Working with wood is immensely satisfying. It is a natural material that has been used by humans from the beginning of history in most primitive forms to cutting edge, complex digital fabrications of the 21st century. It is relatively easy to cut and shape with hand tools, yet requires years of study and experience to do it well. And when you respect the material and understand its many attributes and limitations and design accordingly, it rewards you with a multi-sensory experience. The visual warmth of its color and grain, the warmth and softness to touch; unlike steel, it’s not hot to touch in direct sunlight; and unlike concrete, it’s not brutally hard – you can even indent it with your fingernail – and then there’s the lasting fresh pine scent that refreshes you when you take a deep breath.
As mass timber design and construction continues to burgeon beyond its European and Canadian roots, our firm plays a leading role in the innovative exploration of the practice in the United States. Recognized for pioneering work integrating mass timber into new building sectors, we seek to continually push the material’s boundaries and expand the typology to benefit the profession at large. Our latest timber work includes projects in a variety of scales – medium – an Innovation Center in the Northeast; large – an academic building in Massachusetts; and extra-large – a living learning complex in Arkansas. Based on their size variations, we faced diverse design challenges at each scale, which stimulated a robust exploration of the expressive potential of wood construction for our firm.