The architecture and design students of DBR | Design Build Research created two unique pop-up structures that brought a slice of the Canadian backcountry winter experience to downtown Vancouver. Crafted as part of a three-month design/build course, ELEVATE is a temporary installation that served as a sheltered outdoor living room for the TED2016 conference. Innovation with wood and technical fabrication were explored in the project – most notably through the curved planks of CNC-milled timber used to create the structures’ inviting, cocoon-like shapes.

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From afar, ELEVATE evokes snow-covered hilltops, however a closer look reveals the design’s likeness to high alpine shelters. The 16 students sought to create an attractive meeting place where TED attendees, known as TEDsters, could gather and discuss ideas. The structures were also outfitted with graphics of provincial and national parks to encourage TEDsters to explore Vancouver’s great outdoors during their visit.

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Related: Solar-powered alpine prefab shows off the power of prefab in extreme conditions

METSA Wood donated Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL), an advanced wood product, that was shaped with CNC technology into the ELEVATE’s skeleton. Set on sill plates, the structures feature a timber deck and curved timber ribs reinforced by cross bracing. A white translucent covering protects visitors from the elements and is complemented with exposed timber ribbing visible from the interior. Each warming hut includes a large seating area marked with the TED logo, as well as bright red beanbags.

+ DBR | Design Build Research

Images by Ema Peter

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ELEVATE by DBR, LVL construction, ELEVATE for TED2016, ELEVATE TED conference, Design Build Research TED architecture, warming huts architecture, pop up warming huts, ELEVATE in Vancouver, laminated veneer lumber construction

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