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Summer structure: University of Reading students construct larchwood pavilion with Invisible Studio

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The temporary wooden structure, built as part of the students’ coursework, has been hosting six weeks of special events over the summer

Named the Urban Room, the structure was planned and designed by Invisible Studio and built by the second-year students of the University of Reading’s School of Architecture in four days on its London Road campus. 

The urban room 2

The 75 x 50mm larchwood pavilion was purpose-built to host a programme of events around the theme ‘How can arts practice help create a “door” between the town and the university?’ spread over six weeks this summer (2019). It also held six micro-residencies, where Reading artists were invited to occupy the space for two days at a time.

Urban Room is the third pavilion to be completed by architecture students at the University of Reading with Invisible Studio. Xylotek Advanced Timber Structures worked with the students on the construction, which was engineered by Corbett Tasker. 

Piers Taylor of Invisible Studio also runs an education and research project called Studio in the Woods which has produced a legacy of timber structures. 

This project was supported by The Shanly Group and the structure has now been re-erected as an out-door classroom at Badgemore Primary School. 

The urban room 13

Architect’s view

This was our third pavilion that we have completed with architecture students at the University of Reading. This project is the Urban Room, designed to host a six-week program of events including the end of year show for the first graduating cohort, before being relocated to a local primary school. Xylotek Advanced Timber Structures worked with the students on the construction, which was designed by Invisible Studio and engineered by Corbett Tasker. It is subtitled ‘Equivalent #3’ as it is the third structure we have built using identical (or equivalent) timber sections – on this project 75 x 50mm larch. The Urban Room took four days to build, and was designed in order that an entire year of students could work on the project simultaneously. The project will host the end-of-year show for the first graduating cohort of students since the school was formed three years ago before being relocated and forming an outdoor classroom at Badgemore Primary School.

Piers Taylor, founder, Invisible Studio

The urban room 26

The urban room 26

Source: Invisible Studio

Project data

Start on site April 2019
Completion April 2019
Gross internal floor area 50m²
Gross (internal + external) floor area 50m²
Form of contract or procurement route Traditional
Construction cost £7,000
Construction cost per m2 £350
Architect Invisible Studio with 2nd year students of University of Reading’s School of Architecture
Client University of Reading
Structural engineer Corbett Tasker
CDM coordinator Jim Corrigan
Main contractor XylotekAdvanced Timber Structures
CAD software used Microstation, Sketchup
Annual CO2 emissions 0

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Readers' comments (1)

  • How on earth can this goofball project cost £7,000.00? I'm assuming the cut and grunt labour was performed by the students for free.
    Surely it would be more helpful to their future careers if they were to build something of practical value.

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