August 2016

Dubai is set to further establish its status as a cutting-edge, vibrant global design hub with the return of Dubai Design Week this October. This year’s Design Week will cement Dubai’s status as the design capital of the MENASA region with more than 100 events taking place in Dubai Design District (d3) over six days; with significantly more visitors and internationally renowned exhibitors expected to attend. A key part of DDW, Design Ras Al Khor (DRAK) returns in 2016 and the theme for this year is ‘Celebrating Wood’. As such, we can expect to see design projects spanning interactive design, textile design, film and graphic design, all aimed at celebrating wood.

Proof that timber is here to stay, the London Design Festival 2016 will feature four Landmark Projects and two – The Smile and Baboushka Boxes – will be made from CLT. In this issue, we take a look at The Smile – an urban installation that showcases the structural and spatial potential of cross-laminated timber (CLT) using American tulipwood. Designed by Alison Brooks Architects (ABA) and with expertise from top engineering from Arup, the project is the culmination of an effort by AHEC to show that hardwoods can have a structural use in buildings. As one of the most important developments in a decade of research and development into structural timber innovation with Arup, the project could broaden the use of CLT in the construction industry and we cannot wait to see it at LDF 2016.

We also take a closer look at the recently opened Maggie’s Center in Manchester. Located across Britain and abroad, Maggie’s Centers are conceived to provide a welcoming ‘home away from home’ – a place of refuge where people a ected by cancer can nd emotional and practical support. As such, the project which was designed by Foster + Partners, features a materials palette that combines warm, natural wood and tactile surfaces. Maggie’s Centers place great value upon the power of architecture to lift the spirits and help in the process of therapy. It is fitting then that timber was chosen as the primary building material not just for its warmth and its aesthetic and structural properties, but also its cost and carbon e ciency.

Shigeru Ban, a winner of the prestigious Pritzker Prize in 2014, is the latest architect to jump on board the timber revolution. Ban has partnered with the award-winning, real estate developer PortLiving, to unveil the tallest hybrid timber structure in the world. Whilst details are still yet to be announced, we will be following this story in coming issues.

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