Architectural Association students test the limits of timber in experimental woodland canopy

A sculptural, tensile timber canopy has been constructed in Dorset woodland by five students from the Architectural Association as part of the school’s Design + Make programme.

Built on the school’s Hooke Park forest campus in Dorset, England, Sawmill Shelter provides rain cover for the campus’ sawmill and its operator.

However, it also forms part of an ongoing investigation by Design + Make students into the potential of lightweight timber construction.

“The canopy forms a test-bed for the experimental prototyping of structural systems that will be deployed in the next planned construction at Hooke Park – a lecture hall and library that will form the academic centre of the campus,” said the team.

“The main investigation was to test the limits of use of timber in tension in the form of an anticlastic surface that can resist both snow loads and wind uplift.”

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