Kerto® LVLis key to AA school summer pavilion


Published: 23/07/2009 00:00

Metsä Wood has once again been instrumental in the realisation of a sculptural installation that forms this year’s Architectural Association School Summer Pavilion. Constructed from Metsä Wood's Kerto®​ LVL (Laminated Veneer Lumber), a key driver in the structure’s inception and construction was minimal wastage; this and the use of sustainable timber means that 2009 has seen the Summer Pavilion move up a step to meet today’s sustainable agenda.

Located in Bedford Square, London, for the duration of July, the Summer Pavilion was designed by third year AA School student Danecia Sibingo. This was the winning design in the annual Intermediate Unit 2 competition, which is now in its fourth year. The judging panel this year consisted of eight notable industry figures, including architects Saffet Bekirogl of Zaha Hadid Architects, Renato Benedetti of McDowell & Benedetti, Theo Spyropoulos and Lisa McMullen.

Entitled Driftwood, the Pavilion design was inspired by the UK’s inextricable link to the sea. The Pavilion is formed with a series of pre-curved Kerto laths that lend the structure a sculptural quality. The curved form appears to have been ‘washed up’ in the centre of the busy London square where the geometric lines of Georgian architecture form the perfect foil for its undulating form.

Kerto donated by Metsä Wood was the ideal material for this project. As engineered timber, Kerto is formed from several layers of laminated timber veneers that are glued together to form a product that minimises any natural defects found in a single section of sawn timber. With a high strength to weight ratio, Kerto is strong and durable. You can watch a video here ​​to see how Kerto LVL is produced. 

Sourced from sustainably managed forests, all Metsä Wood's products are made from certified timber and provided with full chain of custody accreditation – delivering reassurance to both specifiers and their clients.

Metsä Wood explains the importance of this: “As a new dimension to the AA School’s Summer Pavilion competition the students needed to ensure the result was created with minimal wastage. It is not only the environmental credentials of the materials used in a project that is important, but also the way these materials are deployed. By combining environmentally sound materials with a low-waste approach to the construction of the Pavilion, the students have created the most sustainable Summer Pavilion to date.”

Fabricated at the AA School’s facility at Hooke Park in Dorset, students were responsible for the construction of the Pavilion outside the AA School’s London headquarters in Bedford Square.

Brett Steele, Director of the AA School said: “The annual Summer Pavilion competition provides a unique opportunity for students to work together to design, develop and ultimately fabricate a professional standard architectural sculpture for the public to enjoy. Unparalleled in any other architectural school, it creates a collaborative working environment, nurturing inspiration and encouraging radical and fresh ideas which come to life in the form of these incredible structures.”

This is the fourth year Metsä Wood​ has supported the AA School Summer Pavilion by supplying timber materials. Course tutors Charles Walker and Martin Self lead the pavilion projects, which are undertaken each year by Intermediate Unit 2 students. Supporting technical advice is provided by Arup and the project is also sponsored by HOK architects.