Our paper about the Woodchip Barn’s treefork truss has been published in the proceedings of the 2016 Advanced in Wood Architecture conference, available as an ebook here. Zac Mollica and Martin Self presented the paper at the conference at ETH Zurich. Pdf of the paper here.
Most recent developments in architectural geometry pursue formal complexity through non-standard building components that are digitally defined and fabricated from standardised material. An alternative approach is proposed in which non-standard materials are used a priori by exploiting their inherent geometric forms through metaheuristic optimisation placement techniques. The rationale for this approach is that the diverse characteristics of near-site material can thus be exploited directly without wasteful industrial processing to first standardise and then add variation back to the component geometries.
This proposition is tested in the Wood Chip Barn project completed by Design + Make at Hooke Park in which a series of strategies allowed the inherent natural geometries of forked wood to be exploited. The application of 3D scanning, evolutionary optimization of the placement of each discrete component within a structurally determined arch, and customized robotic fabrication are presented as enabling an alternative conception of material form in which inherent irregular geometries are actively exploited by non-standard technologies.