Efficient and Expressive Thin-tile Vaulting using Cardboard Formwork

Davis L., Rippmann M., Pawlofsky T. and Block P.
Proceedings of the IABSE-IASS Symposium 2011
London, UK

This paper presents research in the construction of freeform, thin-tile vaulting, demonstrated through a full scale prototype and application of an expandable cardboard guidework system. This form of complex structural design is enabled through Thrust Network Analysis (TNA) – a novel three-dimensional design tool for exploring funicular form. These free form shells present new challenges to the tiling patterns, sequence of building and especially the structural stability and guidework during construction. A continuous formwork system was developed using 2-D CADCAM 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.


    author    = "Davis, L. and Rippmann, M. and Pawlofsky, T. and Block, P.",
    title     = "Efficient and Expressive Thin-tile Vaulting using Cardboard Formwork",
    booktitle = "Proceedings of the IABSE-IASS Symposium 2011",
    year      = "2011",
    editor    = "",
    volume    = "",
    number    = "",
    pages     = "",
    publisher = "",
    address   = "London, UK",
    month     = "September",
    doi       = "",
    note      = "",

Related publications

There are no items.



ETH Zurich
Institute of Technology in Architecture
Block Research Group
Stefano-Franscini-Platz 1, HIB E 45
8093 Zurich, Switzerland

+41 44 633 38 35  phone
+41 44 633 10 53  fax

Copyright © 2009-2024 Block Research Group, ETH Zurich, Switzerland.