Architecture firms JOSEP and Atelier Gerhard Haumer teamed up to design a beautiful timber office with a small carbon footprint. Dubbed 52 Cubic Wood, the two-story office features a Y-shaped layout to overlook views in three directions. Timber was selected as the primary building material for its low-energy, sustainable features and ability to sequester carbon.
Located in Mödling, Austria, 52 Cubic Wood is mostly clad in vertical strips of timber carefully crafted and joined together. In addition to its beautiful appearance, timber was chosen over concrete and steel because of its advantage as a “carbon sink” thanks to trees’ absorption of carbon dioxide through photosynthesis. That carbon is not released until the timber decomposes or is burnt.
Aside from the timber cladding, a mirrored facade partially covers the ground level. The angled mirrors reflect the foliage of the outdoor gardens. Large windows also frame views of the outdoor landscape and bring in natural light to illuminate the interior.
The office spaces span two floors and are similarly clad in light-colored wooden surfaces and complemented with timber furnishings. “52 cubic wood – produces carbohydrate (glucose) from carbon dioxide CO2 (which equates to 260.000km by car) with the help of the sun,” write the architects. “Additionally oxygen is released in the form of breathable air for 100 years per person. This happens interference-free without waste and emissions, it‘s quiet and fully automatic. This is the beauty of the factory called ‘The forest’.”
Images via JOSEP, © Bernhard Fiedler