Following its Pritzker Prize win, concrete connoisseur Grafton Architects isn’t creating another beautiful stone building as you might expect given its previous output. Instead, the Irish firm has designed a light-filled all-timber college research building that it hopes will highlight the versatility of wood.
The Anthony Timberlands Center for Design and Materials Innovation is being created in collaboration with local firm Modus Studio and will be part of the University of Arkansas’ Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design. It will host the school’s expanding design-build program and fabrication technologies laboratories, and will be a new home for its graduate program in timber and wood design.
Details are quite thin on the ground at this early stage, but the basic idea behind the project’s unusual design is that it’s a “Story Book of Timber,” says Grafton. It will show off the beauty of wood finishes, as well as timber’s strength as a building material, with structural support beams left uncovered. Daylight will permeate within thanks to generous glazing and it will integrate some greenery too.