Since immemorial time, humans have constructed their shelter and homes using wood. Gradually these structures grew more complex, but wood has continued to play a fundamental role in architecture and construction. Today, especially due to growing concerns about climate change and carbon emissions, wood has been regaining significance as an important building material for the future, if used consciously and sustainably. Wood’s structural performance capabilities make it appropriate for a broad range of applications—from the light-duty repetitive framing common in low and mid-rise structures to the larger and heavier, often hybrid systems, used to build arenas, offices, universities and other buildings where long spans and tall walls are required.
Timber: The Latest Architecture and News
Stefano Boeri Interiors has unveiled images of his latest circular wooden installation, in an open-air setting of contemporary art. Entitled TREE-ROOM, the project in which “humans and living nature come together, between meditation and contemplation”, is designed for Arte Sella and is located in the garden of Villa Strobele in Val di Sella, in Northern Italy.
Team V Architectuur, an architecture office based in Amsterdam, is designing the new Dutch timber hybrid head office for DPG Media at the Amstel Business Park in the Netherlands. In collaboration with DELVA Landscape Architecture/ Urbanism for the landscape and outdoor space, the project will generate a 46.000 square meter of healthy and sustainable working environment.
WTA, In Praise of Shadows and Land Arkitektur Imagine Low Impact Headquarters for Housing Association in Sweden
Waugh Thistleton Architects or WTA has won an international design competition in collaboration with In Praise of Shadows and Land Arkitektur, to deliver the new head office of Gotlandshem, the national housing association of the Swedish island of Gotland in Visby, Sweden. The project, low carbon, and low impact building will be a multifunctional place, providing a healthy hub for businesses, accessible by the whole community.
A new six-story net-zero carbon office development in Vauxhall, London, UK has been granted planning commission by the city council to move further. Designed by FCBStudios, the timber workspace named Paradise, will transform an abandoned site on old Paradise street, and replace the existing disused roastery.
Constrained by a lack of transportation and resources, vernacular architecture has started adapting the distinct strategy of utilizing local materials. By analyzing projects which have successfully incorporated these features into their design, this article gives an overview of how traditional materials, such as tiles, metal, rocks, bamboo, wooden sticks, timber, rammed earth and bricks are being transformed through vernacular architecture in China.
The Atlassian Sydney Headquarters, the soon to be “world’s tallest hybrid timber building” is being built in Sydney, Australia. Designed by SHoP in partnership with BVN, the 40-story high tower will provide, once completed in 2025, a new and innovative space for technology giant Atlassian.
This article was originally published on The Architect's Newspaper as "Architects apply the latest in fabrication, design, and visualization to age-old timber."
Every so often, the field of architecture is presented with what is hailed as the next “miracle building material.” Concrete enabled the expansion of the Roman Empire, steel densified cities to previously unthinkable heights, and plastic reconstituted the architectural interior and the building economy along with it.
But it would be reasonable to question why and how, in the 21st century, timber was accorded a miracle status on the tail-end of a timeline several millennia-long. Though its rough-hewn surface and the puzzle-like assembly it engenders might seem antithetical to the current global demand for exponential building development, it is timber’s durability, renewability, and capacity for sequestering carbon—rather than release it—that inspires the building industry to heavily invest in its future.
Grafton Architects Wins Competition to Design the Anthony Timberlands Center at the University of Arkansas
Grafton Architects was selected as the winning firm to design the Anthony Timberlands Center for Design and Materials Innovation at the University of Arkansas. In collaboration with Modus Studio for the planned campus design research center, the design on the project is scheduled to begin this summer.
Vincent Callebaut Architectures has imagined The Rainbow Tree, a modular mass timber condominium tower in Cebu City, Philippines. Revealing the cultural and natural Filipino heritage, the project, named after an iconic and colorful tree from the Philippines the Rainbow Eucalyptus, was entirely conceived in a way to reduce the carbon footprint of the building.
It may sound like a silly rhyme, but it’s true: wood is good. As a construction material, wood is beautiful, practical, and versatile. The great strength, light weight, and excellent insulating properties of wood make it ideal for many applications, especially at a time when timber is delivering efficient solutions at different scales. Despite these benefits, wood is highly susceptible to decay, especially when used outdoors.
Centennial College, Ontario's first public college, has collaborated with DIALOG, Smoke Architecture, and EllisDon to design and build the first zero-carbon, mass timber higher-education building in the country. Scheduled for completion in 2023, the new gateway structure will bring together Indigenous and Western cultures in both form and function.
A team of five firms have come together to design the first large-scale timber building in Western Australia. Lyons Architecture is working with Officer Woods, The Fulcrum Agency, STH and Aspect Studios on the new academic building at Murdoch University in Perth. Constructed from locally sourced timber, the four-story project will include offices, learning spaces, and informal gathering areas.
The history of timber construction stretches back as far as the Neolithic period, or potentially even earlier, when humans first began using wood to build shelters from the elements. The appearance of the first polished stone tools, such as knives and axes, then made wood handling more efficient and precise, increasing the thickness of wood sections and their resistance. Over the decades, the rustic appearance of these early constructions became increasingly orthogonal and clean, as a result of standardization, mass production, and the emergence of new styles and aesthetics.
Today we are experiencing another seminal moment within the evolution of timber. Nourished and strengthened by technological advances, new prefabrication systems, and a series of processes that increase its sustainability, safety, and efficiency, timber structures are popping up in the skylines of cities and in turn, is reconnecting our interior spaces with nature through the warmth, texture, and beauty of wood. Where will this path lead us? Below, we review 7 trends that suggest this progress is only set to continue, increasing both the capabilities and height of timber buildings in the years to come.