Mass timber construction is growing more popular thanks to efforts like the 2018 Maine Mass Timber Competition, which has prompted elegant and sustainable wood-based designs such as “Long Lodge,” a design concept that won a 2018 Honor Award. Proposed for a specific north-facing property along the Appalachian Trail, the building consists of two wings — one for living and the other for sleeping — joined by a central void that frames views of the “Caribou Pond Trail” that connects to the main trail. The cross-laminated timber building would be elevated off the ground to minimize site impact and would also be wrapped in full-length glazing for direct connections and views of the outdoors.
The Long Lodge was designed by a four-person team: Yueqi ‘Jazzy’ Li as the design lead, Shuang Bao, Nan Wei and Braham Berg. To protect the building against winter winds from the west, the designers positioned the building on a north-south axis and installed full-height glazing along the south facade to take advantage of solar gain. Elevated wooden walkways lead to the building and convene in the central outdoor terrace with a lookout point and outdoor grill.
The west “living” wing consists of the foyer, lounge, food bar, dining area, library, meeting rooms, a kitchen, food storage and a gear storage/drying room. The “sleeping” wing on the opposite side comprises all the sleeping areas, bathrooms and a staff room. Built with cross-laminated timber for everything from the roof trusses and structural panels to the columns and beams, the building is set on insulated continuous footing foundation.
“The elegant horizontality of the lodge, punctured by the verticality of native pines, bring to mind the pairing of the most fundamental forms,” the design team explained in their project statement. “An upside down glulam timber truss provides a single roof pitch outside but two opposing slopes inside. The truss makes for an efficient use of material as well as providing flexibility for employing other building systems. As the building pinches in the middle and fans out toward the ends, these trusses accommodate varying spans of 25’-60’. Each truss is supported by a series of posts and beams near their ends and a CLT panel in the middle that does the heavy lifting.”
Images by Yueqi ‘Jazzy’ Li, Shuang Bao, Nan Wei and Braham Berg