Bock Research Group, ETH Zurich / Professor and co-director
Philippe Block is professor at the Institute of Technology in Architecture (ITA) at ETH Zurich, where he leads the Block Research Group (BRG) with Dr. Tom Van Mele and is Head of the Institute. Philippe is also Director of the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) on Digital Fabrication. He studied architecture and structural engineering at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he earned his PhD in 2009. Philippe and Tom apply their research into practice providing innovation in (computational) design, engineering, fabrication and construction of sustainable, circular and economical structures, addressing climate change by significantly reducing embodied emissions, utilising fewer single-use resources and minimising construction waste.
Following the motto “strength through geometry” and the principles of traditional unreinforced masonry construction, the BRG translates this knowledge into projects such as the unreinforced stone Armadillo Vault, the thin, flexibly formed concrete shells of the NEST HiLo and KnitCandela, the 3D-concrete-printed masonry bridge Striatus, and the Rippmann Floor System (RFS), a lightweight and ultra-low-embodied floor system.
Photo © Elisabeth Real