1 month ago
Trees, and the materials they produce, are intrinsically linked with space, time, and climate.
The processes and conditions under which trees grow remain visible in the structural properties (strength, flexibility, density), colour, and grain of the timber. Growing vertically towards its primary energy source, the sun, and layering outwards at its trunk gives a directional quality in the timber that is visible in variation of tone and texture in its grain. In this way, especially when used in an urban setting, through human intervention we can help reveal these characteristics. In today’s often disconnected and sterile urban environments, this helps to emotionally reconnect us with nature and climate.
As well its remarkable potential as a structurally performing material, through innovative pre-fabrication processes such as glulam and CLT and jointing methods, timber is a sensorially rich material. It looks, sounds, feels, and smells very different to concrete or steel. It is warm and welcoming to the touch, making it an especially emotionally rich material to use internally.
In the Morris+Company model shop we test, learn, play with these qualities through a range of model making techniques - trying to find solutions to architectural questions that perform well both structurally and sensorially. For example using full scale timber samples in 1:1 prototypes for our Alfriston School project, or veneers and balsa for our Wildernesse Restaurant scheme. We also use substitute wood based materials such as paper and card to simulate and test many of the material properties of timber at a range of scales.