Philippe Block

Stone Skins: New Masonry Shells

Series: Evening lecture
Date: 19/2/2013
Time: 18:00
Venue: Lecture Hall
Running time: 70 mins

This lecture will present new computational form-finding approaches for exploring 3D equilibrium shapes, by understanding Gothic masonry vaults. Through the use of intuitive graphical methods, the designer gains control over the exploration of form, which blurs the boundaries between funicular (compression-only) and free-form design. Several projects will demonstrate the power of these innovative methods for the safety assessment of historic vaults with complex geometries in unreinforced masonry and for the design exploration of novel masonry shells, which range from unique signature vaults in cut stone to sustainable construction solutions for developing countries.


Philippe Block is Assistant Professor at ETH Zurich, where he directs the BLOCK Research Group, which focuses on the design and analysis of vaulted masonry and new structural design and fabrication approaches for curved surface structures.


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