Four Corners reimagines the timber bent as a three-dimensional construct, unfolding through space and developing unexpected forms and relationships. Using cross-laminated timber (CLT) in conjunction with the gable-ended form, it forges a new archetype of space and structure for a transformed technology. Rather than reproduce the gabled bent, which with CLT would produce a weak form, a series of structurally rigid corners of complementary proportion are cut from a barn-shaped primitive and reassembled into a cantilevering column-assemblage. Through recombination, arraying, and stacking, a varied and unexpected labyrinth arises.
Where the traditional bent-and-gable construction was characterized by a clearly contained form and an inward spatiality, the space of Four Corners is centrifugal and open to its context. The barn-form’s center is voided and the space is turned inside out. While at moments the gable is recognizable, fully assembled the project is understandable not as an object but as a broader field of structurally interdependent bents cascading in a series of improvised juxtapositions. The resulting typology is a porous mat of rooms, corridors, and courtyards concatenating one onto the next in a spatial sequence that expresses itself through exploration: one corridor may lead to a courtyard with a video installation, another to a passing view of the city outside. In the end, the project proposes a confrontation between a fragmented artifact–overloaded with social significance–and its reassembly into an abstract spatial and structural order.
Ultramoderne / Yasmin Vobis and Aaron Forrest
Ultramoderne is a collaboration between Yasmin Vobis and Aaron Forrest operating between the fields of art and architecture through the use of new and old media. Yasmin Vobis received her Masters of Architecture from Princeton University in 2009, where she received the Suzanne Kolarik Underwood Prize and the Butler Traveling Fellowship. Aaron Forrest received his Masters from Princeton University in 2008 and was awarded the Butler Traveling Fellowship. He currently teaches at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design. Vobis and Forrest have collaborated extensively in design and writing since 2007.
The Coopered Column proposal postulates that large scale structural columns in future tall wooden buildings could be designed to provide unique spatial and sculptural architectural effects.
The Coopered Column derives its name from a wooden barrel construction technique, where outward thrusting members are held in compression by a circular metal tension band in tension. The wood members and the metal band, working together, establish force couple that holds the barrel together and resists the hydrostatic pressure created by the weight of the whiskey within.
In it’s architectural application, the coopered bands are optimally located at an enlarged midsection of a column whose diameter has been expanded to resist buckling stress created by the weight of a tall building. This installation manipulates the relationship between timber and cooper to create a sculptural artifact. Circular metal bands are rotated in 3 dimensions and lofted between by 162 uniquely profiled Glulam members.
Tim Olson is a designer at Benson Woodworking Company in Walpole, NH. Tim received a Master of Architecture from Massachusetts institute of Technology in 2011. He has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Alfred University. Tim has worked in higher education at the Catholic University of America School of Architecture and Planning as a furniture design instructor and as a manager for the wood-shop and CAD CAM facilities. He has pursued numerous custom furniture design and fabrication commissions in addition to working as a sculptor on large scale public art projects. Tim currently lives in Lebanon NH with his wife Amy and 2 year old son Max.
Duck-Work combines 2 construction tools from New England’s wood based building tradition: spline weights (ducks) and form ties. Ducks are used to draft curved timber elements in shipbuilding and form ties hold plywood formwork together when pouring vertical concrete elements. Both hold a surface in place by positioning themselves perpendicularly to it. Using this strategy, Duck-Work reconstructs the ubiquitous wooden floor to form a new ground for the gallery.
This floor is a curved double-sided formwork structure that uses offset surfaces built of plywood sheets held together by a grid of steel connectors. There are 4 surfaces total. Each has a unique grid that the connectors are positioned perpendicularly to. Shifts in the projected grids allow the connections to curve and shape the surfaces. By staggering the top and bottom seams the surfaces hold each other together to become continuous.
Moving from one side of the gallery to the other, the structure opens from a 4-layer composite surface to two independent 2-layer surfaces creating three spatial conditions: open slope, enclosed pocket, and passageway.
Sean Gaffney and Christina Nguyen
Sean and Christina are recent graduates of Cooper Union and Columbia University and hail from Canada and Florida respectively. Both are currently working in New York. They are interested in abstracting elements from the landscape and turning them into architectural reconstructions.
M2X3 is derived from the Roman numeral marriage marks scribed in corresponding pieces of lumber centuries ago during traditional New England timber-frame assembly. MMXXX (2030) is the year the world’s population will shift to majority urban dwellers. Recognizing New England’s traditional wood-building vernacular while exploring the potential of contemporary engineered lumber, M2X3 seeks to craft a new tectonic system of wood joinery for application in urban midrise construction.
Contemporary engineered lumber reduces a massive material into thin sheets, or particles, and reassembles the pieces, gaining additional strength while using less material. However, the end product is similar in form and assemblage to traditional timber framing methods. That is, members are joined via passing connections, bolts or pegs, and joints.
M2X3 replaces these joinery techniques with a laminated veneer system which merges structure and surface, taking advantage of the material qualities of multiple thin layers of wood. Components are modulated through a series of 5° bends which can combine in various configurations resulting in undulating systems reacting to site and climate constraints or opportunities. The M2X3 is a progressive tectonic system that will excite people about the next century of New England timber construction.
Gen Y Design Collaborative / Jeffery Lee, Christopher Taurasi and Lexi White
Lee, Taurasi and White are graduate students at The Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis. Together they have found a shared interest in experimenting with materials to create social environments that are innovative, adaptable and responsive to existing contexts. The group embraces traditional methods of practice along with emerging technologies to explore the limits of architecture.