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Insights > Construction


relevant. It is one reason why, when he opened his architecture practice straight out of university more than 20 years ago, timber was on his radar. Even back then, the idea of slapping a solar panel on the roof or installing double glazing to mitigate climate change – or as he refers to it, “the greatest calamity ever to befall our species” – felt a little half-hearted. Taking the problem seriously meant considering the embodied carbon footprint of the materials he was using to construct a building, an approach that has come to define his practice over the last two decades.


INTO THE WOODS A


ndrew Waugh believes architecture should never not be politically and socially


At the same time, while he and his business partner Anthony Thistleton were setting up their business, they were both working as model makers for other practices during evenings and weekends. It got them thinking about pre-fabrication and how different elements of buildings fit together. When they came across cross- laminated timber (CLT), a material that brought both approaches together, Waugh remembers feeling like they had apples falling on their heads. They designed their first small CLT building in 2003 and have since built around 25 across the UK and France, with another 15 or so in the design phase all over Europe, including a master plan in Norway and a half million


The growth in wooden urbanism is being driven by timber’s technical and environmental benefits, as well as growing investor and consumer demand. However, while taller timber might increasingly litter skylines across the globe, from Vancouver to Vienna, there are still many within the architecture and construction industry that don’t want things to change. Elly Earls speaks to Andrew Waugh of Waugh Thistleton Architects, Robert Winkel of Mei Architects and the Forest Stewardship Council’s Anand Punja to find out why more architects are building ambitious, eye-catching structures made of wood.


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LEAF REVIEW / www.leading-architects.com


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