Timberfabric: Applying Textile Principles on a Building Scale
Practical and material orientated academic research has become increasingly important for architectural practice, due to several factors. First, it contributes to contemporary concepts in architecture and improves their implementation. Today’s architects are looking for a deeper understanding of technical and technological questions related to architecture: technology, construction methods and structural considerations are no longer seen as merely bothersome necessities, as was often the case in the past. The importance of such aspects and the potential of including them as active stimuli in the architectural design process are largely recognised. It is the limitations in time and capacities that more often than not confound the realisation of such ambitions. Academic research can fill this gap and provide architectural practices with the necessary resources. Second, research has a duty to address one of the biggest architectural challenges of our time, namely how to achieve sustainable building. Society’s burgeoning awareness of the urgent need to use renewable materials for building construction is an undeniable reality and has become an important parameter for architectural production. As a result, timber constructions experience a new popularity and the importance of research on timber has increased. The potential of this field becomes evident with some of its latest developments and innovations. Cross- laminated timber panels open up new dimensions for massive timber construction and prefabrication in context with the digital chain. Technologies such as wood welding and the densification of wood create new possibilities not only for architecture but also for furniture and product design. Timber as a building material is therefore capable of satisfying both the demands of contemporary architecture as well as the requirements of sustainable building.