Freeform Geometries in Wood Construction

“Freeform Geometries in Wood Construction” is the title of a diploma thesis conducted by Marko Tomicic at the Technical University of Vienna under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Helmut Pottmann, which was published in October of 2013. The thesis explores the possibilities of rationalization for complex architectural geometries in order to simplify the building process, especially the building with wood.

Diploma Thesis at TU Vienna
Author: Marko Tomicic
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Helmut Pottmann

Main Topics

  1. Wood as a Construction Material
  2. The Geometry of Freeform Architecture
  3. PQ Meshes
  4. Developable Surfaces and DStrips
  5. Geodesics Curves on Freeform Surfaces
Freeform Geometries in Wood Construction
Freeform Geometries in Wood Construction


Despite being one of the oldest construction materials on earth and having numerous advantages over modern high tech construction materials, wood has been greatly marginalized in the construction of today’s increasingly popular freeform architectural shapes. Architectural freeform shapes must be rationalized prior to their building due to their large scale. This work explores planar quadrilateral mesh panelizations, rationalizations with developable mesh strips and rationalizations with geodesic patterns in combination with new computational tools and scripting as ways to use wood for the construction of voluptuous freeform architectural structures. For each of the above rationalization techniques a project is designed, rationalized for and detailed for the manufacturing in wood.



About the Author

Marko Tomicic is an architect based in Vienna, Austria.  During his studies at the Technical University of Vienna he became interested in complex architectural geometries and started working at the consulting company Evolute, where he published the EvoluteTools Pro Scripting Primer. He continuously collaborates with researchers from TU Vienna and KAUST University on numerous research projects in the field of architectural geometry. Since 2014 Marko Tomicic works in the Advanced Geometry Engineering [AGE] group at Waagner Biro in Vienna.