Block Masterclass

Philippe Block, David Pigram, Melonie Bayl-Smith
Spring 2012

Together with Dave Pigram and Melonie Bayl-Smith, Prof. Block taught from October 2-12, 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 .

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.

Images by Michael Ford.