Unit 5: The Tectonic Language of Timber
This year’s Unit 5 programme which we teach at The School of Art, Architecture and Design at London Metropolitan University, considers the implication construction methods and materials have on the landscape, exploring the tectonics of timber construction to form tactile and expressive collective housing, buildings with a civic gravitas and urban gardens. Cement is prohibited.
Semesters include a design project creating collective housing for elderly residents, alongside a trip to Lutyens' Bois des Moutiers and a series of Romanesque abbey complexes where students will be drawing and observing the rooms and gardens of communal living, and the simple celestial tectonic of the Romanesque.
Precedent studies will look at individual houses focussing on constructional language and the scale and sequence of interior/exterior rooms. The precedents and supporting seminars will encompass 15th and 16th Century English Tudor houses and concurrent Japanese houses such as Sumiya, Kyoto; The English Arts and crafts of C.F Voysey, as well as contemporary examples such as Colin St John Wilson and Peter Aldington.
Focussing around working timber models, students will photograph the human perspective and the warmth and tactility timber brings to rooms. We will conduct site visits to a number of timber buildings the practice has under construction.