The Bartlett
Fifteen Show 2020
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Wooded Escape

Project details

Programme Design for Manufacture

Wooded Escape is a mountain shelter, comprised of a main structure and satellite sleeping pods. The project explores the possibilities of parametric pipelines and automated workflows in a highly efficient timber construction system. An integrated approach was adopted for the design, the geometric detailing, and the generation of all manufacturing data. The main goals were to build a comfortable, inhabitable environment, to find a sustainable approach in terms of the design, the use, the manufacturability and the lifecycle of the system, and to provide a solution that could respond to mass customisation requirements of different locations.


A custom production environment has two robots working collaboratively, not only to bring the material to size, but also to embed as much information as possible within the various components. The production environment accommodates rough sawn timber, which reduces additional processing. The design decisions include a human scale assembly strategy and a flat pack system to reduce transportation costs. Modular assembly jigs allow to actively bend lamellas into the required curvature, creating structural curved timber beams of improved strength. The structure is organized into subassemblies, each of a manageable size for lifting by hand. The interfaces are held together by metal brackets, making it easy to disassemble or relocate the structure as part of a C2C lifecycle.

Group Students

01

Workflow

Both Pods in a Digital Landscape

A series of individual sleeping pods, satellites to the main pod. Scattered across the nearby landscape, they forge a personal connection with nature.

Final Production

Final Production

Considering constraints of time and cost, two segments were produced. This proved the success of the workflow and design and provides insights for further improvements.

Problem Identification

Problem Identification

Where weaknesses in construction have been observed, the goal of the proposal is to find improvements.

Rule-Based Design

Rule-Based Design

With rule-based design, a placeholder design can be manipulated to meet different requirements, such as scaling the structure or increasing the complexity of layers.

Platform-Based Approach Enabled by System Engineering

Platform-Based Approach Enabled by System Engineering

A platform approach discretises the project into subassemblies. This allows decisions to be evaluated according to various criteria – simultaneously bottom-up and top-down.

02

Design

Design Features

The philosophy 'more with less' applies both to the main shelter's experience and to the design of additional accessible space.

Low-resolution Analysis

Low-resolution Analysis

Through Lux & CFD analysis, a low-resolution model can be oriented so that it achieves the best natural light and ambient temperature by airflow.

Location and Orientation

This diagram shows optimal orientations found by the workflow in different locations all over the world, from cold Sweden to hot Saudi Arabia.

Full Subassembly and Reduction for Fabrication

Full Subassembly and Reduction for Fabrication

A full assembly and subassembly for the main shelter. The assembly is reduced to ring beams, columns, and brackets. The highlighted segment has been chosen for manufacture.

Assembly

Assembly

Human scale assembly and design for disassembly. This enables the structure to be easily disassembled for relocation or recycling as part of a C2C lifecycle.

03

Production

Ring Beams Detail and Logic

Ring Beams Detail and Logic

Features on the ring beams are unrolled, and the toolpaths are programmed in 2.5D. The work holding solution is designed to fit between the double-robot setup.

Ring Beams Manufacture

Ring Beams Manufacture

The robots work collaboratively: one operates a spindle, while the other uses a bandsaw to slice the lamella. This process is repeated until all useable material has been extracted.

Ring Beams Bending and Jig Design

Ring Beams Bending and Jig Design

The jig is semi-flat-packed to facilitate transportation. It bends the three-ring beam segments to curvature. The lamellas are fully assembled before they are removed from the jig.

Ring Beams Assembly

Ring Beams Assembly

The lamellas are stacked, bent on the jig. The predrilled holes align and will be bolted. The bent timber beam exhibits strength greater than the sum of the lamellas.

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Interior Panorama

The interior space is designed to lure the occupants to explore the surroundings: it captivates framed views and lets occupants experience the passing of time in a non-numerical way.

04

Assembly

Columns Cut List

Our parametric pipeline can show useful information quickly and accurately. A matrix, showing all components, helps to track machined elements.

Columns Detail

Columns Detail

The columns are made from a combination of unique and standardised components. The unique components utilise standard timber stocks that are machined only at the ends to reduce wastage.

Columns Manufacture and Assembly

Columns Manufacture and Assembly

The columns are machined at the points of connection to minimise time, and they are constructed with bolts for future disassembly.

Brackets Design

Brackets Design

As the structure's ring geometry is not concentric, a bracket with two axes of movement is used to connect the ring beams and column components.

Brackets Manufacture

Brackets Manufacture

The two bracket designs are cut from sheet steel and bent using two different techniques, with additional lathe metalworking to produce the backing plates.

05

Ply Pod

Ply Pod

Ply Pod is both an observation and a sleeping space. It can be tilted over with one’s mass. The other pods are located around the site and support the main pod’s gathering space.

Physical Prototype

The physical construction is being tilted between a seating and a sleeping position.

Skin Structure Strategies

Skin Structure Strategies

Various ‘ply-skin’ construction strategies are implemented with localised performance requirements combining predictable digital manufacturing with unpredictable analogue craft.

Elastically Bent Skin Scan

Elastically Bent Skin Scan

Scans of the self-stiffened, elastically bent plywood are verified with a developing simulation tool, building a bridge between tactile feedback loops and digital workflows.

Elastically Bent Skin

Elastically Bent Skin

View Model

Wooded Escape

Explore the interactive model.

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Index of Works

The Bartlett
Fifteen Show 2020
19 February – 5 March 2021
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