Henning Larsen and Ramboll have won the competition to design the new campus for the prestigious scientific research center, CERN. Designed to integrate science and nature, the B777 building uses biogenic materials and low-carbon methods to reimagine traditional laboratory settings. Situated on the border of France and Switzerland, in CERN’s Prévessin Campus, the scheme aims to foster a sense of community, collaboration, and well-being.
timber: The Latest Architecture and News
Studio Gang Unveils Design for a Low-Carbon Theater for the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival in the United States
Studio Gang has revealed the design for a new theater for the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival (HVSF). Planned to become the first purpose-built LEED Platinum theater in the United States, the building located in Garrison, NY, will serve as the permanent home for HVSF. The structure, measuring over 13,800 square feet, or 1,280 square meters, is designed to become the central point of the 98-acre HVSF campus, aiming to emphasize the theater company’s commitment to sustainable principles and social engagement. The project is expected to break ground in 2024.
Timber, harvested and prepared for construction, is a durable material known for its strength and versatility. It serves as an architectural element in structural systems, framing, cladding, decking, and flooring. Although it possesses a warm and natural character that creates an aesthetic appeal, the inherent humidity of timber can cause wood deformation, leading to bending, mold, and rot once the moisture content reaches 23%. However, with the development of new products and production techniques, Thermowood –also known as Thermally Modified Timber– has emerged as a method for creating natural, chemical-free solutions made from certified raw materials.
By reducing moisture content, it does not rot or mold, it experiences no longitudinal shrinking, and ensures high dimensional stability, resulting in a minimum biological life span of 25 years. After analyzing how to apply these solutions in architecture and design, we will showcase indoor and outdoor spaces featuring Tantimber’s Thermowood products.
In a conversation with Louisiana Channel, the founders of the international practice Helen & Hard Architects reaffirm their insistence on community and sustainability. The use of wood, in their practice, has become more than a building philosophy, it has turned into a philosophy. “Trees have a life of their own, and you feel a deep respect for the time it has taken to grow. We work with something alive, an organic material. We can’t do as we please with it. We must interact with the material.”
In August 2022, Siv Helene Stangeland and Reinhard Kropf, the founders of Helen & Hard, were interviewed by Marc-Christoph Wagner at various locations in and around Stavanger, Norway. The area holds special importance for the architects, whose approach was influenced by the culture that permeates Stavanger and the west coast of Norway.
Perkins & Will has just begun construction on the Gateway Project for the University of British Columbia. The project will serve as the primary entrance point to the campus, as well as the new hub for the Nursing, Kinesiology, Language Science, and the university's health clinics. This project is inspired by the surrounding landscape and is informed by the Musqueam people, who have been occupying these territories for generations.
How does school design influence the process of teaching and learning? Understanding current educational design trends and methodologies is key to designing healthy spaces for students to develop their social and academic capacities.
If we look at the evolution of school design through time, we can see that each period has its own challenges and preferences. Today's main challenge in school design is to create spaces that can integrate open learning environments that incorporate diversity of learning spaces, social interaction and sustainability.
The architecture industry seems to constantly be on the lookout for new materials and methodologies that better incorporate sustainability. One material which has stood the test of time, while also finding space for innovation, is wood. In this context, British Columbia (Canada) stands out as one of the world's largest exporters of wood products, and has successfully applied a number of strategies to maximize its use in sustainable design. One notable example, which will be explored in this article, is the use of wood in schools.
Timber construction and its benefits is moving into the BIM space for even more sustainable uses. A new BIM-integrated web application, called Carbon Fixers (which expands on its Offsite Wood plug-in for Revit), pre-calculates the carbon-benefit of choosing timber and other bio-sourced materials in early design.
Carbon Fixers lets you rapidly build a scenario using only basic architectural program information, such as the type, size, and number of stories in the building. For advanced users, preferences can be saved for firms with a regional expert dashboard, side-by-side comparisons and detailed assemblies.
HA-HA, in partnership with BIK Bouw and Wooncompas Housing, will develop four social housing blocks for the community of Ridderkerk, near Rotterdam, Netherlands. The project uses materials from the existing social housing estate, built in the 1950s, and employs an innovative modular-timber system to create sustainable human-centered housing. The old buildings are planned to be disassembled and their components reused and integrated into the new development, which will increase the number of affordable units by 13%.
Haptic and Ramboll conceptualize a novel structure that hopes to eradicate the need for demolition. The timber high-rise construction is built for maximum flexibility and longevity, being able to change its configuration and, consequently, its functions to adapt to the city’s changing needs. The design concept is based on the idea of maximizing the potential of sites in inner-city neighborhoods. To exemplify the regenerative potential of this model, the architects have applied the concept to a tight urban area in the center of Oslo, Norway.
Henning Larsen has been selected among 40 international architecture firms to design NEOMA’s new French Business School, in Reims, France. The Danish firm's hybrid timber design combines innovation, environmental consciousness, and a focus on student life, setting to accommodate over 4,000 students across a 26,000 sqm campus. Construction is expected to start in spring of 2023, and is scheduled to be open for the start of the 2025 academic year. Along with Henning Larsen, the winning team includes Patriarche, Egis, Elioth, Etamine, Acoustb, and Creafactory.
Canada suffers no shortage of flatiron buildings, with historic examples dotting the provinces from Toronto to Vancouver to Lacombe, Alberta, and beyond. Canada also enjoys its status as a hotbed of mass timber construction with Quebec serving as an epicenter of sorts for the movement. However, these two things—flatiron building design and the use of engineered wood products—have never yet been combined.
The first wooden housing modules of Juf Nienke, a new circular prefabricated timber housing project by SeARCH, RAU, and DS landscape architects, has been installed in Amsterdam. The project will feature 61 rental homes made entirely of wood, and will sit at the entrance of Centrumeiland, a newly raised piece of land on Lake IJmeer that features 1500 housing units. It is set to be one of the most sustainable apartment buildings in the Netherlands, incorporating an innovative cross-laminated timber construction and utilizing recycled materials.
In collaboration with architecture practice Hassell, Architectural Association's Association's Emergent Technologies and Design (EmTech) programme created a reclaimed wood pavilion, exploring the convergence of computational design, new construction technologies, and material reuse. Titled Re-Emerge, the project addresses the issue of limited material resources, exploring the architectural potential of material recycling in the context of generative design.
Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates has released images of its latest project, the Burrard Exchange, a hybrid mass timber office building at the Bentall Centre in Vancouver, Canada. The structure will be the first timber project designed by the architecture firm and is set to be one of the tallest of its type in North America.
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) has collaborated with University of Michigan Taubman College to create the SPLAM [SPatial LAMinated timber], a robotically-fabricated timber pavilion for the 2021 Chicago Architecture Biennial. The pavilion employs prefabricated framing panels manufactured using robotic technology, and will serve as an open-air education facility and gathering space for a school in Chicago. The pavilion was inaugurated on September 17, with the opening of the Chicago Biennial, and will remain on display until December 18th.