While perusing the latest edition of the Hackney Citizen, I saw that one of the finalists for the Hackney Council Design Awards - People's Choice Award was an innovative new build scheme which uses cross-laminated timber (CLT).
The scheme from Hawkins Brown architects uses innovation in material and design, incorporating CLT and also a Twisting Cruciform. This type of design maximises the outer facing aspects of the building, enabling both increased outside space and also greater privacy for residents.
I had come across the emergence of CLT though an Economist podcast on the topic. This material is being heralded as the future of construction, holding appeal from both an aesthetic and environmental point of view. The material has comparable strength to concrete at a fraction of the CO2 footprint.
It is interesting to see this material in use in an inner urban area. I look forward to seeing more schemes incorporating this new technology. Who knows, this could prove the antidote to the rash of glass facade skyscrapers which are increasingly peppering the London skyline.
cross-laminated timber (CLT) made from layers of timber sections glued together with their grains at right angles to one another. In much the same way that aligning carbon-fibre composites creates stronger racing cars, aircraft and golf clubs, CLT imparts greater rigidity and strength to wooden structures.