The CLT Plant Installation utilizes a single cross-laminated-timber element to create a spatial prototype at zero-waste. A standard rectangular CLT element was split into three simple pieces and assembled into a volumetric entity. The simple cuts and precise mechanical joints were CNC-milled directly into the element in the CLT-factory. No additional elements were used to fasten the pieces together. On site work consisted of pushing the structural joints in place, and treating the wooden exterior by burning.
The temporary installation was commissioned by the 15th edition of Helsinki Design Week, themed “Learning Climate”. The theme challenged participants to educate the public on the subject of climate conscious design. The aim of the piece was to encourage fresh design approaches to using CLT and to explore zero-waste philosophy. It also served as a kind of physical infographic, providing comparative calculations of CLT and other material alternatives. The prototype is to be developed further into a small holiday unit, sauna, or a temporary shelter by adding glass elements in the triangular voids of the prototype.
CUTTING OUT MYTHS
Massive wood has outstanding material qualities. The potential within the CNC-milling capacity in CLT factories is largely uncharted. Further than emulating construction principles invented for concrete, CLT and massive wood materials in general, could be investigated to reveal completely new opportunities even for larger construction.
Fire safety is one of the common reasons of prejudice against wood. This was one of the arguments that lead to treating the exterior surface by fire. Live burning event in the middle of Helsinki, and the precious trees of the Old Church Park, proved that it is not easy to start a full burn in massive timber. The black charred surface creates a natural protection against weather and rot. After burning, a protective coating was added, so that the surface did not release any stains even when touched directly.