From its starting to point as a tree to its product form as a beam or piece of furniture, wood used in architecture and interior design goes through several stages and processes. A renewable resource and popular traditional building material, wood is also often cited as a promising construction material of the future, one that is suitable for the new demands of sustainability. But unlike concrete, whose molds can create even the most complex curves, wooden architecture most commonly uses straight beams and panels. In this article, we will cover some techniques that allow for the creation of curved pieces of wood at different scales, some of which are handmade and others of which seek to make the process more efficient and intelligent at a larger scale.
Wood: The Latest Architecture and News
Commonly used as storage support for products in supermarket stocks and fairs, pallets are versatile. After their primary function has been discarded, the reuse of pallets for other purposes is increasingly common, collaborating to the reduction of the amount of waste discarded, especially as raw material for the creation of furniture and decks. However, going beyond the commonly highlighted DIY furniture tutorials on youtube, these structures are gaining ground as the main element in the construction of ephemeral architecture, such as small pavilions and urban installations. In fact, these small pieces can be stacked and united together in different ways and patterns.
Designed by NEON, the Shiver House is a radical reinvention of the common Finnish Hut (mökki). The project is a kinetic "animal-like" structure which moves and adapts in response to surrounding natural forces. Shiver House is an exploration into the idea that architecture can be used as a means to create a closer emotional link between its inhabitants and the natural world it sits within. In addition, the project explores the idea that architecture can be made to seem "alive" with the intention that this will engender a deeper and longer-lasting emotional relationship between people and the structures they inhabit.
Conceptually, the piece thus suggests that architecture, rather than static and function-led, can be a poetic, living, and dynamic element that changes the way we relate to the landscape that surrounds us.
In her Sesc Pompéia theater, architect Lina Bo Bardi designed a central stage revealing the structure and all the functions of the theater's program, and renouncing traditional theater seating. Her seats were not upholstered, were close to each other, and encouraged a more aware, attentive, and upright posture among the audience, thus honoring, according to her, the ancient art of theater.
In the same way that the characteristics of architectural spaces alter our mood, feelings, concentration, and learning, so does the integral design element of furniture, which must be taken seriously when considering comprehensive user experiences. Regarding schools and learning environments in particular, the same attention given to teaching materials is often not conferred on furniture and physical structure.
OSB (Oriented Strand Board) can be easily recognized for its distinctive appearance. This material consists of cross-oriented layers of wood strands compressed and bonded together with resin, applied under high pressure and temperature. As a result, the standardized panels have great stiffness, strength, and stability, and are often used as wall cladding attached to the steel frame of a building or as partitions. Also, they have good soundproofing capabilities, since the panels are uniform and have no internal gaps or voids. It is also worth mentioning that OSB can be fully recycled, thereby being considered eco-friendly.