Timber construction just took a giant leap forward with Hawkins/Brown Architects' The Cube, the tallest building to use cross-laminated timber in Europe. The residential building located in Hackney, London is a timber and steel hybrid structure with a unique “twisted cube stack” layout. Hit the jump to learn more about this award-winning design.
The building, which won the London Evening Standard New Homes Award for Developments of Outstanding Architectural Merit in 2015, has an eye-catching twisted cruciform plan. The strategy behind the contorted cubist forms is to ensure each unit has a decent-sized balcony or terrace space that gives either stunning views of the neighboring canal basin to the west or the expansive park to the east. The cruciform layout also provides four courtyards that create views as well as provide optimal natural light and ventilation to the the units.
The Cross Laminated Timber panels and parts of the steel frame were manufactured off site and assembled onsite in order to minimize energy use and time. The two seemingly conflicting materials work together in this case to not only create a lightweight and durable structure, but one that generates minimal carbon emissions in its construction.
Alex Smith, Associate at Hawkins/Brown explained the significance of the building’s materials: “The Cube breaks new ground and demonstrates the great potential of Cross Laminated Timber as a material that enables rapid construction with a reduced environmental impact.”
Images via Hawkins/Brown Architects