By Tim Rote (AJH Design)
While researching this project and learning all that I did behind this design competition I find myself rooting heavily for this new potential movement in wood building within the urban environment. This undertaking has allowed me insight into a technique I previously knew little about, but now looks like a promising new style of architecture that can have globally impacting benefits. This has led me to take a lot of pride in the work I have done on my project because I want to be able to assist the this cause in any way I can.
When I think about the future of this movement I think of the many possibilities for it to take hold within different societal districts. If I was a business man I would be preaching the money-making potential of this progression. The relatively inexpensive materials and methods for building combined with the flexibility of location distribution would compliment the already lucrative housing market nicely.
As an inhabitant of this earth who cares about the future of our environment, and who frowns upon our previously unfriendly actions toward it, I would address the green techniques that this movement offers us by means of incorporating reusable materials into our buildings as well as adaptive re-use of existing buildings that help reduce urban sprawl and prevents the waste of materials that would result from those buildings' demolition.
As a designer I believe much of my responsibility lies (along with integrating green-building techniques) with beautification of our Earth's cities. Wood offers us a great medium in which to create and design unique buildings efficiently and without the expense of its steel counterpart. My personal taste when designing in wood often centers around the natural beauty of unpainted wood combined with naturalistic curving forms. These are the basis of the designs that presented themselves to me in this particular project as well.
The inspiration for my design seems to have pulled itself from the already unique ovular form of Tour Eve. I wanted to be sure to take care to find a harmony between allowing the new wooden Kerto addition to stand out, while also preventing the building from looking like it has just donned a rather silly hat. Retaining the beauty of the wood's natural colors and pushing it to display natural curves that are not necessarily as enunciated in the original building made this balancing act a difficult one. My solution came in the form of continuing instances of the design more sparsely down the faces of the original building in order to blur the line between old and new.
Inside the tiered wooden addition I've allotted space for 14 apartment averaging close to 400 square feet each (benchmarked from the size of the existing apartments). I didn't design the interiors as detailed as I would have liked to due to time constraints, but I picture them as being a much simpler floor plan as compared to those in the existing building. An open floor plan will assist in maintaining a lighter dead load bearing down upon our structure, as well as make the meager floor plans seem more spacious. Accessible from the 1st and 4th floor of our addition are 2 spacious patios that circumnavigate the building giving patrons generous fresh air space that provide impressive views of the iconic city.
I hope you've enjoyed my building; I look forward to seeing other's designs next month. I want to thank MetsaWood for holding the competition, I enjoyed the process and I learned a fair amount about this new environmentally friendly style of building. I wish you the best of luck in your endeavors to propagate this method and hope that this competition helps in that regard.