullo.