Building out of sticks.


Timber framed buildings are the oldest form of structure. The most traditional construction material, it is often overlooked now for concrete. So this week we are showcasing some modern buildings that are embracing Wood as a main feature within the structure.

Fincube, Bozen Italy by Studio Aisslinger


Designed as a nomadic housing concept the Fincube is made entirely from local wood. The building provides 47sqm of living space with a minimal CO2 footprint. The concept of the building is to be a small housing unit with a long lifecycle.

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The cube can be easily dismantled and rebuilt in a new location. The material palette is minimal and the designs lead by the local and recyclable materials.

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The façade offers 360-degree views, and the flat roof can either be a green roof or contain photovoltaic cells for generating energy. The timber fins surrounding the cube enable a sense of privacy and also contribute towards solar shading.

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Beech House, Toronto Canada by Altius Architecture

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Beech House is designed to be a comfortable family home with disabled access and important design aspect. Altius Architecture wanted the building to be equally appropriate for children as it would be for an occupant in a wheelchair and therefore a lifetime home.

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The house is situated on a sloping site with the massing of the building was dictated by the views and the mature trees on site.

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The floor layout is based the stair and elevator configuration, with two bedrooms facing the rear yard whilst a bridge extends over the kitchen area leads to the master bedroom. Natural stack effect ventilation is utilised within the building as well as solar orientation for solar gain.

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Glass/Wood House, Connecticut USA by Kengo Kuma Associates

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This project’s brief was to renovate a residence designed by Joe Black Leigh, and add a new house to the site. The town of Canaan, where the building is located, is known for it’s many 1950s houses designed by famous architects such as Philip Johnson and Marcel Breuer.

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The aim of the project was to continue the spirit of the area with glass architecture. The existing building was a symmetric glass box of Palladian villa architecture, standing solitarily in a forest. The new building was designed to make the glass box orthogonal and form an L-shape plan within the terrain.

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The architect’s intension was to make the building feel intimate with the forest. Timber is used within the roof to create a timber canopy, reflecting the woodland, with extensive glass merging the boundary between inside and outside.

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Sonoma Spa Retreat, California USA by Aidlin Darling Design.

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Cut into the landscape with two curved earthen walls, the spa and swimming pool link the outdoor living spaces of an existing rammed-earth house.

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A trellis provides shade from the Californian sun and frames the views over San Francisco. By using timber cladding and the wooden trellis, the building becomes linked with the tree surrounding the site.


Wilkinson House, Oragon USA by Robert Harvey Oshatz.

Located on a steep sloping site, this property harnessed the opportunity to bring the main level of the house into the tree canopy. This quirky Tree House was designed for a client with a love of music, who wanted a house that would become part of the natural landscape.

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The flow of the internal spaces is such that it can only be fully appreciated when it is experienced; each space connects with the woodland surrounding it.

The use of a natural wood ceiling, floating on curved laminated wood beams, passing through a generous glass wall which wraps around the main living room, enables the spaces both externally and internally to flow into one another.

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Hidden House, LA USA by Standard

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Located on a seven-acre site within a hidden canyon, the property is only accessible through an unpaved road. The project is actually a large extension of a 1940s house. The decision to extend instead of new build significantly reduced the environmental footprint of the project.

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The new and old are integrated through the use of external timber cladding. Wooden decks lead to concrete patios that are laid out like external rooms. Two courtyards are linked to the internal living spaces by six large wood and glass pivot doors. Large pocket sliding doors are also used to create a seamless indoor/outdoor connection.

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The building uses sustainable materials and features such as the redwood external cladding, reclaimed wood flooring, cork flooring and high efficiency equipment. The house also harnesses passive ventilation and solar gain to control the internal temperatures.


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