Born in Holland, Tom van der Bruggen is the creator of KAPLA. After studying the History of Art, he opened an antique shop, where he also restored furniture. At the age of 25, he sold his shop to realise his dream of building a castle in France.
As he was passing the Tarn river in the south of France, he fell in love with an old ruined farm that he wanted to change into a beautiful castle with little towers, fountains and a carriage entrance.
While making the scale drawings he played with wooden blocks to see what the structure would look like. Soon he discovered that the blocks were not at all well adapted to building certain elements like floors, rooves and lintels.
Unsatisfied with the possibilities of these blocks Tom van der Bruggen invented a plank based on the progressions of the uneven numbers 1:3:5. 3 thickness for one width and five widths for one length. This ratio between bricks and stones and beams and planks now opens a whole new way of building. With these identical planks the builder can construct with the precision of artwork and the stability of stones.
Tom van der Bruggen named his planks KAPLA.
This is an abbreviation of "Kabouter Plankjes" which means gnome planks in Dutch. With the KAPLA planks kids as well as adults can now build and create all kinds of different architectural constructions, animals, extraordinary creations…