Tag - timber workshop

Pleasure Gardens Build Up Studio

IMG_5960IMG_5471IMG_5477IMG_9843IMG_5337IMG_5461IMG_5460IMG_5360     IMG_5404Onion Collective CIC organised an extraordinary weekend in Watchet where Piers Taylor, Charley Brentnall and Marc Dix of LT Studio led a workshop to construct, with up to 50 local volunteers a timber canopy and stage with a planted landscape that marked the reclaiming of the overgrown former pleasure gardens for community use.

The structure was made from a series of dry laminated green timber hoops that were bound together with jute rope and no mechanical fixings and few tools. These were bent into shape which effectively tightened the bindings, which will grow even stronger as the rope shrinks when wet and the timber seasons. Many of the volunteers were ‘unskilled’ in the formal sense – and the project is testament to the power of a community coming together to do something for itself.

See completed project images HERE

Categories Studio in the Woods, watchet Tags

On Drawing

While drawings obviously have a key role in design, they need to be tools to assist and develop the understanding of design, rather than as immutable instructions defining fully the fabrication of a full scale piece. Drawings can take on a different status in a reimagined and reconfigured design process. These drawings are of the are loose, open ended sort, and a correlative part of the process of construction – not fixed before hand and bereft of the real discoveries that take place during fabrication. The conventional architectural drawing idealises construction, and typically uses a strange kind of scaled code to represent an idealised set of relationships where uncertainties and contingencies are impossible. Jonathan Hill, in the ‘Illegal Architect’ talks of how the drawing is used as a control mechanism by architects to eliminate the possibilities of contingencies creeping in. He talks of the ‘artistic creation of an individual in command of a drawing who designs a building in a studio’. While at best drawing is a process that encourages thinking, to the point that at best drawing is thinking – for me it is more exciting when construction is thus, and alongside this, the ‘drawing’ happens in real time, real scale, and in three dimensions.

Categories Studio in the Woods Tags

Westonbirt: Timber Milling

On the day the tenders for the substructures were returned, we visited Westonbirt to see the milling for the superstructure. It’s a joy, as ever, to be using timber grown on site – and even better in this case to be using 20m clear span members. These are too long for the mobile saw, and will be hewn by hand and used in continuous lengths for the bottom chords of the main trusses. We’re working once again with Charley Brentnall, who knows more about timber than almost anyone else, and also the renowned engineers Buro Happold who have an extraordinary wealth of knowledge of timber engineering. Charley has been carrying out a hewing workshop on site, with students from the Carpenter’s Fellowship..

Categories Westonbirt Tags