Freeform unreinforced masonry shell
Designed by Matthias Rippmann and built over a period of almost 6 weeks by Lara Davis using a cardboard guidework produced by Tom Pawslofski, the prototype of a Catalan, thin-tile freeform masonry shell is finished. The undulating vault was designed using new form finding tools based on TNA and shows a new language for compression-only structures. Check out the spectacular construction behind the HIL building at ETH HÃ¶nggerberg.More infoMore info
New editor for Shell structures book
Prof. Block and Prof. Dr. Sigrid Adriaenssens from Princeton University are being joined by Dr. Chris J. K. Williams from Bath University as editors for their book project 'Practical Form Finding and Structural Optimization of Shell Structures'. Diederik Veenendaal acts not only as contributing author, but also as editorial assistant.
Presentation at Studio Olafur Eliasson, Berlin
Prof. Block was invited to present his research and projects on new masonry shells at Studio Olafur Eliasson in Berlin. Invited as expert for a project in development, Prof. Block got an interesting insight into the workings of this extremely stimulating design environment.
New interactive home and logo for eQUILIBRIUM
eQUILIBRIUM is an interactive, web-based learning platform for structural design, based on graphic statics, which is being developed by Dr. Tom Van Mele and Prof. Block. As a teaser, the home page features a few exciting examples of more to come.
EETTV construction begins on ETH HÃ¶nggerberg campus
EETTV: Efficient & Expressive Thin-tile Vaulting using cardboard formwork. Construction has begun for a new type of free-form thin-tile vault, to be built at full scale behind the HIL building on the ETH HÃ¶nggerberg campus. This 5.5 x 7.5 meter structure was form found with Thrust Network Analysis and is employing an expandable cardboard formwork system.Project team: Lara Davis, Tom Pawlofski, Matthias Rippmann, Prof. Block
Prof. Block's research in the art magazine PARNASS
In the article "Forschung produziert Kultur: Das Departement Architektur der ETH Zurich" in the 1/2011 edition "work in progress" of PARNASS Kunstmagazin, the research of Prof. Block is featured next to the work of big names such as Jacques Herzog & Pierre de Meuron, Andrea Deplazes and Marc AngÃ©lil, and described as "praxisorientiert, global inspiriert, innovativ und kreativ".
4-axis CNC wire cutting
Pushing the fabrication part of the project Digital Stereotomy in new directions, Matthias Rippmann developed a custom 4-axes CNC foam wire cutter to gain further understanding of the interlocking fabrication constraints in a physical setup. The wire cutter is able to cut very complex volumetric pieces, made up out of ruled surfaces, in an efficient manner. He furthermore developed a digital simulation and the software to generate the machine code, including the cutting sequences, for these geometries. The process is a prototype for e.g. full-scale stone cutting.Video 1Video 2
New Emerson Studio Pavilion
The Fall 2010 architecture studio from Prof. Tom Emerson, with the theme of "Bricolage" designed and constructed a wooden pavilion, entirely from recycled crates and palettes. Marcel Aubert and Prof. Block assisted with the structural design of the project named "96 Hands".
BLOCKLab ready for construction
The final design by Matthias Rippmann and Marcel Aubert for the hull of the BLOCKLab, to be built in the Civil Engineering Testing Hall at ETH Zurich, is ready for fabrication. The BLOCKLab is a state-of-the-art testing facility for modeling 3-D collapse of masonry structures using of 3-D printed structural models.More info
Prof. Block's research in Stereotomy book
Prof. Block's PhD research and work in collaboration with Escobedo Construction have been featured in the book "Construction Stereotomia. Dalla pietra al digitale". The authors identify Prof. Block's work on freeform masonry shells as one of the most exciting new evolutions in the field of stone cutting, in the art of "digital stereotomy".More info
Building the Tower of Babylon
Sign up for this interdisciplinary design workshop which will build a tower for less than CHF 1000,- on ETH Science City, addressing local materials, sustainability and the limits of our society. The selected student team (bringing together students from architecture, civil engineering, environmental engineering, mechanical engineering...) will compete with their tower in an international student competition, organized by the GlobalTech Alliance. This elective will be guided by Prof. Em. Dr. Werner Oechslin, founder and director of the Werner Oechslin Library Foundation in Einsiedeln, Prof. Block, and Diederik Veenendaal.More infoMore info
Vaulting workshop in Dire Dawa, Ethiopia
As a result of the success of the SUDU prototype, built at the EiABC in Addis Ababa, the Heinrich BÃ¶ll Foundation Ethiopia has invited the BLOCK Research Group to organize a workshop on structural vaulting with soil-pressed tiles. Prof. Block and Lara Davis will train local people in thin-tile vaulting in workshops in Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa from Jan 31 to Feb 4.