Programmable Bending – A Research Pavilion

04/10/16 - 20/11/16
Programmable Bending – A Research Pavilion

Computational design and digital fabrication do not only allow us to work with new materials but also provide us a new potential of working with traditional materials. The project “Beyond Bending” by Block Research Group made for the Biennale of Architecture in Venice investigates the value of new technological approach to the structures made of stone, ceramics or non-reinforced concrete and suggests a new interpretation of traditional typologies such as a vault or a slab. In their book Advancing Wood Architecture: A Computational Approach, authors Achim Menges, Tobias Schwinn and Oliver David Krieg show on the example of several research projects, how technologies and new computational paradigm are transforming one of the oldest branches of the construction industry.

Programmable bending is a strategy, which through the use of computational tools achieves a structure with complex geometry out of flat non-customized elements. In the research author considers the possibilities of uneven layering as a method to preprogram bending characteristics of veneer stripes. The final shape of the structure is a result of a material computation.


The project applies this strategy to the design of the pavilion located in the area of Bethlehem Chapel in Prague. The spatial layout of the pavilion reacts to the shape of the existing fountain, both being integrated into one composition.



Architect/ Shota Tsikolia

Realization/ students from atelier A3, UMPRUM