Kerto at the Royal Academy

'From landscape to portrait'

Published: 29/06/2012 00:00
Visitors to this year’s Summer Exhibition at London’s Royal Academy of Arts will
be greeted with a seminal open-air installation, largely rendered in timber. Chris
Wilkinson RA of Wilkinson Eyre Architects, has designed ‘From Landscape to
Portrait’. It is constructed using sustainable Kerto (LVL) from Metsä Wood
(formerly Finnforest) and is installed within the Annenburg Courtyard space of the
Royal Academy to provide a graceful focal point for the launch of the Summer

Chris Wilkinson has been commissioned to produce the open-air installation. „From
Landscape to Portrait‟ is a sequence of 11 giant timber frames of 5m x 3m, winding their
way along a sine curve, each frozen through a 90º rotation from a landscape to portrait

'From Landscape to Portrait' is constructed using Metsä Wood's Kerto. The lightweight
nature of timber and its structural integrity over wide spans was one of the key benefits
in its specification for the realisation of this piece. Metsä Wood pre-fabricated the Kerto
frames to precision tolerances at its manufacturing centre in Aichach, Germany, before
transporting them to London for swift installation within the courtyard. Each frame is
supported in its rotated angle of stasis by concealed engineering in a twisting stainless
steel plinth with a mirror finish, supported with structural plywood and counterbalanced
by built-in seating.

“The frames provide the perfect theme for the Annenburg Courtyard,” explains Chris
Wilkinson, “The installation 'From Landscape to Portrait' beckons the viewer into the
courtyard, following the curve of the frames into the galleries beyond. By entering the
courtyard and interacting with the piece - moving around and between the frames - the
viewer gains different views of the courtyard space, framed aesthetically in timber. The
design also incorporates innovative seating for visitors, enabling them to physically
connect with the structure. Metsä Wood Kerto LVL panels allowed for surprisingly light
sections over a large span whilst providing an elegant and sustainable solution to the
integral timber frames.”

Timber has many design benefits. It lends itself to offsite construction and with minimal
waste and fast installation times specifiers and designers can achieve very high levels of
accuracy in the tolerances available, combined with pleasing contemporary aesthetics.
"Metsä Wood was able to deliver high quality bespoke engineered timber within a very
tight programme, a feat made possible by the excellent technical support offered by
Daniel Kreissig and his team and the efficiency of the processes used at the production
facility in Germany,” said Chris Wilkinson.

Kevin Riley, Vice President Construction Industry for Metsä Wood said: “Our Kerto is
ideally suited to deliver long spans. For the Royal Academy we have sealed the surface
of the timber to provide protection and enhance the timber‟s natural appearance. This
latest use of Kerto to create a cutting edge piece of design demonstrates the great
versatility of engineered timber in the delivery of challenging projects.”

The Royal Academy of Art's Summer Exhibition is now in its 244th year. It is the world's
largest open submission contemporary art show. It runs from 4th June, marking the start
of the Summer Season to 12th August.

For more information visit

For more information on Metsä Wood's Kerto laminated veneer timber (LVL) visit or call 01205 883835

For information on the realisation of Chris Wilkinson's 'From Landscape to Portrait' visit