A team of 13 University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) architecture students designed and built Emerge, a tiny timber classroom that will help promote sustainable forestry through education. Located in the woods near Eugene, Oregon, the student project was crafted as part of UNL’s PLAIN design/build program in collaboration with the 673-acre family-owned Bauman Tree Farm, and The DR Johnson Lumber Mill. The micro cabin was erected in just three short weeks thanks to the use of prefabricated cross-laminated timber panels that make up the walls and floor.
Set atop concrete footings, the elevated 80-square-foot Emerge cabin strives for minimal landscape impact and to foster a greater appreciation of the timber industry and the surrounding forest. The cabin opens up through a wooden pivot door raised using a counterweight system. A large skylight funnels natural light and canopy views into the one-room interior. Movable cross-laminated timber sitting blocks and a table allow for customization of the classroom.
The students also designed screens with irregular patterns to communicate the relationship between the lumber industry and the forest. The screens, located at the front and rear, comprise slatted timber elements that appear straight at the bottom and become increasingly angled near the top to evoke tree branches. The visual change references the process in which trees become dimensional lumber. “[The] compound angles…create a rain screen for exposed CLT,” add the students. This pattern is also visible around the skylight.
Images via Mike Lundgren