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  1. ArchDaily
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Plywood: The Latest Architecture and News

Mass Timber Seizes its Moment: The LEVER Architecture Experience

 | Sponsored Content

The family of products that encompass mass timber –including Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT), Glue-Laminated Timber (Glulam), and Mass Plywood– is increasingly becoming a viable construction alternative for the AEC industry. Timber has been a structural material for thousands of years, but these engineered wood products have broadened the field of options and provided a solid basis for architectural designers to work with, expanding upon their range of materials and finishes.

24mm Plywood House / Alphaville Architects

© Toshiyuki Yano© Toshiyuki Yano© Toshiyuki Yano© Toshiyuki Yano+ 21

Kyoto, Japan
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  30
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2021
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    Manufacturers: LIXIL , Panasonic, Sanwa Company
  • Professionals: 1050 Architects

10 Unconventional Plywood Projects That Show The Bright Future of 20th Century Materials

Courtesy of PRODUCE WorkshopCourtesy of AREA and Electrotexture Lab© Rien van RijthovenCourtesy of TOMA!+ 27

Sold in standard 4 foot wide sheets since 1928, plywood has been a staple of conventional construction for nearly a century. Dimensionally strong, easily cut, lightweight and capable of creating an effective barrier, plywood and other engineered panels like OSB, particle board, and MDF is ubiquitous, particularly for their use as sheathing material in balloon and timber frame construction systems. Boats, airplanes and even automobile frames have historically been built out of plywood, predating (or replacing) steel, aluminum, and fiberglass. As a simple material capable of being manipulated and shaped in a wide variety of ways, sheet ply was also favored in furniture and architectural designs by modernists including Charles and Ray Eames, Eero Saarinen, Alvar Aalto, and Marcel Breuer.

Architects Create Affordable "Exoskeleton" Pavilion With Modular Woods, Tie Straps and Sliding Joints

"Exoskeleton" is a pavilion that shows how Computer Aided Manufacturing can create rapid prototypes. This manufacturing process allows for real-scale construction and experimentation with limited resources. 

In this project, a system of modules, designed with different dimensions, is put together with simple joints without nails or screws. This allows for different surfaces to be formed and for the pieces to be rotated and assembled at various angles and heights.

Courtesy of Jeroen Christiaen & Saskia De MolCourtesy of Jeroen Christiaen & Saskia De MolCourtesy of Jeroen Christiaen & Saskia De MolCourtesy of Jeroen Christiaen & Saskia De Mol+ 46

Multi-Functional Lego-Like Plywood Building Blocks Create Limitless Design Solution

Out of 200 applicants, London-based Gilles Retsin Architecture won the Tallinn Architecture Biennale 2017 competition with their temporary outdoor installation. Participants were challenged to use the fabrication abilities of Estonian wooden house manufacturers in a new and creative way. Jury member Martin Tamke said the Retsin proposal is, “characterized by outstanding aesthetic and intellectually challenging, as it questions current beliefs and trends in architecture."

© Studio Naaro© Alina Chereyskaya© Studio Naaro© Studio Naaro+ 23

Students Design Temporary Furniture for Victims of Displacement

Ten third-year furniture design students from Finland's Lahti University of Applied Sciences - Institute of Design, created temporary living solutions using only plywood and corrugated cardboard. Low cost, quick and easy fabrication, with no tools necessary: Rehome is a solution for recent catastrophes, such as natural disasters and the ongoing refugee crisis, which leave many people displaced from their homes.

© Jani Luukkonen© Jani Luukkonen© Jani Luukkonen© Jani Luukkonen+ 16

Open Source Plan for a Modular Urban Gardening Structure Offers a Flexible Design for Locally Grown Food

As a response to the fast-paced city life, GrowMore is an urban gardening modular design with endless configurations to suit even the most unexpected of spaces. Designed by Sine Lindholm and Mads-Ulrik Husum, the modular building kit provides an opportunity for social interaction and locally grown vegetation, reminding people to pause and connect with nature.

© Daniel Ruiz© Daniel Ruiz© Daniel Ruiz© Daniel Ruiz+ 13

PRODUCE Workshop Debuts Plywood-based "Fabricwood" Pavilion for Herman Miller's Shop-in-Shop

Courtesy of PRODUCE Workshop
Courtesy of PRODUCE Workshop

Furniture and design retailer XTRA's new flagship store in Singapore's Marina Square includes a Herman Miller "Shop-in-Shop" that draws inspiration from the furniture it showcases. Encircling the space is a 20-meter arched structure that, from a distance, gives the appearance of tufted fabric pulled taught over a frame. But in fact, this structure is built from a plywood "skin" that designer Pan Yicheng of PRODUCE Workshop has dubbed "fabricwood."

© Edward Hendricks© Edward HendricksPrototype of the Fabricwood system. Image Courtesy of PRODUCE WorkshopCourtesy of PRODUCE Workshop+ 29

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

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.

Pro-Form Architects’ Rolled Table Challenges Furniture Standards With Curved Interface

Pro-Form Architects has created Rolled Table, an information booth made of flexible plywood that challenges the standard form of a table. Created for the Water and Land Niigata Art Festival, which has been held every three years since 2009, Rolled Table displays guide books and pamphlets better than an average table due to its distinct curvature and lighting system.

© Pro-Form Architects
© Pro-Form Architects

Brazilian Artist Builds Labyrinth of Wooden Roots

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 installation, including photos of its construction

The exit from the root maze. Image Courtesy of MAC USP via www.mac.usp.brScreenshot from videoCourtesy of MAC USP via www.mac.usp.brBrazilian Artist Builds Labyrinth of Wooden Roots+ 14

Woodskin: The Flexible Timber Skin

Courtesy of MammaFotogramma
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...

2011 matR Project: "The Passage"

© Victoria Capranica
© Victoria Capranica

A team of graduate students recently created a temporary installation on the Kent State University, Kent campus in Ohio. The project grew out of an internal challenge in the matR design competition. Designed by graduate students Brian Thoma, Carl, Veith, Victoria, Capranica, Matt Veith, and Griffin Morris, the tunnel-like structure called “The Passage” was a study to support the conceptualization and actualization of innovative and experimental material research. The students created the initial form in Rhinoceros with a couple Grasshopper definitions as a waffle structure of 26 vertical ribs and 24 horizontal struts. More images and information after the break.