Waugh Thistleton Architects has installed a ‘maze-like’ pavilion made of cross-laminated timber at the V&A as part of the London Design Festival
The 43m² MultiPly installation, made entirely of American tulipwood, opened at the weekend in Amanda Levete’s Sackler Courtyard on Exhibition Road, and will remain there until 1 October.
The 9m-high structure is comprised of a series of interlocking spaces connected by staircases which the public will be invited to explore.
The project was a collaboration between the architect, engineer Arup and the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC).
It is made of 17 modules of cross-laminated timber (CLT) panels, and aims to illustrate how modular CLT can be a ’viable solution’ to the housing crisis and to demonstrate the potential of carbon-neutral buildings.
Planks made from tulipwood, a hardwood tree species native to America’s east coast, are imported from the US, but the panels for MultiPly were manufactured in the UK’s first CLT factory in Scotland.
Waugh Thistleton co-founder Andrew Waugh said: ‘The main ambition of this project is to publicly debate how environmental challenges can be addressed through innovative, affordable construction.
‘We are at a crisis point in terms of both housing and CO2 emissions and we believe that building in a versatile, sustainable material, such as tulipwood, is an important way of addressing these issues.’
Carolina Bartram, project director at Arup, which also worked on Levete’s V&A project, said: ‘The seemingly simple series of stacked boxes is a complex engineering challenge, made more interesting by the fact the sculpture sits on the newly completed, elegant Sackler Courtyard at the V&A.’
MultiPly is open at the V&A’s Sackler Courtyard from 15 September to 1 October 2018.