Arup Associates won the 2014 Wood in Architecture Award with their Sky Believe in Better Building in London - the UK’s tallest timber structure. The architects completed the building in just a year. It took three months to take the project from inception to site thanks to the use of off-site prefabrication and modern timber construction systems.
Arup beat the other five contenders thanks to their sustainable message and the short turnaround for the completion of the building. The project goes beyond sustainable building and provides extremely flexible workspaces and interactive classrooms. It is the first building in the UK to use the Wellness principles that focuses on creating optimal environmental conditions that enhance well-being.
The building boasts glulam and CLT structure and uses pre-finished timber to create a tight envelope. Thanks to the use of timber, the building is insulated against and minimizes noise generation, which is proven to be crucial in the daily operation of campuses. The sleek glass envelope reveals its interior dominated by timber, which gives warmth and showcases the innovative construction system deployed throughout the building. The success of the project encouraged Sky to commission the architects to design their new health and fitness center, which will be based on similar construction principles.
Photos by Simon Kennedy