Posts tagged with "Timber":

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A twisting treehouse by modus studio blooms above the forest floor

Following a soft opening last June, Modus Studio’s hovering Tree House has been captured amid its fully-installed landscape in the firm’s native Arkansas. Tree House sits above the Garvan Woodland Gardens, a 210-acre botanical garden owned by the University of Arkansas—frequent Modus collaborators. Rather than sitting at the base of the oak and pine trees found in the Evans Children’s Adventure Garden, Tree House has been elevated to the top of the forest, allowing for expansive views of the canopy. The L-shaped treehouse snakes through the trees, ballooning from a child-sized opening at one end to a two-story observation area, capped with a steel screen, fabricated in-house by Modus, that mimics leaflike capillaries. Other than its biomorphic shape, the treehouse is strongly defined by its central steel spine and 113 timber ribs, which were sourced from local Southern Yellow Pine. The fins simultaneously allow the elements to pass through the treehouse while potentially obscuring the forest and adding a sense of mystery for the occupants. The first of three planned treehouses, the structure was envisioned as a refuge for children to explore the outdoors while learning about nature. Everything from the infrastructure, to the programming, to the intricate finishes, reference dendrology, the study of trees. Visitors can access the treehouse either from an elevated trail or directly from a staircase at the forest’s floor. The Fayetteville-based modus, an Emerging Voices 2018 winner, cited its deep ties to Arkansas’s rural landscape in designing Tree House and were directly involved in every step of the project's process.
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3XN reveals North America’s tallest timber office tower for Toronto

Danish studio 3XN has revealed renderings of its latest addition to the Toronto waterfront, a 10-story timber office tower. Once complete, T3 Bayside will be not only the third 3XN tower to spring up in Bayside but also the tallest timber office building in all of North America. The 138-foot-tall office building is being developed by the international firm Hines and will provide office space for the 2,000-acre Bayside redevelopment (not to be confused with Sidewalk Labs’ nearby “Quayside” project). T3 Bayside, and its adjoining plaza, will join 3XN’s two nearby residential towers, and according to the developer, the development is expected to cement Bayside’s status as a live-work neighborhood. Using cross-laminated timber (CLT) for the tower’s frame allowed 3XN to reduce both projected construction costs as well as the building’s embodied energy. The structural timber will be left exposed inside, creating a warm interior that, according to 3XN, will also regulate the indoor humidity as the wood absorbs and releases moisture. 3XN has wrapped the building in vertically-oriented exterior louvers, that are partially interrupted to create a stair-like pattern of terraces across the facade—a design flourish that’s becoming increasingly common among office buildings. T3 Bayside is expected to welcome up to 3,000 tenants across a variety of coworking and community spaces, and flexibility was a major design driver. Double-height adjustable spaces that directly connect to the lobby, event and community spaces, more traditional offices, and communal “social” zones will all be mixed. From the renderings, it appears that T3 Bayside will also integrate parking on its second floor. A new plaza at the tower’s base will connect cafes, lobbies, exhibition and gallery spaces, and retail at T3 Bayside’s base with the larger Bayside development. 3XN hopes that by activating the ground-level, the design can lead visitors to the waterfront promenade along Lake Ontario. No estimated completion date or budget for the project have been released as of yet.
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Kengo Kuma dangles a timber cabin for a Swiss writers’ residency

Tucked at the base of the Jura Mountains in Switzerland lies the Jan Michalski Foundation, a place where international writers can complete their residencies with sweeping views of the Alps. Residents are invited to live out their visits, which can last anywhere from two weeks to six months, underneath a concrete canopy, where nine “treehouses” are suspended around the Foundation’s central buildings. That includes the recently completed “Suspended Forest” by Kengo Kuma, a polygonal hanging family house that focuses on timber both inside and out. The programming is linear and continuous, and Kengo Kuma & Associates describes the design philosophy behind the building as cocoon-like and enveloping. Residents can walk straight from the main entrance through the living area and out onto the floating balcony. That linearity necessitated the triangulated steel exterior that gives Suspended Forest its distinctive shape, and gives the cabin extra strength and rigidity. For waterproofing and soundproofing, the exterior of the house was clad in white steel plates, which were then topped with untreated timber shingles. As the shingles are exposed to the elements, they will change color to create nuance along the facade. Every shingle was hand-cut from local wood, with smaller oak and larger larch shingles arranged in a random pattern to make the facade seem more organic and dynamic. A series of non-aligned windows seem to “float” between the shingles evoking glimpses of shapes caught through a forest. Inside, larch plywood panels were used to wrap the walls and floor to create a space that is the “inverse” of the cabin’s exterior. While the shingles follow the structure’s form, the plywood instead expands in relation to the program. Skylights have also been punched in the cabin’s roof to lighten up the live-work area within. Kuma’s addition to the hanging “campus” marks a departure from the previously-built cabins that adhered to boxier, multi-story forms and curated midcentury modern-style interiors. A heavy use of timber and expansive views of the natural landscape are prevalent throughout each cabin. Kuma isn’t the only big name to build for the Jan Michalski Foundation. Pritzker Prize–winner Alejandro Aravena was responsible for the Elemental treehouse, a glass cube that floats atop a hanging concrete slab. Rather than being a workspace for residents, the Elemental treehouse is a cabin where writers and Foundation staff can cook and share meals. Granite floors, a common kitchen, dining table, and a living room area lend the cabin a more communal feel. Six of the resident cabins look out over Lake Geneva, while a seventh, a simple white cabin designed by the Swiss studio Décosterd, faces the Jura mountains. The Décosterd treehouse is clad in white, perforated steel panels that spell out in Morse code: “In addition to simplicity, nudity,” a Henry David Thoreau quote from Walden or, Life in the Woods. The Elemental cabin was the eighth treehouse in the complex, and now that Suspended Forest is complete, the total is up to nine. That isn’t the end of the Foundation’s expansion plans, as the group has mapped out multi-year expansion goals that include multiple new cabins.
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North America’s tallest timber tower wins city support in Milwaukee

The tall timber arms race is heating up. On January 22, the Milwaukee City Council's City Plan Commission unanimously recommended that a requested rezoning at 700 East Kilbourn Avenue move ahead, clearing the first hurdle for the Korb & Associates Architects–designed, 21-story mass timber tower. The mixed-use Ascent’s first five stories would rise on cast-in-place concrete, with up to 8,100 square feet of ground-floor retail and four stories of enclosed parking above that. The remaining 15 stories would contain 205 rental units and be built from mass timber fastened with steel connectors. Korb & Associates plan on leaving the wooden elements exposed as an interior finish wherever possible. The 238-foot-tall tower is being developed by New Land Enterprises, which has partnered with Korb & Associates on a number of projects across Milwaukee previously. According to Urban Milwaukee, the developer hopes to break ground on the Ascent this year, assuming the rest of the approvals process continues apace. The rezoning for the site still needs approval from the city’s Common Council’s Zoning, Neighborhoods & Development Committee. If Ascent’s design remains unchanged, it will slightly edge out Shigeru Ban’s 232-foot-tall hybrid timber Terrace House in Vancouver for the title of North America’s tallest timber building. According to partner and project architect Jason Korb, Ascent’s prefabricated timber components means that the top 16 floors can be installed in only four months. In a fire, the mass timber used for the structural elements will only char, not burn through, and Korb told Urban Milwaukee that, “The entire wood structure, and this would never happen, could burn down and the cores would be left standing.” Mass timber construction has been making slow progress in the United States compared to the rest of the world, but that may be about to change. The International Code Council, from which many state and local municipalities derive their building codes, recently embraced tall timber after two years of testing. With the new code adjustments in place, tall timber in the U.S. will only continue to rise.
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Herzog & de Meuron reveals revamped Vancouver Art Gallery

Herzog & de Meuron has finalized the design of the 300,000-square-foot Vancouver Art Gallery and has released new renderings of the top-heavy timber building. The $350 million arts complex in Vancouver, Canada, also has a new name. After a $40 million private donation from the Chan family on January 23, the Vancouver Art Gallery (the organization responsible for the building’s programming) announced that the building would be renamed the Chan Centre for the Visual Arts. The gift is the largest single private donation in the history of British Columbia and has brought the amount raised for the building to $85 million. That marks an important figure as the provincial government has pledged that it would donate $50 million if the Vancouver Art Gallery were able to raise $100 million in private funds. The newly-revealed design for the Chan Centre presents an airy update to the scheme that was initially presented in 2015. Herzog & de Meuron has kept the stacked, seven-story massing, but replaced the opaque timber facade with fluted glass screens that are supposed to resemble stacked logs. The building rises from a narrow footprint to cut down on its impact on the street and create a covered open-air courtyard at ground level. The arts center expands as it rises, creating covered areas protected from the summer sun and winter rain and snow. It appears that Herzog & de Meuron has leaned more heavily into timber than in the original scheme, using wood for a majority of the interior finishes, columns, and supportive elements. Once complete, the center will hold classrooms, 85,000 square feet of gallery spaces, a theater, reading rooms, shops, and restaurants. Even the building’s location is hub-like; it lies at the intersection of the Downtown Vancouver, East Vancouver, Chinatown, Yaletown, and Gastown neighborhoods. “The project for the new Vancouver Art Gallery has a civic dimension that can contribute to the life and identity of the city,” said senior Herzog & de Meuron partner Christine Binswanger, “in which many artists of international reputation live and work. The building now combines two materials, wood and glass, both inseparable from the history and making of the city. We developed a facade out of glass logs which is pure, soft, light, establishing a unique relation to covered wooden terraces all around the building.” Fundraising is ongoing, with the Vancouver Art Gallery looking to raise $300 million for the building’s construction and $50 million to establish an endowment. If all goes as planned, construction is expected to start either late this year or in early 2020, with an opening planned for some time in 2023. Perkins+Will Vancouver is the project’s executive architects.
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Six U.S. manufacturers pioneering laminated wood

CLT, GLT, NLT, DLT, and all the other LTs: You’ll find our favorite laminated timbers made by U.S.-based manufacturers and suppliers below. You’re welcome!

CrossLam CLT Structurlam

Significantly lighter than the usual alternative, concrete, CrossLam CLT is made by layering panels of timber in two directions into a strong building solution for flooring, walls, roofs, and cores. Made with wood sourced from sustainably managed forests, StructurLam’s CLT is carbon negative. Alongside its reduced carbon footprint, its durable, easy-to-assemble system makes it ideal for public and commercial buildings, schools, healthcare facilities, and multifamily housing.

TerraLam CLT Sterling

Sterling’s CLT mats, made of renewable southern yellow pine, rely on a cross-grain technology that allows them to be durable and strong. They are made in three- and five-ply construction, which makes them lighter and stronger than mass timber alternatives. TerraLam is available in three sizes: 300 (8 feet by 14 feet), 504 (4 feet by 16 feet), and 508 (8 feet by 16 feet).

Douglas Fir Glulam Beams Western Structures, Inc.

Western Structures fashions Douglas fir glulam beams by gluing panels of lumber together to make extraordinarily deep proportions. Ranging from 3 inches to 60 inches deep, with widths of up to 17 inches, these beams are ideal for a variety of projects.

Plywood CDX Panels Freres Lumber Co.

Touch-sanded in Lyons, Oregon, these plywood veneers are glued to form a range of plywood panels available in a variety of sizes: 5/16 inch 3-ply, 3/8 inch 3-ply, 15/32 inch 4-ply and 5-ply, 19/32 inch 4-ply and 5-ply, 23/32 inch 5-ply, and 1 1/8 inch 7-ply. Certified by the APA, the panels meet the U.S. Product Standard PS 1-95.

CLT Panels and Glulam Beams DR Johnson Wood Innovations

Manufactured in a factory in Riddle, Oregon, these CLT panels are made of Douglas fir in 3-inch and 6-inch panels. Meanwhile, the Riddle laminators fabricate and glue structural glulam beams made of both Douglas fir and Alaskan Yellow Cedar at the same facilities.

DowelLam DLT StructureCraft

This all-wood mass timber Dowel Laminated panel system is incredibly versatile and offered with five different profiles: kerf, chamfered edge, square edge, fluted, and acoustic. Fully customizable, each format allows for a range of benefits, including sound absorption, aesthetic considerations, and structural performance.

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Explore these maps of North America’s blooming timber industry

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This article originally appeared as part of our January 2019 print issue in the timber feature. The timber industry has long thrived on its small-scale, local nature due to the sourcing of its materials as well as the limits on project size set by the building code. With this has come a good deal of fragmentation and disorganization, so we decided to map out the different schools, organizations, and manufacturers that are leading the way in the research and development of mass timber across the United States and Canada.
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Seven wood surfaces to “spruce up” any room

From carbon-zero hardwood to pine designed by Kengo Kuma, these interior surfaces bring you the best in new wood surfacing.

Burn Rustic Solid Pine - Vertical Collection Havwoods International Designed as interior cladding for walls and ceilings, Havwoods’ Vertical Collection of reclaimed solid pine planks and panels were milled to produce a seamless, interlocking system. Now available in an almost-obsidian hue, the new stain adds an air of darkness in both diagonal and straight configurations.

Futura Sound Fractal Wall Panels Plyboo

Futura Sound by Smith & Fong is a modular system of acoustic bamboo panels featuring geometric motifs that, when combined, diffuse sound. Plyboo offers the collection in a handful of charming monotone hues, from soft maple to warm birch to gray ash.

Coco Palm Plywood and Veneer Durapalm

Characterized by deep, rich mahogany tones and gritty, natural graining, these planks made from coconut palm trees are perfect for both commercial and residential applications. From somber gray to aggressive beige, Durapalm offers a variety of colors in plywood and veneer.

Jungle Mix Solid Hardwood Whole Forest

These hardwood planks are actually carbon negative, meaning that the wood Whole Forest sources from Ecuador is from 30 to 50 tropical tree species in a forest that’s kept sustainably intact. Put simply, large amounts of carbon are prevented from being released into the atmosphere through long-term conservation efforts. Available in a range of eclectic finishes, Jungle Mix flooring can be mixed and matched to create completely nontoxic flooring and walling.

Handcrafted Collection Nydree Flooring

Nydree combined marine-grade birch core with an acrylic finish to create real hardwood flooring that is ideal for high traffic areas. Perfect for those buildings that want or already have LEED standard certification, the benzophenone-free lamination actually strengthens the flooring by making it more dent-resistant than standard wood. The Handcrafted Collection is made by hand in both white oak and walnut.

Maritime Pine by Kengo Kuma ALPI

Japanese architect Kengo Kuma teamed up with Italian wood veneer manufacturer ALPI on a collection that emulates the ruggedness of pine native to the Mediterranean. Accentuated with deep cracks and “natural” irregularities in the veining, the bark design looks like it has a life force of its own.

Aromatic Cedar Columbia Forest Products

Bye-bye pests and mildew! Cedar protects kitchens, pantries, basements, and indoor spaces alike from odors with its inherent natural properties (especially its scent). Columbia Forest Products ¼-inch-by-4-feet-by-8-feet aromatic cedar plywood panels are offered in both mirrored and symmetrical styles.

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California launches statewide Mass Timber Building Competition

Timber construction is on a roll, whether it be in Olympic stadiums or high-rise residences. Codes are changing as more municipalities embrace mass timber and the industry shifts away from concrete. Not to be left out, California is holding a Mass Timber Building Competition. The California Government Operations Agency (GovOps) is hosting the competition, and WoodWorks – Wood Products Council, an organization that offers free guidance for designers using timber, will be administering the program. As GovOps notes, California is one of the largest consumers of engineered wood products in the country, but almost none of it is harvested or produced in the state. At a time when the buildup of forest density in California has contributed to an ever-worsening fire season already acerbated by climate change, GovOps is pitching this competition as a chance to kill two birds with one stone. Interested parties in California—including real estate developers, designers, institutions, and other organizations—have until March 18, 2019, to submit a proposal. GovOps is going big and is only accepting proposals for multistory, 10,000-square-foot-plus mixed-use, commercial, industrial, institutional, or multi-unit housing projects. Preference will be given to projects over 100,000 square feet that clear six stories. A full list the competition guidelines are available here, and it looks like proposals will be evaluated on cost as well as “narrative” in an attempt to create thoughtful applications of timber. WoodWorks will also be available to offer guidance to entrants on both feasibility as well as design. The two (or possibly more) winning teams will split a $500,000 grant to continue their research into developing repeatable, sustainable, and affordable timber construction.
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These low-maintenance decking options can weather the most extreme climates

From recycled composite boards to raw timber panels, these wooden decking solutions are strong and made to last.

Mahogany Wood Tiles Bison Innovative Products Bison’s Mahogany Wood Tiles are fashioned from hardwood sourced from government-regulated plantations in the Fiji Islands and are FSC-certified. After being harvested, the tiles are manufactured in Vietnam, where, if desired, they can be stained to match existing interior flooring or a particular color. Exterior Cladding Richlite Hold on to your hats, but we have big news—Richlite is actually made from 100 percent recycled, resin-infused paper! Richlite manufactures skatepark ramps, musical instruments, and exterior cladding and decking from the same material. Incredibly durable, Richlite is similar to hardwood with a densely layered composition that is both water- and fire-resistant.
ExoTile Wood Deck Tiles Nova Formed using nine 3-inch-by-1-inch boards of matching hardwood, Nova’s 24-inch-by-24-inch tiles are offered in Batu and Ipe wood. Each tile is secured with a clip system that prevents sagging. Both wood species are perfect for residential or commercial applications. Black Locust Hardwoods of Wisconsin Ideal for patios and outdoor areas alike, Black Locust makes for a permeable paver with a raised-joint interlocking system that allows water to slip through and drain away. Left unstained, it will last up to 100 years and develop a naturally occurring silvery gray patina.
Black Walnut Robi Decking Robi’s Black Walnut Decking is characterized by gritty wood grains that cause naturally occurring contrasts in color. It is available unfinished for a raw look and oiled to achieve a more polished appearance. Skyline Series Sylvanix Outdoor Products Made from recycled plastic and wood, Sylvanix’s composite decking lasts longer than traditional lumber. Each plank features two patterns, natural wood grain on one side and a line motif carved into the other. The Skyline Series is available in two neutral colors: teak and graphite.
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International Code Council moves to embrace taller mass timber buildings

This article originally appeared as part of our January 2019 print issue in the timber feature. After over two years of testing and several rounds of deliberation, the International Code Council (ICC) has settled on a batch of modest code changes that will embrace tall timber buildings in the United States. The changes are due to take effect in 2021, after approval from ICC’s Ad Hoc Committee on Tall Wood Buildings (TWB) in December 2018. The 18-member TWB group is made up of fire, concrete, steel, gypsum, and wood specialists as well as architects, engineers, and code officials from around the country who have been working to craft the new codes and prove that tall wood structures can be built safely. Current regulations allow mass timber construction for only six-story structures and under, although a handful of taller mass timber buildings have been built internationally, including the 18-story Brock Commons Tallwood House in Vancouver, Canada, among others. The officials conducted research and performed multiple fire tests—including controlled burns of five two-story CLT structures at the National Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives in Baltimore—to back the safety of their proposed changes. The new regulations, aside from officially defining mass timber construction types and specifying minimum dimensions for timber elements, will also include three additional construction types in the “heavy timber” (Type IV) category—dubbed “IVA,” “IVB,” and “IVC”—that establish building codes for 18-, 12-, and 9-story mass timber buildings, respectively. In 2018, Washington State became took the lead by incorporating tall timber codes into its building codes. Seattle-based architect and mass timber specialist Susan Jones of atelierjones spent two and a half years crafting these new standards with the TWB committee. As an architect who has spent ample time proving the safety of mass timber construction on a project-by-project basis, Jones welcomes the new regulations as a potential jumping-off point that might allow for even taller timber structures in the future. “The codes are solid and very conservative, given the performance the material showed,” Jones said. “But we had to start somewhere.”
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CRÈME proposes floating timber bridge to connect Brooklyn and Queens

Currently the only link between the rapidly developing neighborhoods of Long Island City, Queens, and Greenpoint, Brooklyn, is the Pulaski Bridge, a six-lane drawbridge with a narrow pathway where pedestrians and bikers jostle for space. Brooklyn-based CRÈME/Jun Aizaki Architecture & Design wants to change that by proposing the LongPoint Bridge, a 250-foot-long crossing dedicated to foot and bike traffic.

The bridge is distinguished from its counterparts across the city for its lightweight, floating timber construction. It is anchored on either end by a concrete and steel mast embedded into the waterbed of Newtown Creek (the East River canal that divides Queens and Brooklyn). Glulam beams joined by galvanized steel braces and pins rise in two trussed peaks of armature around the nearly 50-foot-tall masts. The structure is a nod to the area’s industrial past and present while also referencing the iconic profiles of other bridges in the city. Its height above the canal allows smaller vessels to pass underneath, but for larger boats, the bridge pivots open in the middle, with each section moving on propeller-driven pontoons. This floating feature also allows the bridge to rise and fall with the tides.

According to Jun Aizaki, the firm’s founder and principal, the bridge’s design and timber composition allows it to be assembled off-site and installed quickly and inexpensively; in the long term, it will require only minimal repairs. CRÈME also proposes public parks and loading docks to flank the bridge on both ends, along with a pedestrian crossing over the Long Island Railroad commuter rails just beyond the canal. Together with the timber bridge, the pathway would connect commuters to the G and 7 trains on either side.

With the impending L train shutdown in 2019 and the predicted growth of Long Island City as it hosts Amazon’s HQ2, the timing of a quickly constructed, relatively affordable bridge seems ideal. Aizaki and his team, which includes a community organizer, are busy raising support and funds through meetings with public officials and local community members. For Aizaki, the bridge is intended as “a grassroots, rather than developer-initiated, project,” which he hopes will “be a symbol of something the community can be proud of."