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Multiply, Waugh Thistleton Architects

MultiPly by Waugh Thistleton Architects - London Design Festival 2018

Within the framework of this year’s London Design Festival, Waugh Thistleton Architects have cooperated with the American Export Council (AHEC) and ARUP in building the MultiPly pavilion out of cross-laminated timber. Both the choice of material and the architectural structure of this project address two important topics: the shortage of affordable living space - particularly in London - and the struggle against climate change.
To this end, the architects have exploited the qualities of wood as a carbon sink. During photosynthesis, wood stores great quantities of carbon dioxide in the form of sugar. This means that not only forests, but buildings and furniture made of wood as well, make a significant contribution to the reduction of CO2 emissions. For instance, the 43 m³ of the MultiPly pavilion correspond to a hefty equivalent of 30 tonnes of carbon dioxide. Moreover, the construction consists of 17 modules that overlap and interlock. Thanks to this modular building method, the pavilion is easily disassembled and put back together. In other words, the MultiPly project presents a sustainable, environmentally friendly response to the acute shortage of housing in urban spaces.
The material, laminated tulipwood, is not well-known in Europe. On the other hand, in the USA this magnolia-related variety of wood, which comes from a tree that grows straight and fast, is often found in interior fittings and furniture. However, only the hard corewood is used; the outer layers end up in the shredder or are turned into pellets. However, laminating the lower-quality wood has opened up a new area of application. For the MultiPly pavilion, depending on the load, either three or five layers have been glued into plates which then have had notches cut into their edges and been put together. The soft, regular fibres and the homogeneous texture of the wood are suitable for industrial processing. This is clear from the visible push-fit connection system.

Andrew Waugh, co-founder of Waugh Thistleton Architects, hopes that MultiPly will initiate public debate concerning the possibilities of environmentally friendly building. The pavilion invites visitors to make their way through the labyrinthine boxes in order to form their own impressions of the potential of modular wooden constructions.

Further information:

A collaboration initiated by: American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC)
Designed by: Waugh Thistleton Architects
Engineered by: Arup
For: London Design Festival
Presented at: Victoria & Albert Museum
Timber donated by: Allegheny Wood Products, Baillie Lumber Co., Bingaman Lumber Inc, Boss Lumber Coorperation, Classic American Hardwoods, Collins Hardwood, Latham Timber, Northland Forest Products, Northwest Hardwoods, Parton Lumber and Thompson Hardwoods Inc.
Timber processing: Glenalmond Timber
CLT manufacturing: Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC)
Fabrication and installation: Stage One Ltd.
Lighting: SEAM Design and Atrium
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