MasterClass studio at UTS, Sydney, Australia, 2012

Together with Dave Pigram and Melonie Bayl-Smith, Prof. Block taught in October 2012 a two-week, intensive design-build research studio on masonry vaulting at the School of Architecture of the University of Technology Sydney, Australia. The studio explored the potential of "freeform", three-dimensional ribbed net vaults using tile vaulting.

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In the first week, after being introduced to tile vaulting and three-dimensional equilibrium design, using RhinoVAULT, the students were split into teams to develop the structural design, do hands-on construction research, and develop an efficient formwork system for the complex rib network. In the second week, the formwork was assembled, the ribs built on the formwork and the vault webs filled in using tile vaulting. The resulting prototype pavilion shows a unique form for compression shells.


Philippe Block, Melonie Bayl-Smith, David Pigram


Amelia Pang, Domenico Ciccio, Francesco Bianchini, Hani Bafail, James Lauman, Jeah Loong Yeoh, Jordan Soriot, Laura Hinds, Natalie Ma, Philena Au Yeung, Sandra Mendonca, Sung Dae Chung, Timothy Cheung 


The ribbed tile vault has won two prizes at the 2013 Graduate & Student Awards of the AIA NSW Chapter:

  • Structural innovation in Architecture Prize 
  • Digital innovation in Architecture - Commendation


School of Architecture - University of Technology Sydney, Bijl Architecture, Lordell Trading P/L, Monier CSR Roofing, Hanania Quality Tiling Services


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