Ten Buildings Pushing The Boundaries of Wood

Perkins + Will UBC Earth Sciences Building. Image © Martin Tessler

Wood is the ultimate material - it’s renewable, sequesters carbon and more importantly, it’s buildable. Nevertheless wood is rarely used in tall, vertical construction. Now reThink wood has come out with their Tall Wood Survey (available in full on their website), which surveyed over 50 wood experts to explore three main areas in which wood is usually questioned: financing, insurance and performance. But beyond discussing the pros and cons of wood, the survey also highlights 10 projects that show how wood products are being used in ways you never thought existed. See all ten innovative projects, after the break. 

Brazilian Artist Builds Labyrinth of Wooden Roots

Screenshot from video

Given a cavernous gallery space at the Museu de Arte Contemporânea da Universidade in São Paulo, artist Henrique Oliveira has created Transarquitetônica, a breathtaking installation from plywood, which fills the room with twisted tree roots large enough for gallery visitors to walk inside.

Read on after the break for more images of the , including photos of its construction

A+U 524: New Landscapes of Wooden Architecture

From the publisher. May 2014 issue of a+u is focused on wooden architecture from around the world that creates new landscapes.

In addition to nine built works, the issue features two competitions foreseeing the -nization of cities and three essays. The essays discuss different aspects of technology: adaptive timber structure of ultra-light shell by University of Stuttgart, harmonizing the joints of prefabricated wooden elements by collaboration of Finland’s timber industry, university and government, and tall building technology in Canada and other countries. When these technologies become practical and realized as architecture, we will witness a completely new landscape.

Win a Free Full Pass to the 2014 AIA National Convention from reThink Wood

Dewitt-Chestnut Apartments. Image © Hedrich Blessing via

UPDATE: Submissions are now closed. We will contact the winner in the week.

Next month, the AIA National Convention is coming to Chicago – bringing together the best and brightest building professionals to network, and learn about growing trends in the architecture industry. If you haven’t booked your ticket already, here is a chance to attend the event free of charge!

reThink Wood is offering a full pre-paid pass to the AIA National Convention ($945 value) to one lucky ArchDaily reader. The winner will also be able to meet with architects on site that are passionate about innovative design with in mid-rise, and even high-rise projects.

To win, just answer the following question in the comments section before May 21 12:00PM EST: What architect(s) are doing the most interesting work with wood today?

More on reThink Wood at the AIA, after the break. 

Robert A.M. Stern Awards Master Student with $10,000 Travel Fellowship

Wood Old House / Tadashi Yoshimura Architects © Hitoshi Kawamoto

The Robert A.M. Stern Architects has awarded McGill University Masters candidate Anna Antropva with the 2014 , a $10,000 award presented annually to ”promote investigations of the perpetuation of tradition through invention” – key to the firm’s own work. With the award, Antropva will travel to to further her research into ancient wood joinery techniques and their potential to be transformed and manipulated into modern day construction. “This elegant and efficient mode of construction could meaningfully inform our western building industry,” she stated during her presentation to a jury that included Melissa DelVecchio, Dan Lobitz, and Grant F. Marani.

Wood Encouragement Policy Coming To Australia

Cross Stitch House; Melbourne / FMD Architects. Image © Peter Bennetts

Latrobe City Council is pushing an initiative that would put “wood first.” If implemented, the “ Encouragement Policy” would educate architects and industry professionals about the structural and environmental benefits of in an effort to promote the local timber industry and use of sustainable building materials. Following the lead of the United States and New Zealand, both of which recently established “ encouragement” policies, the council hopes that this will set a precedent that can be applied throughout the rest of Australia. 

2014 U.S. Wood Design Award Winners

Federal Center South Building 1202 / ZGF Architects © Benjamin Benschneider

WoodWorks, an initiative of the Wood Products Council, has announced the winners of its 2014 National . Recognizing “outstanding projects that bring to life wood’s natural beauty and versatility in building design,” 13 projects have been selected from over 140 submissions for demonstrating “ingenuity in design or engineering.”

The 2014 National Wood Design Award Winners are…

Tall Tinder: Are Wooden Skyscrapers Really Fire Safe?

IZM - Illwerke Zentrum Montafon / Architekten Hermann Kaufmann ZT GmbH. Image © Norman A. Müller

While interest in tall buildings continues to grow, there still remains one obvious concern: combustibility. So how safe are structures really? Arup Connect spoke with Robert Gerard, a fire engineer in Arup’s San Francisco office, to find out how high-rise wood buildings take fire safety into account.

Six Essential Materials & The Architects That Love Them

In case you missed it, we’re re-publishing this popular post for your material pleasure. Enjoy!

To celebrate the recent launch of our US product catalog, ArchDaily Materials, we’ve coupled six iconic architects with what we deem to be their favourite or most frequently used material. From Oscar Neimeyer’s sinuous use of concrete to Kengo Kuma‘s innovative use of , which materials define some of the world’s best known architects?

Material Inspiration: 10 Projects Inspired by Wood

To celebrate the launch of ArchDaily Materials, our new product catalog, we’ve rounded up 10 awesome projects from around the world that were inspired by one material: wood. Check out the projects after the break…

Appleton Living / Minarc

© Gray

Architects: Minarc
Location: Venice, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Design Team: Tryggvi Thorsteinsson, Erla Dögg Ingjaldsdóttir
Year: 2011
Photographs: Art Gray

The Case For Tall Wood Buildings

Courtesy of Michael Green Architecture

Michael Green is calling for a drastic paradigm shift in the way we build. Forget steel, straw, concrete and shipping containers; use wood to erect urban skyscrapers. In a 240 page report – complete with diagrams, plans, renders and even typical wooden curtain wall details – Green outlines a new way of designing and constructing tall buildings using mass timber, all the while addressing common misconceptions of fire safety, structure, sustainability, cost and climate concerns. 

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, Japan. 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 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

YouTube Preview Image

Building a ? Forget about steel and concrete, architect Michael Green says build it out of . 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 MammaFotogramma

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 wood, polystyrène, and résine.