Computational de novo protein structure prediction is limited to small proteins of simple topology. The present work explores an approach to extend beyond the current limitations through assembling protein topologies from idealized α-helices and β-strands. The algorithm performs a Monte Carlo Metropolis simulated annealing folding simulation. It optimizes a knowledge-based potential that analyzes radius of gyration, β-strand pairing, secondary structure element (SSE) packing, amino acid pair distance, amino acid environment, contact order, secondary structure prediction agreement and loop closure. Discontinuation of the protein chain favors sampling of non-local contacts and thereby creation of complex protein topologies. The folding simulation is accelerated through exclusion of flexible loop regions further reducing the size of the conformational search space. The algorithm is benchmarked on 66 proteins with lengths between 83 and 293 amino acids. For 61 out of these proteins, the best SSE-only models obtained have an RMSD100 below 8.0 Å and recover more than 20% of the native contacts. The algorithm assembles protein topologies with up to 215 residues and a relative contact order of 0.46. The method is tailored to be used in conjunction with low-resolution or sparse experimental data sets which often provide restraints for regions of defined secondary structure.