The Smile has been selected in the Small Projects category, with winners announced at Bankside Vaults in London on 19 October.
Designed for the London Design Festival 2016 through a collaboration between Alison Brooks Architects, Arup and The American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC), the timber pavilion showcased the structural and spatial potential of cross-laminated American tulipwood.
Alison Brooks will be a keynote speaker this year’s RIAI Annual Conference alongside award-winning Irish journalist Fintan O’Toole, discussing themes of Challenge, Change and Collaboration in architecture.
The Conference will be Ireland’s ‘biggest architectural gathering of the year and an important forum to meet, debate and launch new ideas’. It will run in parallel with the Architecture and Building Expo.
Exeter College Cohen Quad welcomed the public as part of the Oxford Preservation Trust’s Open Doors event. The weekend began with a talk by Alison Brooks on ‘Future Heritage: Collegiate Architecture for the 21st Century’, where she shared the design approach behind the newest building to emerge on the city skyline.
The College has described the Cohen Quad as ‘a reinterpretation of the traditional collegiate quadrangle, with a hub for social learning at its heart. Drawing on the history of Exeter College, Ruskin College and the needs of 21st century scholars, ABA have delivered a building that is stunning, uplifting, and inspiring.”
The Smile has been selected in the category for ‘Small Projects (of under £1million)’. ABA collaborated with The American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) and Arup, whose Special Structures team in London described the project as ‘the most complex piece of CLT engineering in the world’.
The IStructE awards celebrate the role of structural engineers as innovative, creative design professionals and to showcase the world’s cutting edge engineering projects.
“The Smile represents the first use of large Tulipwood hardwood cross laminated timber (CLT) panels and has received worldwide acclaim for its effortless combination of structure and architecture. It was described as the happy face of the timber construction revolution and the centrepiece of the 2016 London Design Festival.
The Smile is 34m long, incorporating two 12m cantilevers – each designed to carry up to 60 people. In terms of structural demand, the Smile is similar to the cantilevering core stabilising a 4-storey building, and it resists torsional distortion effects in the same manner as a box girder bridge.”
The Smile has been selected in the ‘Small Project’ category, among 34 projects that ‘represent the best of British architecture and product design in the world’s only naturally sustainable material’.
The Awards aim to recognise, encourage and promote outstanding design, craftsmanship and installation using wood.
Conceived as a habitable arc, The Smile was a 3.5m high, 4.5m wide and 34m long curved cross-laminated tulipwood tube that cantilevered 12m in two directions with viewing platforms at both ends. ABA collaborated with The American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC), Arup and the London Design Festival 2016 to present the structure at the Chelsea College of Art Rootstein Hopkins Parade Ground.
The shortlist will be on display at the London Design Fair, 21-24 September at the Old Truman Brewery.
Alison Brooks was interviewed by US Modernist Radio’s George Smart on her career development, her achievements and also on the development of housing in Britain.
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