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Wakeford Hall Library Skeleton

Wakeford Hall is a multi layered project at the heart of the Hooke Park campus. Through 2017, we put our focus to the design and manufacture of its first component – the Library – whose fully composed sculptural skeleton assembled and standing proud, forms the tangible inheritance passed on to the next generation of students. Developed through numerous iterations of drawing, modeling and prototyping, the skeleton acts as a scaffold structure upon which to accurately graft a bespoke inhabitable skin tailored to negotiate highly choreographed operational requirements while engaging in a meaningful way with its immediate surroundings. A thorough Lidar 3D survey of the assembled structure has enabled analysis of assembly tolerances to directly inform how we approach further design and fabrication strategies.

Investigating how industrial timber lamination processes might be applied within both Design + Make and Hooke Park’s ongoing built research, through the Library project, innovative methodologies for the production of bespoke laminated frames were developed. The structure’s 14 interlocking glue-laminated timber frames were precisely sculpted with a hijacked band-saw which was reinvented as a robotic end-effector by Workshop Manager Charlie Corry Wright. This tooling allowed room-sized planar components to meet three-dimensionally at varying and complex angles, cultivating a language for wood construction that does not defer to the tectonic conventions of steel or concrete structures and engages an elegant complexity in the fabrication strategies. Marks of both the processes and tools that produced it remain present in the finished object – from tree growth to digital fabrication.

Project Credits

Students: Aitor Almarez, Pedro Bran, Kevin Kim, Mariela Reyes, Veda Barath, Xin Tu

Tutors: Martin Self (Co-director), Emmanuel Vercruysse (Co-director), Zachary Mollica (Studio Tutor), Jack Draper (Make Tutor + Project Manager)

Hooke Park Team: Charlie Corry Wright (Workshop Manager), Michael Arnett (Robotics Developer) , William Moorwood, Edward Coe (Technical Coordinator), Christopher Sadd (Head Forester)

Arup (Engineering)