FraserWood Participated in Urban Timber Design Competition

Urban Timber Exhibit

Exhibition Opening:
June 26, 2014
Exhibition Closing:
September 30, 2014

Urban Timber: From Seed to City

This exhibition, on display at BSA Space, 290 Congress Street Boston, celebrates wood as the regions most sensible and abundant choice of material for urban building, highlighting its flexibility and technical qualities, including timber's potential to combat climate change.

On display, and the result of an open competition, are four winning projects proposed by emerging architects featuring innovative structural uses of timber. The winners collaborated with mentor architects, engineers, and material suppliers to install their unseen installations in the gallery.

Coopered Column

Coopered Column

Project Description

One of the biggest challenges in tall mass-timber construction is end-to-end connections between structural elements. This is because wood is strong in the direction of the grain but weak in the cross direction. In addition, the volume of wood required for tall wood construction needs to be effectively distributed to resist lateral and vertical loads.

The Coopered Column addresses these challenges by expanding the cross section of a post in a typical post and beam structural system and turning it into a hollow tube, or "mega-column." By lapping timbers vertically along the face-grain and connecting them circumferentially with rings of diagonally oriented timber screws (as in the coopers of a barrel), the many pieces of wood come together to form a continuous structural tube. The structure can be assembled on-site.

For this installation, a cylindrical mega-column is transformed into a cone and cut at an oblique angle. The resulting asymmetrical cantilevered form uses gravity to simulate vertical and lateral loads that would be imposed in an actual building. The form also demonstrates spatial and programmatic possibilities.

Check out the photo above and the vimeo stop flash photography below:

The designer/submission is by Tim Olson, an architect at Bensonwood. FraserWood is the fabrication partner that supplied all of the wood for the project. There was also a local architect and engineer from Boston involved.