Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Use of Wood and Timber

By Michael Young

While reading the excerpt Rappel À L’ordre, The Case For the Tectonic by Kenneth Frampton I noticed how he described architecture as a form of art. According the Frampton, tectonics plays an important role along with the method of construction in architecture. The word “tectonics” in Sanskirt means “taksan” referring to an ax or carpenter. Frampton also discusses the use of heavy timber frame wall, which derived from the “primitive hut.”
I choose to find an excerpt that discussed the history, the change, and the use of timber over the decades. The book Construction + Materiality written by Lorraine Farrelly gives very good insight to the construction methods of wood timber. Timber is multipurpose building material. Farrelly explains, “It’s possible to design and construct a building entirely of timber, from its frame and wall coverings to the roof. In addition to its versatility, timber is the ultimate sustainable material.” Timber offers aesthetic advantages compared to other building materials. Over time the timber can weather and add to the design scheme. The use of wood and timber over the past centuries has changed tremendously. For example, in 5000 B.C. farmers introduced the style of Neolithic constructed by timber. The form was derived from the shape of Viking ships. It is highly possible the craftsmen worked on both houses and boats.  Farrelly states, “In much contemporary architecture the use of timber has become increasingly appropriate as the building industry responds to the sustainable sourcing and application of materials debate.” The innovation over time allows us to do some pretty remarkable stuff today with timber such as: simply using timber for a decorative effect, curved timber, and parametric structures. Many applications of timber can be used in the design and construction of a building. When creating the structural frame, a nice aesthetic way to use timber is by showing the exposed structural system. To strengthen the structure engineering timber can be used.  The roof frame will consist of several elements such as: trusses, beams, joists, and purlins. In the excerpt was a case study by Glenn Howells Architects and the design of The Savill Building. This building stood out to me because of the aesthetic of how they shaped the wood. The building serves as a visitor center for Windsor’s Great Park. The design of this roof structure was to draw the eye upward upon entering, which creates the vision to look over the internal facilities.
Exterior Perspective of Savill Building

Interior Perspective of roof in Savill Building

Frampton, K. Rappel À L'ordre, The Case For the Tectonic. 1-7
Farrelly, Lorraine. Basics Architecture. “Construction + Materiality”
Vol. 2, 68-97

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