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Wood: The Latest Architecture and News

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

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.

Taking Comfort Anywhere: A Conversation About Mobile Saunas

Saunas are inseparable from the culture of Nordic countries and they are increasing in popularity as a result of their many physical and mental health benefits. Their projects are usually quite archetypal, combining efficiency and sobriety.

We spoke with Jakob Gate, co-founder of Native Narrative & Scandinavian Sauna, who has been developing sauna projects that combine the flexibility of being transported anywhere, with the expertise and tradition of Scandinavian design. They work without electricity, heated by wood, while LED lighting is provided by a rechargeable battery. Learn more in the following interview:

Richmond Firehall No.2 / HCMA

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Richmond, Canada

First Peoples House / Formline Architecture + Urbanism

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Vancouver, Canada

Houses in Costa Rica: Creating Shelter, Ventilation, and Shade Using Wood and Metal

"Here in the tropics, shade is the prime air conditioner and, unlike the stove, it can be created everywhere," says Bruno Stagno about architecture for the tropics. In this sense, how has Costa Rica been "building" it's shade over the years?

Wood Innovation Design Centre / Michael Green Architecture

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Building Houses With Giant Blocks: U-Build and the Future of Self-Construction

It is difficult to find someone who never played LEGO as a child. What if, like LEGO's, we thought of buildings as great assembling games? U-Build is a modular wooden construction system developed by Studio Bark to be easy to build, pleasant to inhabit, and simple to deconstruct at the end of its useful life. The system removes many of the difficulties associated with traditional construction, enabling individuals and communities to build their own homes and buildings. The system uses precision CNC machining to create a kit of parts, allowing the structure of the building to be assembled by people with limited skills and experience, using only simple hand tools.

House Maza / CHK arquitectura

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Valle de Bravo, Mexico
  • Architects: CHK arquitectura
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  489
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2012
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    Manufacturers:  Hansgrohe, Cemex, Comex, Cristalum, IUSA

"I Want My Places to Come Alive": In conversation with Brian Mac

American architect Brian Mac grew up near Detroit. He graduated from the Architecture School at the University of Detroit in 1988 and for the next five years worked for a preservationist firm, Quinn Evans Architects in Ann Arbor. There he learned to love historic architectural detailing, and, while working at the firm, in 1992, became a licensed architect. Then followed a short period of disillusion with the profession and moving to Ohio to work in a residential treatment center for adolescent felony offenders.

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Local Techniques in Big Cities: Beyond Earth and Bamboo

Vernacular techniques and local materials are becoming more and more relevant in architecture, but is it possible to bring these concepts to large urban areas?

In 1984, the Amazonian architect Severiano Porto had already pointed out the need to make architecture more connected to its location. Using local materials and techniques is becoming more important each day, considering the impacts of the commodity chain of building construction on the planet. Not surprisingly, the number of projects that use this approach is growing every day, as Severiano has already mentioned in his work since the 1980s.

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4 Projects That Show Mass Timber is the Future of American Cities

As architects face up to the need for ethical, sustainable design in the age of climate change awareness, timber architecture is making a comeback in a new, technologically impressive way. Largely overlooked in the age of Modernism, recent years have seen a plethora of advancements related to mass timber across the world. This year alone, Japan announced plans for a supertall wooden skyscraper in Tokyo by 2041, while the European continent has seen plans for the world’s largest timber building in the Netherlands, and the world’s tallest timber tower in Norway.

The potential for mass timber to become the dominant material of future sustainable cities has also gained traction in the United States throughout 2018. Evolving codes and the increasing availability of mass timber is inspiring firms, universities, and state legislators to research and invest in ambitious projects across the country.

Towards a Sustainable Future: Local Materials and Methods in Contemporary Chinese Architecture

Over the course of the last decade there has been a growing interest in the handcrafted buildings, as well as in the application of local and renewable materials in building construction. Under the concerns about the heavy environmental and economic expenses caused by construction, nowadays urban planners are embracing the concept of sustainability, which refers to “meeting our own needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”.

Using Wood Outdoors Without Worrying About Fire Hazards

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Wood is an extremely versatile material. It allows for the construction of robust and strong structures, while it can also be used as the raw material for delicate objects such as musical instruments. Understanding all its particularities, properties, and behavior is a journey of knowledge that could take a lifetime. Basically, wood is made up of cellulose, hemicellulose, lignin, and mineral elements, and each species has its own unique characteristics. The history of Stradivarius violins, for example, is interesting to mention: they are still worth fortunes and experts argue that luthiers have never been able to replicate their timbre on newer instruments. Researchers point out that the differentiated sound is due to the wood in the body and arm, which went through a submersion process with a mineral solution that increased the decomposition of hemicellulose. The treatment made the wood absorb less moisture, making the sound brighter and more pleasant.

This shows how complex it is to work with a living material like wood. It can swell or shrink depending on weather conditions, how the tree grew or was cut down, etc. And, varying between wet and dry states, it can end up rotting. Such factors must be understood when we work with a natural material, but it can also be a nuisance when we look for the aesthetic appearance of wood while lacking technical precision and maintenance capabilities.

Mass Timber Seizes its Moment: The LEVER Architecture Experience

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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.

Digital Woodworking: Creating Structures, Furniture, and Surfaces Using CNC

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The automation of architectural design and rendering has been further accelerated by digital production tools. Tools such as 3D printers, assembly robots, and laser cutters, have all but perfected the design and construction process and have proven essential in optimizing resources, improving precision, and increasing control of the process.

In woodworking, the most frequently used digital production tools are milling machines or CNC (computer numerical control) routers. These tools facilitate the rendering of 2D vectoral drawings and 3D models, codifying them into instructions for the machine to follow and execute. Through this process, which starts with digital archives (typically created using design software widely known as AutoCad), milling machines and CNC routers can rapidly and precisely cut wood, producing ready to assemble pieces.

The Continuous Wood Ceilings Trend: Warmth and Texture Indoors and Outdoors

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Many practitioners and theorists of modern architecture favored large open plans, looming glass windows, and through both of these means, an unencumbered connection to nature. To do so, many iconic modernist buildings would use cantilevered roofs extending over glass curtainwalls, including Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House and Pierre Koenig’s Case Study House #22. In the years since this trend was popularized, however, a seemingly niche yet cumbersome problem would present itself: the problem of continuous wood ceilings.

What's the Difference Between Carpentry and Joinery?

Wood is one of the most versatile materials used in construction nowadays and can be used for many different purposes, from beginning to end of the building process. Working with wood in a building requires specific skills that are very different from the skills of a bricklayer. Carpentry and joinery are the two main trades that handle wood in architecture and construction.

There is a fine line between the two, and people are often confused about which professional is the best suited for a particular job. This article will address the difference between the two practices to help you choose which one is best for your project.

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