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Wood: The Latest Architecture and News

Prioritizing Comfort in Interiors: Nature-inspired Floors Made of Wood and Cork

Greatly driven by the Covid-19 pandemic, interior design trends that prioritize comfort and well-being have become more prominent than ever in recent years. With former confinement restrictions and the rise of hybrid work, the amount of time spent indoors to carry out daily functions has risen drastically, forcing many to adapt their living spaces accordingly. As a result, demand has focused on residential interiors that foster calmness, peace and warmth, as well as on products and design elements that successfully meet these new needs. But how to achieve this? While there are many ways to promote comfort inside the home, one method has been indisputably proven to be the most successful: bringing nature in.

OSB Panels in Interiors: From a Humble Material to a Design Feature

From its outer skin to its structural framing system, a building is made out of many layers. Just like a human body, many of those layers – which tend to be the most crucial, functional components – remain unseen by the public, covered with aesthetic features. Among all the hidden elements, all buildings include sheathing, the outer casing that construction crews place to serve several key purposes: protect the floor, walls, roofs and ceilings, fortify the structure against internal and external forces, and cover the entire framework, giving the building a solid shape.

Wood is the most common material for sheathing, with Oriented strand board (OSB) panels usually being the top choice. Why? Made by compressing and gluing cross-oriented strands of wood together with heat-cured adhesives, OSB boards are lightweight, flexible, strong, versatile and fully recyclable. They also stand out by resisting deflection, warping and distortion, apart from offering some thermal and acoustic insulation. However, besides their good performance and mechanical properties, OSB is especially known for being cheaper than other alternatives, drastically saving both costs and time. In fact, this structural panel can be $3 to $5 less expensive than plywood, which explains why it is often considered its low-cost substitute.

Solid Wood Furniture in Interior Architecture

Plywood, laminated timber, MDF sheets and OSB boards are all good, can be economically viable and efficiently fulfill certain functions, but none of them offer the same atmosphere as solid wood. The nobility of this material is usually accompanied by a high cost, but the aesthetic and sensory qualities are unparalleled.

Below, we have gathered examples of projects that use solid wood in furniture elements. Tables and chairs, beds and cabinets made with wood of different species, new or from demolition, refined or rustic, with different textures and colors that can serve as inspiration for your architectural or interior design.

Apartamento Faria Lima / Pietro Terlizzi Arquitetura. Foto © Guilherme PucciApartamento Topázio / Sabiá Arquitetos. Foto © Pedro VannucchiApartamento Perdizes / Pietro Terlizzi Arquitetura. Foto © Guilherme PucciCasa Ibiúna / Estúdio Penha. Foto © Fran Parente+ 15

Houses in the Forest: Examples That Dialogue with the Environment in Latin America

What role do forests play in our daily lives? In what ways can they be converted into living spaces? What strategies can be implemented to reduce the environmental impact of our buildings? On the International Day of Forests, which is celebrated every 21st of March, this year we propose to raise awareness of the links between forests and our daily lives. Even though deforestation continues to advance, forests represent a source of great economic, social and ecological benefits.

Structures, Finishing and Frames: All the Ways to Use Timber in a Work

One of the first elements used by humans to build shelters, wood is a versatile material that, along with technological advances, remains a protagonist in the construction industry, being used in different ways and moments in a work.

Biblioteca DCPL Southwest / Perkins and Will. Image © James Steinkamp PhotographyKumu Kanazawa Hotel / Yusuke Seki. Image © Takumi OtaCasa de Madeira / Ultra Architects. Image © Przemysław TurlejCasa NU / Chris Luce. Image © Ana Paula Álvarez+ 9

The Comeback of Curved Design: Materials That Can Bend and Curl

Hongkun Art Gallery / penda. Image © Xia Zhi
Hongkun Art Gallery / penda. Image © Xia Zhi

Take a second to imagine a building or a room. Chances are you are envisioning flat rectangular surfaces and straight lines. Whether it be walls, beams or windows, most architectural elements come in standard and extremely practical orthogonal shapes. However, the pandemic has shed light on designs that are not only functional, but also that improve our mood and well-being. In that sense, the power of curved, free-flowing surfaces is unmatched, which explains why they have been making a comeback as a modern design trend. Adopting beautiful nature-inspired shapes, organic curls and bends energize rooms and make users feel good. In fact, neuroscientists have shown that this affection is hard-wired into the brain; in a 2013 study, they found that participants were most likely to consider a space beautiful if it was curvilinear instead of rectilinear. In short, humans love curves.

Varnishes, Stains, Oils, Waxes: What are the Most Suitable Finishes for Wood?

In recent years, much attention has been given to timber constructions. Being a sustainable and renewable material, which captures a huge amount of carbon during its growth, the innovations related to this material have allowed for increasingly higher constructions. However, when we talk about wood we approach an immense variety of species, with different strengths, nuances, potentials, limitations and recommended uses. While there are extremely hard and heavy woods, with strengths comparable to concrete, there are other soft and soft woods that are suitable for other purposes.

© TwilightArtPictures© Kelly Marken© Anyman7205© Taiga+ 8

The Biophilic Response to Wood: Can it Promote the Wellbeing of Building Occupants?

Although the term may seem recent, the concept of biophilia has been used for decades in architecture and design. The guiding principle is quite simple: connect people inside with nature to promote their well-being and quality of life. With all the ongoing design trends that have consolidated as a result, the demand has focused on organic materials that emulate outdoor environments. Among all the options, wood is one of the most popular materials to bring nature indoors, not only because of its functionality, but also due to its multiple physiological and psychological benefits.

10 Iconic Buildings that Changed Our Perception of Raw Materials

The history of architecture shows that the use of raw materials has always been somewhat common, whether in ancient vernacular techniques or within the Brutalist movement, to name a few. It is evident that the language of a project is often linked to its material, as various sensations and the perception of space are directed by the aesthetic and physical quality of the given element. For this reason, we have gathered ten buildings that highlight the quality of their materials, whether to make a statement, reinterpret a technique from the past, or to re-signify the potency of some of these elements.

Using BIM to Deliver Low-Carbon Wood Buildings

In the original design for the Sydney Opera House, Jørn Utzon envisioned the shells supported by precast concrete ribs under a reinforced concrete structure, which turned out to be prohibitively expensive. As one of the first projects to use computational calculations, the final solution - reached jointly between the architect and the structural engineer - consisted of a precast ribbed system of concrete shells created from sections of a sphere. At the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, the project team used CATIA software (typically used by the aerospace industry) to model and materialize the complex curvilinear shapes of the titanium-coated volume designed by Frank Gehry. Challenging projects tend to spark the creativity of those involved to make them possible, but there are constructive systems that interact well with existing technologies. This is the case, for example, with engineered wood and the BIM system. When used simultaneously, they usually achieve highly efficient and sustainable projects.

The Sobriety of Untreated Wood Facades: Tips and Inspiring Examples

The moment a tree is cut down and its biological processes are interrupted, it can be said that the deterioration process of wood also begins. Steps such as the correct cutting of the trunk, drying and storage or the precise specification of the best species for each use will determine its durability. Composed basically of cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin, each wood species has a certain natural durability, also influenced by the environmental conditions of where it is inserted, such as temperature, humidity, oxygen content, and the microorganisms and insects present there. Generally, surface treatments are used to increase the protection of different parts, such as varnishes, oils and other chemical processes. But there are situations in which untreated wood can be used outdoors, achieving a gray and sober aesthetic that blends into the exterior and brings personality to the building.

Henning Larsen Reveals one of the Largest Contemporary Wood Structures in Denmark

Henning Larsen and Ramboll have revealed the design of Marmormolen, a large timber building in Copenhagen. The building, which is expected to be one of the largest contemporary wood structures in Denmark, features office, retail, and commercial facilities on the Nordhavn waterfront with a green plaza, rooftop gardens, promenades, and a waterfront park.

© Sora© Sora© Sora© Sora+ 7

The Potential of Bamboo and Mass Timber for the Construction Industry: An Interview with Pablo van der Lugt

© Woodify
© Woodify

Pablo van der Lugt is an architect, author and speaker. His research focuses on the potential of materials such as bamboo and mass timber for the construction sector, and their positive impacts on the world. “Throughout my professional career both in university (including my PhD research on the carbon footprint of engineered bamboo and wood) and industry the past 15 years I have found there are many misconceptions about these materials which hamper their large scale adoption. For this reason I ‘translated’ my research findings into two contemporary books for designers and architects about the potential of bamboo: Booming Bamboo, and engineered timber: Tomorrow’s Timber. They aim to dispel these myths and show the incredible potential of the latest generation of biobased building materials in the required transition to a carbon neutral, healthy and circular built environment.” We recently had the opportunity to talk with him about these topics. Read more below.

Wooden Boards: Differences Between MDF, MDP, Plywood, and OSB

For some years now, wood has received an increasing amount of attention in the construction industry. With concerns raised about sustainability and the carbon footprint of buildings, new construction methods and innovative possibilities in the use of timber have developed rapidly. This interest in wood stems in part from its renewability, though this benefit is contingent on sustainable logging and the appropriate management of forests to be allowed to regenerate naturally. However, it is the versatility of wood that serves as the primary impetus for its widespread use. From boards, to beams, to floors, and even to thermal and acoustic tiles and insulators, wood can be used in several different stages of a single project and with different degrees of processing and finishing.

OSB. Image © ArchDailyCompensado. Image © ArchDailyAglomerado. Image © ArchDailyMDF. Image © ArchDaily+ 26

A New Alternative in Interior Design: Two High-Quality Products on One Wood-Based Chipboard

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EGGER PerfectSense Feelwood lacquered board. Image Courtesy of EGGER
EGGER PerfectSense Feelwood lacquered board. Image Courtesy of EGGER

The use of organic and natural materials, as well as products that successfully emulate them, has been a strong ongoing trend that continues to gain popularity in interior design. Especially in the past year, where confinement restrictions have heavily influenced the amount of time people spend in their homes, the industry has experienced an increased demand for products capable of bringing nature and visual comfort indoors – whether it be in the form of furniture or other decorative elements. It is, without a doubt, a design movement that is here to stay.

However, besides the interest in nature inspired objects, architects’ and designers’ primary consideration when selecting a material is often its quality, resistance, and maintenance needs. It is, therefore, ideal to combine a natural look with functionality when creating a user-friendly indoor environment. With that in mind, wood-based materials manufacturer EGGER has expanded its lacquer portfolio to develop a new line that unites an organic look with other beneficial properties.