Timber Reciprocal Frame Structures

SIDstudio actively researches timber Reciprocal Frame structures and complex timber structures and details.

Reciprocal Frames (RFs’) are structures that are feasible by means of circulating shear with compression or tension interactions between their constituent members. Beams do not meet at their extends but somewhere along their length. RF’s can create planar to complex 3d surfaces. 3D shapes will increase the level of geometrical complexity drastically requiring the use of parametric models that have been developed inhouse. RF’s are a beautiful exploration of holistic structural design.

SIDstudio has been working on various parametric models to allow for digital detailing in timber structures. Here we try to use our principle of ‘’form follows fiber’’. We are exploring BTL(x) and BVX export options to allow a digital flow for direct production.

In 2018 SIDstudio worked on the development of a Timber RF structure still scheduled to be built in Nijmegen, NL. This used the algorithm developed by Tom Godthelp , employee of SIDstudio.

In 2020 this algorithm was also use in the proposal of a dome structure for the 2021 Burning Man festival in Nevada, US.


  • structural design and engineering.
  • reciprocal algorithm developed
  • digital flow for direct production


  • House – Nijmegen
  • Dome – Nevada, US
  • Global – overall research


  • Arjan Habraken
  • Tom Godhelp

For more information see: movie