The Biomass Boiler House was completed in January 2015 and was design by D&M students Sattaveesa Sahu and Yingzi Wang. The building contains the boiler, chip-store and buffer tank for the district heating system that now provides heat energy to all of the Hooke Park campus. Naturally curved Douglas fir tree trunks were each 3d-scanned to form a database of geometries from which a smoothly flowing sinuous curved wall was composed from stacking timbers.
About 250 curved trees at Hooke Park were scanned from which centreline and taper-diameter data were extracted from the scan meshes. Scripted routines were used to determine the optimum position of each curved log in the wall according to criteria that aimed to generate smooth continuous curvatures. These curvatures form part of an architectural landscape strategy and also contribute to the structural stability of the wall.
The building is positioned into an existing slope to simplify the operation of the building by allowing woodchip to be delivered through a hatch at roof level. The design intent was for the building to read as a continuation of the topological contours of the site, and to express this through layering of the building structure and a curved flow of the walls of the building.