Dezeen Magazine

Brick Tectonics by Ricardo Ploemen

Technische Universiteit Eindhoven student Ricardo Ploemen has designed a conceptual chapel with wavy brick walls, using an AutoCad script to determine the structure of each facade.

Called Brick Tectonics, the project involved generating different structural patterns according to changing parametres, creating curved or pleated walls.

Ploemen combined the resulting forms to design a space where a building with a pitched roof and pleated walls would enclose two curved surfaces for visitors to pass between.

See also: Pike Loop by Gramazio & Kohler (September 2009)

The following is from Ricardo Ploemen:


With the aid of a self-written script in AutoCad 2008 research has been done on the tectonics of brick facades.

Following actions are taken when running the developed script: generating a line with predetermined length and shape; generating intersecting lines with previous; determining intersection points as centre point of the different bricks; generating bricks at the intersection points; and repeating previous steps for the different layers.

The script generates simultaneously a mutual shift of the different bricks and layers on the basis of several, by the user determined, parameters.

The specific shift of the different layers determines the structure of the brick façade and can be regulated by the designer.

The different actions that are taken when running the script and the process of this research are visualized on this page. The research process varies from curved to folded brick facades with each a specific tectonic.

At the end, the completed script was used to design a chapel in which the extremes of the obtained tectonic are exposed.

The rough structure of the chapel’s side facades is a metaphor for the hectic of today’s daily life. This specific structure, created by folding the facades, is amplified by using bricks with three different lengths.

When entering the building the visitor walks through a corridor into the main room, formed by two curved walls. Form and structure of these walls establish an inner peace in the chapel and thereby a confrontation with the facades.