The London Festival of Architecture which runs throughout June has grown to become Europe’s biggest annual architecture festival. As a month of architectural experimentation, practice and debate awaits, it is the perfect time to reflect on some incredible work of future-gazing architects and joinery companies who have utlised Accoya® wood to breathtaking effect.
Accoya® wood’s outstanding performance, coupled with its environmental credentials has given architects the freedom to explore new avenues of creativity. From commercial to residential projects, bridges submerged in water, to world-record-breaking velodromes and towering landmarks; worldwide, industry leading architects have recognised timber’s potential to create history making and mesmerising constructions. Below is a brief overview of a few architectural feats and firsts that have Accoya® wood at their heart…
RO&AD Architects gave stories life when they parted the waters of this 17th century Dutch defensive line that once held Spanish and French invaders at bay. As part of a restoration programme, Fort de Roovere, the largest fort on the water line, required the addition of an access bridge. The challenge was to create a route of access that would be discreet. RO&AD excelled themselves by building a ‘sunken bridge’ that follows the line of the fort slope and sits almost flush with the soil and the level of the water. The bridge is built from Accoya® wood sheet piling on either side, with a hardwood deck/stairs in between. Accoya® wood’s durability and guaranteed performance in-ground and in freshwater made this possible.
Another commission by RO&AD along the Brabant Water line, is the recently opened 25-metre high landmark, Pompejus Tower, situated on the fort accessed by the Moses Bridge. Named after the first commander of the fortress, its viewpoint boasts breathtaking views of the entire Brabant Water line.
The main construction of Pompejus Tower consists of steel triangles and has been designed according to a mathematical design principle which allowed for windows and openings to be formed in the façade. This construction is virtually invisible as Accoya® wood plates were mounted on the cutting faces of the steel. The result is a highly recognisable voronoi pattern – one that occurs in nature on the towering necks of giraffes and the protective shells of turtles.
At the bottom of the tower, an exhibition space and open-air theatre can also be found, also made of Accoya® wood.
Barangaroo House is an impressive free-standing three storey restaurant in Sydney. It was designed by architects Collins and Turner, who were inspired to create a unique, circular, split level building. This project became one of the first in Sydney to utilise the combination of Accoya® wood cladding and the highly distinctive Japanese charring technique, Shou Sugi Ban, thus creating a striking charcoal appearance.
The beautiful building is located on a prominent water front site, making Accoya® the ideal choice for this stunning project thanks to its exceptional durability, reliability and stability properties. With a guarantee of 50 years above ground, Accoya® wood can withstand the harshest of external environments while resisting distortion and warping over its lifetime
Opened in December 2017, it is the latest venture of Matt Moran, one of Australia’s most celebrated chefs, and is home to three restaurants: House Bar (including a landscaped beer garden); Bea (offering fresh and ambitious indoor & outdoor dining); and Smoke (Sydney’s new rooftop bar looking out over the water’s edge).
Velodrome specialists Sander Douma Architects (SDA) completed work on the refurbished Omnisport Arena which was used for the recent 2018 UCI Track Cycling World Championships. Previously, the track was constructed using Larch wood, however, due to the humidity on and around the track, Accoya® wood was selected as the ideal material for the renovation. Due to Accoya®’s unique acetylation process, it offers superior dimensional stability so will not splinter, shrink or swell. The team behind the design and build used specialist technology to calculate the structure of the circuit as well as the curvature and fall velocity of the track to create the most efficient structure. With a number of World Records broken throughout the event, we’d like to think that SDA made the right material choice!
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