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26


ECO


INNOVATIVE SMILE


The American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) has teamed up with Alison Brooks Architects, Arup and the London Design Festival on an innovative urban installation. The Smile, a huge curved hollow tube which showcases the structural


and spatial potential of cross-laminated hardwood using American tulipwood, is being sited on the Rootstein Hopkins Parade Ground of the Chelsea College of Arts from 17 September until 12 October. It is one of the festival’s Landmark Projects and is billed as a timber


structure that can be inhabited and explored by the public. The Smile utilises, for the first time, construction-sized pieces of


hardwood CLT and aims to transform the way architects and engineers approach timber construction.


David Venables, the European director of AHEC, said: “This structure


proves that hardwoods have a role to play in the timber construction revolution. “The Smile … is the most significant advance because it will create the


first-ever use of industrial-sized panels of hardwood CLT.” Architect Alison Brooks said: “Entering The Smile through an opening


where the curved form meets the ground, the visitor can walk from end to end of the 34-metre-long tube to discover a new kind of space that gradually rises toward light. “It will offer a complete sensory experience of colour, texture, scent and


sound. The Smile’s two open ends will illuminate the funnel-like interior space and act as balconies to the city.”


of fuel, fulfilling a long-held dream of pioneering pilots Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg. Piccard, who was at the controls of the single-seater aircraft for the last leg


of its journey from Cairo, said: “This is not only a first in the history of aviation; it’s before all a first in the history of energy. “I’m sure that within 10 years we’ll see electric airplanes transporting 50


passengers on short- to medium-haul flights. “But it’s not enough. The same clean technologies used on Solar Impulse could be


implemented on the ground in our daily life to divide by two the CO2 emissions in a profitable way. Solar Impulse is only the beginning, now take it further!” HE Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Chairman of host


partner Masdar, added: “We are pleased to welcome back Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg after their outstanding success in circumnavigating the world using only the power of the sun. “As a leader in developing innovative renewable energy projects and


LEGACY HOPES


Solar Impulse 2 hopes to leave a lasting legacy after landing in Abu Dhabi to complete an historic and record-breaking voyage around the world. The zero-emission electric and solar airplane returned to the UAE after 23 days of flights and travelling more than 43,000 kilometres without using a drop


technologies, Masdar is committed to supporting ground-breaking initiatives, like Solar Impulse, which will inspire and deliver a more sustainable future. “Solar Impulse has proven just how practical the application of solar energy


can be. It will also provide valuable data that will lead to critical improvements in two key areas, energy storage and efficiency. “Masdar is truly excited about the endless possibilities of solar energy and


we will be part of taking such technologies to the next level.” More than 17,000 solar cells were built into the 72-metre carbon-fibre wings of Solar Impulse 2, which weighs almost the same as a family car.


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