Design Studio Explores Tall Timber Building in New York

Scaffolding + Skin: An exploration in tall-timber / mid-rise architecture

Fall 2015 – Architecture Design IV-A

This studio examines the role of tectonics in contemporary architecture – primarily focusing on scaffolding and skin. Students engaged this topic from a historic perspective by researching the significance and varied application of these tectonic manifestations through an introduction to some tectonic theory and precedent. The scholarly study of the tekton (carpenter or builder) and the discourse surrounding the notion of tectonics received much attention throughout the late 1800’s and continues to exist as a critical endeavor today. It can be argued that at the heart of tectonic inquiry is the idea and application of poesis, ‘to make’. This constructed attitude guides students to express their research through a series of iterative analog and digital exercises – expressing their notions and understandings of contemporary tectonics.

The history of contemporary architecture is inevitably multiple, multifarious even; a history of the structures that form the human environment independently of architecture itself; a history of the attempts to control and direct those structures; a history of the intellectuals who have sought to devise policies and methods for those attempts; a history of new languages which, having abandoned all hope of arriving at absolute and definitive words, have striven to delimit the area of their particular contribution.

Kenneth Frampton, Studies in Tectonic Culture

Each of the proposals utilize heavy timber and/or engineered wood construction in innovative and experimental ways to develop a proposal for a tall wood building (15-20 stories) in Midtown Manhattan at 104 West 57th Street. Students gained a greater understanding of the following benefits of wood utilization in tall/solid timber buildings, among others.

• Renewable natural resource

• Reduction of carbon emissions

• Carbon sequestering / carbon sink

• Expedited erection schedules – 20%±

• Reduction of overall project costs – 4%±

• Innovative applications

timber details timber models

timber 1 timber 2 timber 3 timber 4 timber 5