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These Mesmerizing GIFs Illustrate the Art of Traditional Japanese Wood Joinery

12:00 - 7 October, 2016

For centuries before the invention of screws and fasteners, Japanese craftsmen used complex, interlocking joints to connect pieces of wood for structures and beams, helping to create a uniquely Japanese wood aesthetic that can still be seen in the works of modern masters like Shigeru Ban.

Up until recent times, however, these techniques were often the carefully guarded secrets of family carpentry guilds and unavailable for public knowledge. Even as the joints began to be documented in books and magazines, their 2-dimensional depictions remained difficult to visualize and not found in any one comprehensive source.

That is, until a few years ago, when a young Japanese man working in automobile marketing began compiling all the wood joinery books he could get his hands on and using them to creating his own 3-dimensional, animated illustrations of their contents.

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.

Open Call: 2017 Tallinn Architecture Biennale Installation Programme

05:00 - 27 September, 2016
Open Call: 2017 Tallinn Architecture Biennale Installation Programme, TAB 2015 installation Body Building by Sille Pihlak and Siim Tuksam. Image by Tõnu Tunnel
TAB 2015 installation Body Building by Sille Pihlak and Siim Tuksam. Image by Tõnu Tunnel

Tallinn Architecture Biennale 2017 is announcing TAB 2017 Urban Installation Programme Open Call, offering emerging architectural talent the opportunity to design and build an experimental wooden folly in the heart of Tallinn. The international open two-stage competition is challenging participants to develop creative designs for a temporary outdoor installation, making innovative use of the fabrication capacities with the Estonian wooden house manufacturers.

promote synergy between emerging designers and industry.

Curators of the TAB 2017

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.

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).

Architects Construct Village of 14 Wooden Structures at Hello Wood 2016

16:30 - 19 August, 2016

Students and architects from over 30 countries have constructed a “village” of 14 wooden structures at Hello Wood’s Project Village 2016. Founded in 2010 as an art camp for students in architecture, art and design disciplines, Hello Wood has since grown into an award-winning interior summer school program focused on creating design through collaborative methods and bringing together the principles of architecture, art, innovation and social impact. The Project Village, conceived just last year, pushes these ideals to their limit by challenging students, teachers and designers to work together to create a new architecture of community at Hello Wood’s rural campus in Csoromfolde, Hungary.

Continue reading to see all 14 projects with descriptions from the designers.

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:

Video: How to Build Your Own Spiral Staircase Using a CNC Router

12:25 - 16 August, 2016

In this video, Ben Uyeda of HomeMade Modern demonstrates how to build a sleek, contemporary spiral staircase using just a standard schedule steel post, plywood and a CNC router (along with a healthy amount of wood and construction glue). To build the staircase, Uyeda uses the CNC to cut out 12 shapes of incremental size from a plywood sheet, which he then stacks and fits around the post to secure into place.

HomeMade Modern has also made the CAD files available for free, so handy woodworking types can attempt the construction themselves.

Win a FREE Full Pass to Greenbuild 2016 From reThink Wood

08:00 - 15 August, 2016

This October, reThink Wood is heading to Los Angeles for Greenbuild – the world's largest conference and expo dedicated to green building. If you haven’t registered already, this is your chance to win a free pass to the conference and hear from dozens of inspiring speakers about the latest advancements in the green building movement. 

To celebrate, reThink Wood is offering a full pre-paid conference pass ($1,050+ value) to one lucky ArchDaily reader. The winner will be invited to learn more about why building with wood is sustainable and to meet with experts onsite who are passionate about sustainable design with wood in a variety of structure types.

Enter to win by answering the following question in the comments section before August 26 at 12:00PM ET.:

Urban Agency + Group-K Design Wood Experience Center on Jeju Island, South Korea

14:25 - 12 August, 2016
Urban Agency + Group-K Design Wood Experience Center on Jeju Island, South Korea, Courtesy of Urban Agency
Courtesy of Urban Agency

Urban Agency and Group-K have placed 3rd in a competition for a “Wood Experience Center” on the island of Jeju, South Korea. The project location is an area of the island called Redorum, a wild natural environment containing a dense cedar forest and a tranquil lake. The architects responded to this unique site by designing a building that both preserves the unspoiled beauty of the landscape and creates an iconic building containing an exhibition hall, workshop and library.

Courtesy of Urban Agency Courtesy of Urban Agency Courtesy of Urban Agency Courtesy of Urban Agency +19

White Arkitekter Blurs the Line Between Built and Natural in Housing Project Design

14:00 - 6 July, 2016
White Arkitekter Blurs the Line Between Built and Natural in Housing Project Design, © White Arkitekter and Beauty and the Bit
© White Arkitekter and Beauty and the Bit

White Arkitekter’s Copenhagen studio has been selected as winners of a competition to design 115 individual homes as part of a social housing project in Denmark’s Allerød Municipality. Located north of the capital city of Copenhagen, the new neighborhood will be bordered by forest and a lake, inviting the nature in to complement and screen individual buildings. The project, titled “By the Woods,” will attempt to subvert typical preconceptions about social housing through the blurring of public and private space.

© White Arkitekter © White Arkitekter and Beauty and the Bit © White Arkitekter © White Arkitekter +7

White Arkitekter Designs Nordic Region's Tallest Timber Building for Skellefteå Cultural Center

14:00 - 9 June, 2016
White Arkitekter Designs Nordic Region's Tallest Timber Building for Skellefteå Cultural Center, Courtesy of White Arkitekter
Courtesy of White Arkitekter

White Arkitekter has been announced as the winners of an international design competition for a hotel and cultural center in the city of SkellefteåSweden. Selected from over 55 entries from ten countries, the winning proposal "Sida vid sida" (Side-by-side) calls for a 19-story timber structure containing a concert hall, museum, art gallery, city library and a four-star hotel. The new building will be the tallest wood-framed building in the Nordic region.

The Compact Wooden City: A Life-Cycle Analysis of How Timber Could Help Combat Climate Change

10:45 - 2 June, 2016
The Compact Wooden City: A Life-Cycle Analysis of How Timber Could Help Combat Climate Change, Sou Fujimoto and Laisné Roussel's proposal for a tall wooden building in Bordeaux. Image © SOU FUJIMOTO ARCHITECTS + LAISNÉ ROUSSEL + RENDERING BY TÀMAS FISHER AND MORPH
Sou Fujimoto and Laisné Roussel's proposal for a tall wooden building in Bordeaux. Image © SOU FUJIMOTO ARCHITECTS + LAISNÉ ROUSSEL + RENDERING BY TÀMAS FISHER AND MORPH

Nowadays the main building materials used in the construction industry are concrete, steel and timber. From the point of view of ecological sustainability, there are four important differences between these three materials: first, timber is the only material of the three that is renewable; second, timber needs only a small amount of energy to be extracted and recycled compared to steel and concrete (but the implementation of its potential is not as developed yet); third, timber does not produce waste by the end of its life since it can be reused many times in several products before decomposing or being used as fuel and; and fourth, timber traps huge amounts of carbon from the atmosphere – a tree can contain a ton of CO2 [1] – and the carbon absorbed remains embedded as long as the wood is in use.

Considering the fact that 36 percent of total carbon emissions in Europe during the last decade came from the building industry,[2] as well as 39 percent of total carbon emissions in the United States,[3] the materiality of construction should be a priority for governments’ regulations in the future as measurements against global warming. The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere and the level of carbon emissions of the big economies across the globe are big issues that need to be solved with urgency in order to avoid larger, more frequent climate catastrophes in the future. The current regulation in several countries of the EU, which is incentivizing the use of renewable materials in buildings, is showing the direction the building industry in many other parts of the world should follow. And if these measures are adopted across the EU and beyond – if other countries start to follow this tendency as well – there will be significantly more wood in cities.

In order to raise awareness of tall wooden buildings, last year Michael Green Architecture reimagined the Empire State Building as a wooden structure. Image © Metsä Wood Limnologen in Växjö, Sweden. Image © Midroc Property Development Early construction of Acton Ostry Architects' Brock Commons Student Residence at the University of British Columbia. When complete in 2017, the 18-story building will be the world's tallest timber building. Image © Acton Ostry Architects Inc. & University of British Columbia Michael Green Architecture was part of a team that proposed the world's tallest wooden buildings as part of the Réinventer Paris competition. Image © MGA +7

“The Forests of Venice” Selected as Collateral Event for the 2016 Venice Biennale

06:00 - 17 May, 2016
“The Forests of Venice” Selected as Collateral Event for the 2016 Venice Biennale, Kjellander + Sjöberg. Image Courtesy of Kjellander + Sjöberg
Kjellander + Sjöberg. Image Courtesy of Kjellander + Sjöberg

The Swedish exhibition, “The Forests of Venice,” has been selected as a Collateral Event for the 2016 Venice Biennale. Initiated by Kjellander + Sjöberg and Folkhem; and curated by Jan Åman, the exhibit highlights wood as a sustainable material, while looking at "the interaction between nature and the man-made human habitat in order to respond to climate change and limited resources." 

MVRDV Designs Reusable Pavilion for Bogotá Book Fair

12:00 - 30 April, 2016
MVRDV Designs Reusable Pavilion for Bogotá Book Fair, © Punto Avi
© Punto Avi

MVRDV’s design for the Dutch exhibition “Hola Holanda” at the Book Fair of Bogotá (FILBO) features a modular system of crates that will be repurposed as neighbourhood libraries after the Book Fair ends. Avoiding the waste of resources created by one-time pavilions, the Dutch firm has introduced a playful element of sustainability to the fair, maintaining its spirit even after the event ends.

Win a FREE Full Pass to the 2016 AIA National Convention from reThink Wood

16:00 - 13 April, 2016

Next month, the AIA National Convention is heading to Philadelphia! As the premier architecture and design conference of the year, this is a can’t-miss event for those involved with the industry. If you haven’t yet purchased your pass, we’re offering a chance to attend free of charge! 

reThink Wood is offering a full pre-paid pass to the 2016 AIA National Convention ($1,050 value) to one lucky ArchDaily reader. The winner will have the chance to meet with architects, engineers, academics and developers that are passionate about innovative design with wood. 

To win, just answer the following question in the comments section before Friday, April 22 at 12:00 p.m. ET: Which mass timber building in the U.S. has most inspired you? 

Translucent Wood? Meet the New Material Developed by KTH

14:00 - 13 April, 2016
Translucent Wood? Meet the New Material Developed by KTH, © Peter Larsson / KTH
© Peter Larsson / KTH

A group of researchers from KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm has developed Optically Transparent Wood (TW), a new material that could greatly impact the way we develop our architectural projects. Published in the American Chemical Society's journal Biomacromolecules, the transparent timber is created through a process that removes the chemical lignin from a wood veneer, causing it to become very white. This white porous veneer is then impregnated with a transparent polymer, matching the optical properties of the individual cells and making the whole material translucent.