Catenary arches were used in Spanish Art Nouveau architecture by Antonio Gaudí (1852–1926). The theory of the chain, which is based in the shape of a hanging collar, was proposed by Robert Hooke (1676) and was used by Christopher Wren in Saint Paul’s dome (1675). British school modern mechanics theory was introduced in Spain by Spanish borbonic military engineers as well as by Catholic Scottish and Irish families during the eighteenth century.
The assessment of some drawings of gunpowder warehouses, which were found in the collection of Mapas planos y Dibujos (MPD) of the General Archive of Simancas (Archivo General de Simancas, AGS) (AGS 2014), have revealed the use of the chain theory in Miguel Marín’s projects for Tortosa (1731) and Barcelona (1731) as well as in Juan de la Feriére projects in A Coruña (1736). Built evidence has also been found: The Carlón wine cellars in Benicarló, which were built by the Irish O’Connor family (1757). The analysis of these examples demonstrated the arrival the chain theory to Spain during the first half of the 18th century.
Lluis i Ginovart, J.; Costa Jover, A.; Coll Pla, S.; López Piquer, M.; 2017, Hooke’s Chain Theory and the Construction of Catenary Arches in Spain. International Journal of Architectural Heritage, February 2017. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15583058.2017.1290851.