SOM Gets Behind Wooden Skyscraper Design

Courtesy of ArchDaily

Although known for their iconic skyscrapers of glass and steel, SOM has begun to redefine our idea of the high-rise by pushing for wood as an alternative material for tall buildings. Not only could it help solve the worldwide problem of housing for those who are or will live in cities, but wooden skyscrapers could also address climate change by reducing a building’s carbon footprint. Click here to read about the structural system that SOM has come up with and don’t check out our previous coverage on the equally fascinating Timber Tower Research Project!

Video: Koyasan Guest House / Alphaville Architects

Kyoto-based architects Kentaro Takeguchi and Asako Yamamoto of Alphaville Architects have completed a small guest house for tourists visiting the sacred Koyasan (Mt. Koya) in Wakayama Prefecture, . The 96 m2 (1,033 ft2) building contains bedrooms, capsule-style dormitory rooms, a bar, and lounge. Between the bar, hallway, and lounge, 2 x 4 and 2 x 6 timber frames are exposed inside at varying intervals to act as partitions

This video was provided by JA+U.

Hello Wood 2013: Step Closer!

POLIPHONY. Image © Kékesi Donát

Back for its fourth year, the creative camp Hello Wood was held last month in Hungary, set in the countryside north of Lake Balaton. At Hello Wood, 120 young designers and architects worked with leading experts to create installations which approach issues of society and community in architecture, ideas encompassed by this year’s motto “Step Closer!” Twelve teams had one week to create these installations using timber as their primary material, with the projects being judged and a winner awarded at the end of the week.

Read on to find out about the installations, and which one was judged the winner, after the break

TED: Why We Should Build Wooden Skyscrapers / Michael Green

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Building a skyscraper? Forget about and , architect Michael Green says build it out of wood. As he details in this intriguing talk, it’s not only possible to build safe wooden structures up to 30 stories tall (and, he hopes, higher), it’s necessary.

Read more about Green’s ‘Case for Tall Buildings’ here and share your comments below.

Woodskin: The Flexible Timber Skin

Courtesy of

Have you ever wanted to create delicate, complex shapes from plywood, but can’t because it’s too stiff and unforgiving? Well all that might soon change, thanks to Milan-based design studio MammaFotogramma. They have created a type of flexible, ‘Woodskin‘ triangular tiles of Russian plywood.

Read more about Woodskin after the break…

Billon / Vincent Kohler

© Geoffrey Cottenceau

This stunning installation, created by Swiss sculpter Vincent Kohler, beautifully deconstructs the log. Titled “Billon”, the 110 x 100 x 300 cm piece is made of , polystyrène, and résine.

Kita Göttingen / Despang Architekten

© Jochen Stüber

Architects: Despang Architekten
Location: Göttingen, Germany
Architects In Charge: Günther Despang/Martin Despang
Project Architects: Philip Hogrebe/Jörg Steveker
Area: 512 sqm
Year: 2010
Photographs: Jochen Stüber, Olaf Baumann

AD Round Up: Wood Architecture Part II

© Iwan Baan

For today’s AD Round Up we have the 2nd selection of previously featured projects where is the principal character. The main image belongs to Sou Fujimoto’s amazing Final Wood House in Kumamoto, . Check out, Casa Kike designed by Gianni Botsford Architects, or the Floating House  in Ontario by MOS Architects. Take a look at the stunning Holiday House on the Rigi by AFGH. Finally, you can’t miss Bip Computers, a retail project with a great wood structure by Alberto Mozo.

TIMBER IN THE CITY: Urban Habitats Competition

The Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) is pleased to announce TIMBER IN THE CITY: Urban Habitats Competition for the 2012-2013 academic year. The competition is a partnership between the Binational Softwood Lumber Council (BSLC), the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) and the School of Constructed Environments at Parsons The New School for Design (SCE).

The program is intended to engage students and recent graduates, working individually or in teams to imagine the repurposing of our existing cities with buildings that are made from renewable resources, offer expedient affordable construction, innovate with new and old wooden materials, and provide healthy living / working environments.

Camera Obscura / AA Visiting School Eugene 2012

Courtesy of AA Visiting School Eugene

A small group of diverse students participating in the inaugural AA Visiting School Eugene were given the responsibility to design and build something that would enhance and reflect the forest, within a ten-day timeframe.

More on the after the break.

   

Interview: Krogmann Headquarters / Despang Architekten

© Olaf Baumann

The Headquarters Krogmann in Lohne-Kroge, Germany, by Despang Architekten investigates the numerous characteristics and fundamental opportunities inherent within and exhibits a modern approach to the craftsmanship of traditional German vernacular. Designed as a new corporate center of operations for the woodworking company Krogmann,  this new office would need to succeed not only in handcrafting a new image for them, but also serve as a catalyst for future growth while showcasing their ability as ‘makers’ in the field of construction.  Having worked as the builders for several projects for , their choice to retain them as the design architects for their own project was a natural extension of an already solid relationship built upon the dedication to quality and progressiveness. As an extension of this article, we also had the opportunity to speak with Principal and University of Hawaii Associate Professor Martin Despang about the process involved in the making of this project.

More details and our Q&A with Martin after the break.

U.S. Forest Service develops Wood-based Nanomaterial

Micrograph picture of cellulose nanocrystals combined with PMMA fibers. Courtesy of U.S. Forest Service

A -based composed of cellulose nanocrystals and cellulose nanofibrils is being evaluated at the Forest Products Laboratory, in support of a project at the Army Research Laboratory in Aberdeen, Maryland. The material, presumably stronger than Kevlar, is being produced to create clear composites as reinforced glass for clear applications.  US Forest Services has opened a $1.7 million pilot plant in Wisconsin to develop the -based nanomaterial, whose future applications may include windshield and high performance glass.

Under development for three years, the material has the potential to be the strongest and optically clearest version of celllulose nano-fibrils.  Because wood is a renewable resource, the Forest Products Laboratory is optimistic that as the material enters the market, it will help reduce fossil fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, while promoting industry growth in rural areas.

Reference: Architect MagazineForest Products Laboratory

HelloWood 2012: Social Architecture in Hungary

2012: Landscape Architecture Workshop © Márk Péter Vargha

HelloWood - a creative, professional and social program with a message that mobilizes more and more young people – was organized for the 3rd year by MOMElinedesignworks, together with its new partner Reflekt social architecture studio.  The week-long creative camp included 200 Hungarian and international students who worked together to realize social and cultural spaces for eight north-eastern Hungarian communities.  The social mission of the project was showcased at Sziget, Europe’s Best Major Festival.  Cameron Sinclair, the co-founder of Architecture for Humanity, commended HelloWood’s inspirational initiative for aspiring to social change with thoughtful design for marginalized communities.

Join us after the break for details on some of the projects.

AD Round Up: Wood Architecture

© Sergio Gómez

Wood, one of architecture’s nobler materials, allows us to develop both complex structures and minimal designs.For today’s Round Up, we’ve selected projects that feature wood heavily in their design. Here’s five you can’t miss, such as the amazing Orquideorama by Plan B + JPRCR Architects, a building that should come up of the relation between architecture and living organisms. Also, check out Carabanchel Housing by british based firm Foreign Office Architects or Aalen University Extension by MGF Architekten. Revisit, the particular Sheepstable, design by 70F Architecture, a building with an interesting mix structure of wood and . Finally, is never late to review the great Geometric Hot Springs by chilean architect German del Sol.

Element house / Sami Rintala

Courtesy of Sami Rintala

Architect: Sami Rintala
Landscape Architects: Eedo Space Architectural Design, Seúl, Republic of Korea
Location: Anyang Park, Anyang, Seúl, Republic of Korea
Materials: Steel, , , Gravel, Glass
Construction: October-December 2005
Finish: January 2006
Constructed Area: 72sqm
Client: Anyang City / Public Art Project
Collaborators: John Roger Holte, Artist, Norway; Finnforest, Wood
Photography: Park Wan Soon, Emil Goh

AD Round Up: Wooden Houses Part IV

Courtesy of Sou Fujimoto

For today’s Round Up we have our 4th selection of Wooden Houses. In the main image is T House by Sou Fujimoto. Look again at Surfhouse from XTEN  Architecture, an abstract block of ebonized cedar near Hermosa Beach. You must check out the work of  Claudio Vilarinho in House 1 in Penafiel and the amazing Floating House by Mos Architects, located over Lake Huron in Canada. Last, but not least, revisit Cabin Verdehaugen from Fantastic Norway,  a cabin with a variety of sheltered outdoor spaces that relates the volume to its surrounding landscape.

Caleu House / arquitectos asociados.lo

© Alvaro Reyes

Architects:
Location: Caleu, Tiltil, Santiago Metropolitan Region,
Architect In Charge: Eduardo Labra B., Diego Ortuzar F.
Project Year: 2011
Photographs: Diego Ortuzar, Alvaro Reyes

Hus-1 / Torsten Ottesjö

© David Relan

Hus 1 is an inspiring new house designed and built by Torsten Ottesjö. With double curved surfaces, compact and efficient planning it is a house on the human scale that blends effortlessly into the surrounding nature.

Situated in the unique cultural landscape of the Scandinavian West Coast, Hus 1 reflects and communicates with its surroundings. The natural used in the construction have made it a friendly place for both humans and nature for its whole life cycle.

Photographs by David Relan.