A transparent church in Belgium by Gijs Van Vaerenbergh

Achieving buildings which do not obstruct the view of their surroundings is one of the greatest concerns of any architect and even more so when in natural landscapes. This problem can be solved thanks to the construction of “transparent” walls.

Wood and steel make up a peculiar church erected in a meadow on the outskirts of Limburg (Belgium). Depending on the perspective, the building dissolves, allowing the landscape to be seen through its walls, or turns opaque to pattern the green fields of the Haspengouw region of Belgium with abstract lines.

Reading between lines is the result of the collaboration between architects Pieterjan Gijs and Arnout Van Vaerenbergh, working together on the project under the name Gijs Van Vaerenbergh. For its construction, the project managers used a technique very common in churches in the region, in which horizontal boards are stacked, leaving empty gaps, to achieve transparent walls.

With a height of 10 metres, 100 slim wooden boards assembled with pieces of steel shape this paradigmatic construction which, far from fulfilling the classic functions of this type of building, proposes a reflexion about emptiness and spirituality, as well as achieving a surprising visual effect which seems to defy the laws of physics.

As the architects note, the number of worshippers who attend church is becoming lower and lower, and so here we find a type of building which is falling into disuse, whose future is destined to be empty and abandoned.

The construction makes up part of the Z-OUT initiative, a Z33 House for Contemporary Art project through which various constructions and facilities have been created, distributed among different public spaces of the landscape of the Flemish region over five years.

 

 
Source: http://www.woodlovers.es/post/a-transparent-church-in-belgium-by-gijs-van-vaerenbergh

 

Engineered Wood

Engineered Wood

 

Engineered wood, also called composite wood, man-made wood, or manufactured board; includes a range of derivative wood products which are manufactured by binding or fixing the strands, particles, fibers, or veneers or boards of wood, together with adhesives, or other methods of fixation to form composite materials. These products are engineered to precise design specifications which are tested to meet national or international standards. Engineered wood products are used in a variety of applications, from home construction to commercial buildings to industrial products. The products can be used for joists and beams that replace steel in many building projects.

Typically, engineered wood products are made from the same hardwoods and softwoods used to manufacture lumber. Sawmill scraps and other wood waste can be used for engineered wood composed of wood particles or fibers, but whole logs are usually used for veneers, such as plywood, MDF or particle board. Some engineered wood products, like oriented strand board (OSB), can use trees from the poplar family, a common but non-structural species.

Alternatively, it is also possible to manufacture similar engineered bamboo from bamboo; and similar engineered cellulosic products from other lignin-containing materials such as rye straw, wheat straw, rice straw, hemp stalks, kenaf stalks, or sugar cane residue, in which case they contain no actual wood but rather vegetable fibers.

Flat pack furniture is typically made out of man-made wood due to its low manufacturing costs and its low weight, making it easy to transport.

 

Types of Engineered Wood Products

1. Plywood

wood structural panel, is sometimes called the original engineered wood product. Plywood is manufactured from sheets of cross-laminated veneer and bonded under heat and pressure with durable, moisture-resistant adhesives. By alternating the grain direction of the veneers from layer to layer, or “cross-orienting”, panel strength and stiffness in both directions are maximized. Other structural wood panels include oriented strand board and structural composite panels.

2. Oriented Standard Board (OSB)

 is a wood structural panel manufactured from rectangular-shaped strands of wood that are oriented lengthwise and then arranged in layers, laid up into mats, and bonded together with moisture-resistant, heat-cured adhesives. The individual layers are cross-oriented to provide strength and stiffness to the panel. Produced in huge, continuous mats, OSB is a solid panel product of consistent quality with no laps, gaps or voids.

3. Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL)

is produced by bonding thin wood veneers together in a large billet. The grain of all veneers in the LVL billet is parallel to the long direction. The resulting product features enhanced mechanical properties and dimensional stability that offer a broader range in product width, depth and length than conventional lumber. LVL is a member of the structural composite lumber (SCL) family of engineered wood products that are commonly used in the same structural applications as conventional sawn lumber and timber, including rafters, headers, beams, joists, rim boards, studs and columns.

4. Finger-jointed Lumber

is made up of short pieces of wood combined to form longer lengths and is used in doorjambs, mouldings and studs. It is also produced in long lengths and wide dimensions for floors.

Engineered Wood Advantages

Engineered wood products are used in a variety of ways, often in applications similar to solid wood products. Engineered wood products may be preferred over solid wood in some applications due to certain comparative advantages:

  • Because engineered wood is man-made, it can be designed to meet application-specific performance requirements.
  • Engineered wood products are versatile and available in a wide variety of thicknesses, sizes, grades, and exposure durability classifications, making the products ideal for use in unlimited construction, industrial and home project application.
  • Engineered wood products are designed and manufactured to maximize the natural strength and stiffness characteristics of wood. The products are very stable and some offer greater structural strength than typical wood building materials. Eight-storey Stadthaus, an apartment complex in London, England, was made with cross-laminated timber panels and is the tallest habitable timber building in the world.
  • Glued laminated timber (glulam) has greater strength and stiffness than comparable dimensional lumber and, pound for pound, is stronger than steel.  Glulam products are also a better environmental choice than steel because they have less embodied energy.
  • Some engineered wood products offer more design options without sacrificing structural requirements.
  • Engineered wood panels are easy to work with using ordinary tools and basic skills. They can be cut, drilled, routed, jointed, glued, and fastened. Plywood can be bent to form curved surfaces without loss of strength. And large panel size speeds construction by reducing the number of pieces to be handled and installed.
  • Engineered wood products provide the natural warmth and beauty of wood. Many products are available in a variety of surface textures and treatments for nearly every aesthetic taste, from rustic to elegant. The products can be easily and beautifully finished with paints, stains, and varnishes.
  • Engineered wood products make more efficient use of wood. They can be made from small pieces of wood, wood that has defects or underutilized species.
  • Wooden trusses are competitive in many roof and floor applications, and their high strength-to-weight ratios permit long spans offering flexibility in floor layouts.
  • Sustainable design advocates recommend using engineered wood, which can be produced from relatively small trees, rather than large pieces of solid dimensional lumber, which requires cutting a large tree.
 
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Engineered_wood

 

 

 

 

Round Tulipwood Table by Barnby & Day for Alex de Rijke

A project initiated by the American Hardwood Export Council and Benchmark Furniture,
The Wish List – What I have always wanted is… brings together a stellar list of architects and designers to create a compelling installation, The Wish List, which will be exhibited at the V&A during the 2014 London Design Festival.

As part of The Wish List, dRMM’s Alex de Rijke commissioned furniture makers Barnby & Day to create a round table using Tulipwood.

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Project description

The Wish List has not only engaged the interest of 10 design legends, who have commissioned something personal. It is also giving an extraordinary opportunity to a group of emerging talented designers, who will not only develop the designs but actually come and make their pieces under the watchful eye and guidance of Benchmark’s master craftsmen, some of whom have 40 years’ experience to draw on!

Terence Conran, co-founder of Benchmark, instigated the project when he wrote to his friends and asked, “What have you always wanted in your home, but never been able to find?”

Alex de Rijke has commissioned Barnby & Day… dRMM’s Alex de Rijke has always wanted a beautiful large round laminated dining table. Alex is known for pioneering innovative uses of timber within the construction industry and designed the first ever use of hardwood CLT, ‘Endless Stair’ with for London Design Festival 2013. In an article entitled, ‘Timber is the new concrete’, he predicted that timber would be the dominant construction material of the 21st Century. Applying this thinking to furniture design, Barnby & Day will laminate American tulipwood and turn a hollow round table for Alex de Rijke who wants the table to look very solid but in fact be very light.

From Barnby & Day

10 young businesses (us being one) were paired with some amazing high profile architects, designers and artists. They were to act as our commissioners, with their brief being to commission us to work with them to design and make a piece for their home; “something they had always wanted but never been able to find.”

Collaborating with Sir Terence and Sean Sutcliffe from Benchmark were the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC). AHEC gave us a wide range of American hardwoods to work with. Ourselves and our commissioner Alex de Rijke (of dRMM Architects and dean of architecture at the RCA) chose tulip wood as it was a timber Alex had used before with huge success in his project the ‘Endless Stair’. The project was exhibited outside The Tate Modern before being shown in Milan, and pioneered the technique of cross laminating timber (CLT).

Alex wanted a large round sculptural dining table and liked the idea of trying to make it from CLT. Alex believes a round table is more dramatic – and around it, ‘the best decisions are made, work is done, and drinks are drunk’.

Round it was to be and from CLT! Laminating timber in this way gives it huge structural strength and almost eliminates movement which is a common problem in the wood industry. Alex didn’t want to use precious hardwoods, ‘tulip wood is very fast growing and America has an abundance of it’. We all agreed the colour variation and grain pattern was beautiful so the project took off!

 
Source: http://www.contemporist.com/2014/09/17/round-tulipwood-table-by-barnby-day-for-alex-de-rijke/