POD is a method for decomposing arbitrary triangulated 2-manifold mesh into blocks, which can be manufactured by exclusively planar cuts.

The method employs a projection-based approach (Bouaziz et al., 2014) to minimally perturb an input triangle mesh towards a nearby configuration where adjacent faces have tangent in circles. This geometric condition, previously discussed in the derivation of torsion-free substructures (Pottman et al., 2015), implicitly defines a network of planar quadrilaterals which, in this context, represents the interface between each pair of adjacent blocks within the structure. By defining cut planes in such a way, we obtain an approximation of the input mesh with tight packing blocks which are amenable to robotic fabrication.

The large scale prototype was fabricated using EPS foam blocks a hot wire cutter and a 6-axis robotic arm. The prototype explores the application of this method to surfaces of hyperbolic character as the constant negative curvature provides a number of benefits related to component registration and assembly.


Alicia Nahmad (R-Ex)
Shajay Bhooshan (ZHACODE)
Vishu Bhooshan (ZHACODE)
David Reeves (ZHACODE)

Full credits


ZHCODE: Filippo Nassetti, David Reeves, Marko Margeta, Shajay Bhooshan, Patrik Schumacher
BRG: Mariana Popescu, Matthias Rippmann, Tom Van Mele, Philippe Block

KnitCrete technology

BRG: Mariana Popescu, Tom Van Mele, Philippe Block
Chair of Physical Chemistry of Building Materials, ETH Zurich: Lex Reiter, Robert Flatt

Fabrication and construction

BRG: Mariana Popescu, Matthias Rippmann, Alessandro Dell’Endice, Cristian Calvo Barentin, Nora Ravanidou
R-Ex: Alicia Nahmad Vazquez, Horacio Bibiano Vargas, Jose Manuel Diaz Sanchez, Asunción Zúñiga, Agustín Lozano Álvarez, Migue Juárez Antonio, Filiberto Juárez Antonio, Daniel Piña, Daniel Celin, Carlos Axel Pérez Cano, José Luis Naranjo Olivares, Everardo Hernández, Ramiro Tena.

Structural engineering

BRG: Andrew Liew, Tom Van Mele

Concrete development

Holcim Mexico: Jose Alfredo Rodriguez, Carlos Eduardo Juarez, Delia Peregrina Rizo

Site construction coordination

R-Ex: Alicia Nahmad Vazquez


ETH Zurich
NCCR Digital Fabrication
Zaha Hadid Architects
Steiger Participations SA
Holcim Mexico
Imerys Aluminates
Boston Consulting Group

Special thanks

Grupo Altiva
UNAM Arquitectura