Prof. Dr. Philippe Block at by KIT

2022 Symposium by the KIT Faculty of Architecture

Prof. Dr. Philippe Block gave a lecture on the possible changes in relation to the use of concrete in the construction industry at the symposium, held by the KIT Faculty of Architecture in April 2022. He explained the “strength through geometry” principle and used concrete as an example to illustrate how existing construction principles could be applied in a much more material- and resource-saving way in the future.

video: Pink Event Service GmbH & CO.KG
cut: Natascha Steiner

In his lecture “Disrupting Concrete Construction” at the symposium, he demonstrated the following possibilities for the concrete construction industry: lightweight, extremely low embodied emissions, no embedded reinforcement steel, using very little resources and made largely out of construction demolition waste, fire resistant, providing thermal mass, acoustically performant, dry-assembled prefab, so easily demountable and reusable as structural components or entirely and easily recyclable at the end of its life, available at scale and globally, and economic.

Philippe Block is a full 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) in Digital Fabrication. He studied architecture and structural engineering at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) in Belgium and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US, where he earned his PhD in 2009. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Rössler Prize for most promising young professor from ETH Zürich (2018) and the Berlin Arts Prize 2018 for Baukunst.

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