A Wonderful Woodsy Future

I truly see the re-emergence of wood based construction on the stage of Innovative trends to be spectacularly pleasing. Too often the depiction of future architecture is just chalked full of entirely synthetic, concrete and/or steel surfaces and structures. Even with “Utopian” architecture, the built environment lacks engagingness and qualities that promote good well being. Just because over the past couple hundred years’ steel and concrete have become synonymous with prevailing and formidable advance of human progress, doesn’t mean it will always be so.

At least I hope not.

olympic-venue

British Colombia; Olympic Indoor skating rink

Wood construction has been around since the very beginnings of human civilization, and has been a prominent influence on architecture throughout history. It has been around so long that people don’t tend to give it a second thought. However, in recent years designers and other proponents of wood construction have come to rally around sustainability and greener building techniques, and hence Mass Timber Construction has become the new buzz.

giant-glulam-beams

Giant Glulam Beams

I believe this up and coming type of construction, paired with the increasing strength of laminated, glued and other bonded wood composites, has a very strong potential to be the framework of our future urban environments. For one, it has been statistically proven that the aesthetics presence of wood, can noticeably increased well being among people. Also, the overall weight and carbon footprint of a MTC building is considerably less than that of conventional steel or concrete design.  Most importantly though, I believe that this new construction method can be paired with other known wood fabrications of superior strength and hardiness, such as glulam – (An extremely strong and customizable, glue laminated wood component). The combination plus the process of iterative designing has a lot of potential to present beautifully crafted and mindful wood constructs of great cultural, economic, and environmental value.

Nathan Cruz Rak                                                                                                                           – Journal 9

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Grandview Heights Aquatic Center’s Timber Cables

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The Finished Grandview Heights Aquatic Center interior

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