Reciprocal Frameworks - Tradition and Innovation

gta Publishers Zurich

DAM Book Award, Runner up
The fascination of reciprocal frameworks lies in the effortlessness and lightness of their seemingly interwoven elements. The diversity of the forms and patterns of these constructions are created by an interaction of mutually supporting members – a technique already exploited by master builders hundreds of years ago.

The book examines the history of this load­-bearing principle right up to current architectural practice and provides examples of how it is possible using digital tools to expand the current applicational fields of reciprocal frameworks.

2015, 22.5 x 25.5 cm, 232 pages, 234 ill.
gta Publishers Zurich
ISBN 978-3-85676-344-2

Chinese wooden arch bridges

Article in the Swiss architectural magazine werk, bauen + wohnen, 5 - 2019

Swiss timber construction between tradition and innovation

Article in the Chinese architectural magazine The Architect . 193, June 2018
The building material wood has experienced an impressive renaissance in the last decades in Switzerland and also internationally. Above all, rapid technological development and growing ecological awareness have turned this traditional material into a sustainable building material of the future with great potential. On the one hand, timber construction is gaining in importance in Switzerland due to its energy and cost efficiency, especially in cities. On the other hand, research and further development ensure an exciting interaction between traditional, proven technologies and increasingly efficient industrial and digital technologies. Current examples are used to discuss this development and provide an outlook for the future.

Shinkenchiku 12/2023

This issue of Shinkenchiku provides an overview of the various current developments in timber construction in Japan.

Part of this issue is a conversation about timber architecture in Japan, North America and Europe, which I had the honour of conducting with Momoyo Kajima, Daisuke Yoshida and Laila Seewang.

Once again, thank you very much for this opportunity!

Eine kurze Geschichte der Verbindungen
Zuschnitt 81
Knoten und Verbindungen

In the issue on wood joints, the article gives an overview of the evolution of wood joints, from knot forks to CNC-milled knots.


Other articles:

Thönnissen, U.; Vrontissi, M.: Full-scale design explorations in architecture education: small-scale reciprocal structures for outdoor use, in Proceedings of the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures (IASS), presented on IASS Symposium Future Visions, Amsterdam 2015

Thönnissen, U.: A form-finding instrument for reciprocal structures, NNJ Nexus Network Journal, Nr. 16, 1/ 2014.

Thönnissen, U.: Reciprocal structures – a digital design instrument, ICSA 2013, Special session on reciprocal structures, 7/ 2013

Werenfels, N.; Thönnissen, U.: Reciprocal frames – teaching experiences, IJSS Volume 26, Nr. 4, 11/ 2011

ETH Globe, Nr. 3, September 2011: Forschend studieren, S. 24-26

Thönnissen, U.: Reciprocal Frames. in Re-Inventing Construction, Ilka undd Andreas Ruby, Ed., Köln 2010