Ingrid Moye | Zeller & Moye

that is 100 per cent CO2 neutral, and totally recyclable. It’s a natural product that is alive; it breathes has its own characteristics and is suitable for a wide range of design solutions. A vivid example of blending with natural surroundings is the example

here from Zeller & Moye, a house built entirely from timber and arranged in fi ve boxes to avoid, and fi t in with, the pine trees in a forest in Klein Köris, eastern Germany. Its single-storey, staggered layout was infl uenced by the lakeside trees which surround it. The architects aimed to reduce its impact by avoiding them and raising it above the ground.

HOVERING AND INTERMINGLING Zeller & Moye co-founder Ingrid Moye described it this way: “The house hovers above the ground and intermingles with the plot’s trees to minimise its impact on the surrounding nature. Thus, the fragmented volumes generate external nooks along the facade.” The house covers 130 square metres in fi ve rectangular timber boxes,

the largest of which contains the main kitchen, dining and seating area, with three fl exible rooms designed for use as a bedroom, studio, workshop or guest room and a separate bathroom. “Each box encloses one program

from the brief,” said Moye in an interview with Dezeen magazine. “The central box works as the heart of the residence as an open room for eating, dining, and living; whereas the private functions spread out into individual cubes with views across the landscape. “The position of the boxes

responds to the locations of the trees, creating enough distance to the plot’s outline to provide privacy; and to generate a sensible distribution of the program in relation to the sun’s orientation, accessibility and views.” The timber construction breaks down as a basic structure made from

a modular wood block system in combination with solid wood slabs – all deliberately left exposed with large windows looking on to the forest - while its exterior was pure spruce. A popular and eff ective way to create the wood eff ect has been to

use timber trusses and leave them exposed. When fabricated from a series of triangles and linked by a ridge beam and purlins, they bring

facilitate a larger and more fl exible fl oor plan than would otherwise be possible, thus indirectly contributing to the aesthetics of a space as well. None of this is surprising. Wood is where it all began and it’s where we retreat to for style, comfort, aesthetics and even warmth. You could even go as far as to say ... it’s only natural.

structural advantages due to their high strength-to-weight ratios and ability to support long spans. But when they’re left exposed, their function becomes a part of the aesthetic, adding a complexity an interior space. Some studies have estimated they were likely used as long ago as the Bronze Age, favoured by the Greeks in antiquity and for various purposes in Europe during the Middle Ages. In the 1950s, as advances within

construction technology improved their effi cacy even further, thanks to the development of the metal connector

plate, they could be

placed at the joints of the truss. Designers will favour the aesthetic

eff ect of the wooden truss, as it can make a space feel larger, by revealing,

rather than concealing,

the roof structure. Within rustically designed residential spaces, for example, the exposed wooden beams and vaulted ceiling eff ect can amplify the bucolic atmosphere of a rural living space. And furthermore, the structural advantages of the wooden truss can



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