Freeform Timbrel Vault
Freeform catalan thin-tile vaulting

A temporary, scaled prototype for freeform timbrel vaults has been realized with the application of new research by the BLOCK Research Group. This form of complex structural design is enabled through Thrust Network Analysis (TNA) - a novel three-dimensional form finding approach for exploring funicular form. The resulting freeform shells present new challenges to the tiling patterns, sequence of building and especially the guidework and structural stability during construction. A continuous formwork system was developed using CAD-CAM cutting and gluing processes.

The combined implementation of traditional thin-tile vaulting, TNA and the efficient cardboard formwork allows the construction of increasingly complex forms with the same or even improved benchmarks of sustainability and economy - radical form with efficient construction.
Zurich, Zurich
Academic Institution:
ETH Zurich, BLOCK Research Group, Prof. Dr. Philippe Block
ZZ Wancor AG
Lead Researchers:
Lara Davis, Matthias Rippmann
Tom Pawlofsky
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