INSTRUCTORS: Joaquin Bonifaz & Benjamin Aranda
Cross-Laminated Density explored a building type uniquely possible in the urban environments of Chile but applicable to other cities globally: the mass timber building. Chile is a world leader in mass timber production, a construction type that uses new growth forests to create large-scale timber components of buildings including structure and envelope. Also referred to as Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT), the material is prized for its low-carbon footprint by the use of a renewable resource, trees. It is also used to create immense prefabricated building components only limited in size by their transport.
Over ten days students visited Santiago—a unique context and an industry thought leader in the mass timber could impact other cities and concepts of density in the future. In Santiago students studied sites for making their proposals, toured Mass Timber project-sites and participated in series of review-workshops with students and faculty from UDD.
Throughout the semester the studio explored CLT’s scalar properties and imagined its vast potential to architecture. Students researched spatial techniques that guided issues of assembly, connection, modularity and the proliferation of these large-scale timber components. Using physical model-prototypes made of wood, students tested how hyper-density in massive timber can be achieved through a variety of use cases: from infill conditions to free-standing medium-rise buildings to the scale of infrastructural interventions.