RIBA chartered architects dRMM along with the Building Centre have collaborated on a public exhibition – ‘Forest of Fabrication – dRMM: pioneers of timber architecture’ – which presents engineered timber as a defining material of 21st century architecture. Opened in September of last year and set to run until April 11, 2020, the exhibition celebrates the existing capabilities and future potential of engineered timber, from concept to construction, across buildings from different scales and sectors.
The exhibition features 24 dRMM projects designed across 24 years, many of which are built and well-known, all of which have pushed design boundaries and explored the opportunities and challenges of timber structures. An associated events programme, featuring international projects and designers curated with the Building Centre, will also explore developing technologies enabling faster off-site fabrication methods, analyze the argument for timber and celebrate the role of timber in contemporary architecture.
Forest of Fabrication includes models of the flat packed Naked House (2006), Kingsdale School Auditorium (2007), Timber Stadium proposal (2009), Tre Toren, Rundeskogen (2012), Endless Stair (2013), Floatopolis proposal (2014), Sky Health and Fitness (2015), Maggie’s Oldham (2017) and the Stirling Prize winning Hastings Pier (2017). Many of the models exhibited have never been publicly displayed and will be shown alongside digital projections of concept sketches, project drawings, construction and final photographs.
According to dRMM, during its life cycle a tree makes oxygen, eats carbon, produces food, shade, habitat, color and character. Trees also control wind, water levels, soil erosion, pollution and temperature while endlessly renew themselves. Not only do trees make cities more possible and desirable when alive, they then provide future fuel, construction materials and compost for new trees after death. Trees and the timber products created from them are an exemplar of Cradle to Cradle design, an approach to design that considers whole life cycles as a means of designing with minimal impact on our planet.