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PATH Architecture’s Catalytic Condominium in Portland is the Tallest Timber Building in the US

12:00 - 27 May, 2017
PATH Architecture’s Catalytic Condominium in Portland is the Tallest Timber Building in the US , via Baumberger Studio
via Baumberger Studio

Continuing the ever-increasing growth of timber construction architecture in North America and around the world, Carbon12’s recent topping out has resulted in its newly achieved status as the tallest mass timber building in the United States. Situated in Portland and designed by PATH Architecture, the 8-storey condominium is an example of the cost-effectiveness and labor sensitivity of engineered wood products while helping regenerate Oregon’s local timber industry. 

With a growing population and rapid development, much of recent focus has been on Portland’s city center, in an effort to preserve the existing natural landscape that surrounds the urban areas. Built of prefabricated cross-laminated timber panels and glu-lam beams around a steel core, Carbon12’s hybrid construction aids the city’s densification, given its off-site construction and quick assembly that help both reduce costs and respond to residential needs.

Forget Treehouses - Cliffhouses are the Future

06:00 - 17 May, 2017
Forget Treehouses - Cliffhouses are the Future, Nestinbox takes inspiration from birdhouses to provide an innovative solution to tackle housing crises. Image Courtesy of Manofactory
Nestinbox takes inspiration from birdhouses to provide an innovative solution to tackle housing crises. Image Courtesy of Manofactory

In major cities around the world, buildable land is at a premium. At the same time, a continued trend of urban migration has led to a shortage of houses, inspiring a wealth of innovative solutions from architects and designers. Swedish firm Manofactory have literally taken housing solutions to a new level, questioning why we need to build at ground level at all.

Many animals, including birds, build their nests in trees, under roof tiles or in rock crevices above the ground. Humans already build simple nesting boxes for birds to live in, causing Manofactory to question why we can’t build nesting boxes for ourselves – a simple house with several rooms, windows, and climate protection. Pointing to the numerous cliff walls in cities across northern Scandinavia and elsewhere, Manofactory have designed the Nestinbox – a small wooden house with a steel structure to be mounted on sheer cliff faces.

Nestinbox takes inspiration from birdhouses to provide an innovative solution to tackle housing crises. Image Courtesy of Manofactory An interior arranged around three floors provides compact yet functional living. Image Courtesy of Manofactory The facade is clad in horizontal timber to reduce perceived building height. Image Courtesy of Manofactory One elevation of the Nestinbox can be free of windows, allowing for combinations of several units. Image Courtesy of Manofactory +6

Sweco's Kulturkorgen Offers Gothenburg a Basket of Culture

08:00 - 14 May, 2017
Sweco's Kulturkorgen Offers Gothenburg a Basket of Culture, The Kulturkorgen emerges as an outcrop from the hills of Gothenburg. Image Courtesy of Sweco
The Kulturkorgen emerges as an outcrop from the hills of Gothenburg. Image Courtesy of Sweco

Growing like an outcrop amongst the hills of Gothenburg, the Kulturkorgen by Swedish firm Sweco Architects offers the public an opportunity to watch, engage, and perform. The scheme is a result of an architectural competition for a new Culture House in the city, run in collaboration with Architects Sweden. The winning proposal, who’s name translates to ‘Basket of Culture’, acts as both a building and a square – a social arena where flexible interior spaces act in tandem with a generous public green landscape for recreation and gathering. 

A generous public square contains seating, stages, and play areas. Image Courtesy of Sweco Interior functions are organised around a central atrium. Image Courtesy of Sweco The facade is a rich blend of timber, colour and pattern. Image Courtesy of Sweco The Kulturkorgen emerges as an outcrop from the hills of Gothenburg. Image Courtesy of Sweco +13

Contemporary Housing to Reinforce Finland's UNESCO World Heritage Fortress

08:00 - 13 May, 2017
Contemporary Housing to Reinforce Finland's UNESCO World Heritage Fortress, Perspective view. Image Courtesy of Heikkinen & Kangasaho
Perspective view. Image Courtesy of Heikkinen & Kangasaho

When placed in a historic landscape, contemporary architecture requires a layered approach. It must often strike a respectful, vernacular tone, whilst embracing the innovative, functional hallmarks of a modern building. This balance has particular relevance at Suomenlinna Sea Fortress, located off the coast of Helsinki, Finland. Throughout its 300-year history, it was once occupied by the armies of Sweden, Russia and Finland – a rich history attracting UNESCO World Heritage status, and almost one million annual visitors. The site is more than a museum, however, but a living district of Helsinki with 800 inhabitants and 500 jobs.

Against the prerequisites of past and present, Heikkinen & Kangasaho Architects have combined sharp, functional modernity with respectful, restrained simplicity in a new housing scheme to sit amongst Suomenlinna’s historic fortifications.

Perspective view. Image Courtesy of Heikkinen & Kangasaho View from the sea. Image Courtesy of Heikkinen & Kangasaho Section. Image Courtesy of Heikkinen & Kangasaho Site plan. Image Courtesy of Heikkinen & Kangasaho +7

Robotic Fabrications Workshop - Bandsaw Manoeuvres, AA Visiting School

09:57 - 25 April, 2017
Robotic Fabrications Workshop - Bandsaw Manoeuvres, AA Visiting School, Bandsaw Manoeuvres
Bandsaw Manoeuvres

Merging expert knowledge of timber construction with cutting-edge robotic fabrication technologies we will explore the creative potential of prototyping complex and large-scale timber structures with digital tools resulting in the construction of a roof structure for the temporary foundry building for the Hooke Park Campus.

Our weapons of choice- the chainsaw and bandsaw- will gain an augmented level of precision and control when wielded by the large Kuka KR150 robot. Through rigorous physical testing, we will prototype connection details utilizing the extraordinary precision and flexibility of multi-axis robotic machining.

Zaha Hadid Architects Unveils Designs for Sports-Centered Eco Technology Hub in England

12:30 - 6 April, 2017
Zaha Hadid Architects Unveils Designs for Sports-Centered Eco Technology Hub in England, Courtesy of Ecotricity
Courtesy of Ecotricity

British green energy company Ecotricity has revealed plans for a new Zaha Hadid Architects-designed green technology hub in Stroud, England. The project, known as the “Gateway to Stroud,” will consist of several greenhouse-like buildings and a wooden footbridge that will connect the campus to the future all-wood stadium for the Forest Green Rovers football club, also designed by ZHA and revealed late last year.

Planned as a center for local sports and sports science, the ECO park will provide state-of-the-art office space for environmentally-focused companies as well as public access to a wide range of health and leisure activities.

Courtesy of Ecotricity Courtesy of Ecotricity © Zaha Hadid Architects, render by VA © Zaha Hadid Architects, render by VA +9

Kjellander Sjöberg Designs Four Cross-Laminated Timber Blocks to Enrich the Uppsala Cityscape

06:00 - 24 March, 2017
Kjellander Sjöberg Designs Four Cross-Laminated Timber Blocks to Enrich the Uppsala Cityscape, The new buildings feature cross-laminated timber cores, and wooden detailing. Image Courtesy of Kjellander Sjoberg
The new buildings feature cross-laminated timber cores, and wooden detailing. Image Courtesy of Kjellander Sjoberg

Swedish architecture firm Kjellander Sjöberg has released images of their proposed new city block to enrich the Swedish city of Uppsala. The four competition-winning residential buildings, known collectively as the Tunet, will feature cross-laminated timber construction and wood detailing, creating an environmentally-friendly addition to the city. 

New public spaces are created by the development for tenant and student use. Image Courtesy of Kjellander Sjoberg A family of residential timber buildings redefines the urban landscape. Image Courtesy of Kjellander Sjoberg Parks, tree-lined driveways, and open courtyards form a green network. Image Courtesy of Kjellander Sjoberg The new buildings feature cross-laminated timber cores, and wooden detailing. Image Courtesy of Kjellander Sjoberg +10

New Timber Innovation Act Advocates for Nationwide Timber Construction in the United States

08:00 - 14 March, 2017
New Timber Innovation Act Advocates for Nationwide Timber Construction in the United States , Courtesy of River Beech Tower
Courtesy of River Beech Tower

A new piece of bipartisan legislation has been tabled by The United States Senate and House of Representatives named the Timber Innovation Act. The bills were put forward to further the development of tall timber buildings in the US, thereby supporting the nation’s considerable timber market and the rural manufacturing jobs it entails.

The United States has an opportunity to bring new, sustainable mass timber technology to our construction industry, and the Timber Innovation Act directs technical assistance and research components already in place,” said Robert Glowinski, President and CEO of the American Wood Council (AWC).

Bates Smart Unveils Plans for Tallest Engineered Timber Building in Australia

16:00 - 12 February, 2017
Bates Smart Unveils Plans for Tallest Engineered Timber Building in Australia, Courtesy of Bates Smart
Courtesy of Bates Smart

Australia-based Bates Smart has released the plans for 5 King, a high-performance commercial space and the tallest engineered timber building in Australia. At 52 meters tall, the building will additionally feature the largest gross floor area (GFA) for an engineered timber office building worldwide.

Based on the concepts of connecting with nature and preserving the environment, 5 King will utilize a combination of cross-laminated timber (CLT) and glue-laminated timber (Glulam) to achieve “the structural strength of concrete and steel with a low carbon footprint.”

Courtesy of Bates Smart Courtesy of Bates Smart Courtesy of Bates Smart Courtesy of Bates Smart +4

An Eco-Village for Orphaned Kenyan Children - Competition Winners Announced

16:00 - 11 February, 2017
An Eco-Village for Orphaned Kenyan Children - Competition Winners Announced , Orphanage Home Courtyard. Image Courtesy of ClarkeHopkinsClarke
Orphanage Home Courtyard. Image Courtesy of ClarkeHopkinsClarke

The One Heart Foundation has announced the winners of the Children’s Eco-Village Design Competition. Attracting 45 submissions from 21 countries, the brief asked participants to propose an environmentally-friendly campus for orphaned and abandoned children, to be built in Soy, Kenya.

School Courtyard. Image Courtesy of ClarkeHopkinsClarke Approaching the school drop-off. Image Courtesy of ClarkeHopkinsClarke Entrance from the main road. Image Courtesy of ClarkeHopkinsClarke Income-generating eco-farm. Image Courtesy of ClarkeHopkinsClarke +23

Competition Winning Stadium Design Promotes Inclusivity in Dunkirk, France

12:00 - 4 February, 2017
Competition Winning Stadium Design Promotes Inclusivity in Dunkirk, France, The stadium is located in the heart of Dunkirk. Image Courtesy of Viktor Fretyán
The stadium is located in the heart of Dunkirk. Image Courtesy of Viktor Fretyán

The SOCKEEL + OLGGA consortium have won a competition to design the new Tribut Stadium in Dunkirk, France. The historic stadium, in a prominent location on a canal bank in central Dunkirk, will be transformed into a 5,000 seat stadium seeking to maximize inclusiveness and accessibility.

Public plaza and entrance concourse. Image Courtesy of Viktor Fretyán Interior perspective with concourse in background. Image Courtesy of Viktor Fretyán Exploded axonometric . Image Courtesy of Viktor Fretyán Movement through the transparent lattice animates the streetfront. Image Courtesy of Viktor Fretyán +11

Newly Discovered Molecular ‘Glue’ May hold the Key to Strong Wooden Skyscrapers

06:00 - 12 January, 2017
Newly Discovered Molecular ‘Glue’ May hold the Key to Strong Wooden Skyscrapers, HAUT, a proposed 240-foot timber-framed tower to be built in Amsterdam. Image Courtesy of Team V Architectuur
HAUT, a proposed 240-foot timber-framed tower to be built in Amsterdam. Image Courtesy of Team V Architectuur

The key to engineering wood strong enough to support skyscrapers may lie in the interaction between molecules 10,000 times narrower than the width of a human hair.

A new study by researchers at the Universities of Warwick and Cambridge has solved a long-held mystery of how key polymers in plant cells bind to form strong, indigestible materials such as wood and straw. By recreating this ‘glue’ in a lab, engineers may be able to produce new wood-based materials that surpass current strength capabilities.

The Tallest Timber Tower Yet: Perkins + Will's Concept Proposal for River Beech Tower

09:30 - 6 October, 2016
Courtesy of River Beech Tower
Courtesy of River Beech Tower

As part of a masterplan along the Chicago River, the River Beech Tower is a residential high-rise which, if built, would be taller than any existing timber building. The collaborative team behind River Beech consists of architects Perkins+Will, engineers Thornton Tomasetti and the University of Cambridge. Currently a conceptual academic and professional undertaking, the team state that it could potentially be realized by the time of the masterplan’s final phases.

Timelapse: The Construction of the World's Tallest Timber Tower

16:00 - 18 September, 2016

Topping out two weeks ago, the structure of Brock Commons, currently the tallest timber structure in the world, is now complete. Measuring in at 18 stories and 174 feet (53 meters) tall, the building was completed nearly four months ahead of schedule, displaying one of the advantages of building tall buildings with wood.

"World's Tallest Timber Tower" Tops Out in Vancouver

06:00 - 1 September, 2016
"World's Tallest Timber Tower" Tops Out in Vancouver, Courtesy of Talk Shop Media
Courtesy of Talk Shop Media

The world's tallest timber tower has topped out this week, standing 53 meters high in the Vancouver skyline. The 18 story building, designed by Acton Ostry Architects, began construction in November 2015 and has since opened the floodgates for a new wave of mass timber towers. The building, which has been erected at record speed, will house 404 students as the Brock Commons Student Residence at the University of British Columbia (UBC). Offsite-production and the careful coordination of trades saw it rise at a rate of two floors per week, with the official completion set for mid-2017. 

This New Database Allows You to Search Through the Architectural Applications of Lesser Known Timber Species

12:15 - 29 August, 2016
This New Database Allows You to Search Through the Architectural Applications of Lesser Known Timber Species, Courtesy of FSC Denmark
Courtesy of FSC Denmark

Wood has always been one of the essential materials used in construction, and with the ongoing trend of timber-framed tall buildings, it has become more important than ever to be conscious of the impacts on the environment from the types of wood we source.

Currently, there exist more than 50,000 tropical timber species in the world, yet only a small percentage of those are utilized in construction projects. This has led to the exploitation of the more well-known timber species, altering the diversity of the world’s tropical forests and putting those species in danger of disappearing completely. But what if we began building with the full range of species available to us?

In efforts to increase awareness for the multitude of timber varieties available on the market, The Forest Stewardship Council of Denmark (FSC Denmark) have developed an online database of lesser known timber species (LKTS).

SOM's Timber Tower System Successfully Passes Strength Testing

16:30 - 18 August, 2016

The recent trend in timber-framed architecture may just be beginning.

SOM’s Timber Tower Research Project has passed a major milestone as the structural system has successfully completed strength testing that validate initial calculations. Launched in 2013, The Timber Tower Research project was established with the goal of developing a new structural system for skyscrapers that uses timber as its primary material. Using these techniques, the research team estimates that the embodied carbon footprint of buildings can be reduced by 60 to 75 percent when compared to a benchmark concrete building.

Winners of Timber in the City: Urban Habitats Student Competition Announced

08:00 - 18 August, 2016
Winners of Timber in the City: Urban Habitats Student Competition Announced , Courtesy of University of Washington: Buddy Burkhalter, Mingjun Yin, Connor Irick, Richard Mohler and Elizabeth Golden
Courtesy of University of Washington: Buddy Burkhalter, Mingjun Yin, Connor Irick, Richard Mohler and Elizabeth Golden

The Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) has announced the winners of the Timber in the City: Urban Habitats Competition, a student competition exploring wood as an innovative building material. Out of more than 850 architectural student entries, three winners have been selected, along with two honorable mentions, with prizes totaling $40,000.

The competition focused on a site in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, and asked for designs for inhabitation, repose, recreation, and local small-scale commercial exchange, all while embracing the possibilities of wood and a variety of wood technologies.

Today, timber is being used in new, innovative ways to help address the economic and environmental challenges of the build environment,” said Cees de Jager, executive director of BSLC. “This competition brought to life the way the design community is recognizing the benefits of wood–from reduced economic and environmental impact to enhanced aesthetic value and structural performance–to design buildings and communities of the future.

The winners of the Timber in the City: Urban Habitats Competition are: