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Cove Park open day to seed climate change conversations

October 19 2021

Cove Park open day to seed climate change conversations

Arc Architects are to host an open day at their newly completed outdoor classroom at Cove Park, Argyll, a temporary timber pavilion to rejuvenate the temperate rainforest which once carpeted the landscape and usher in a root and branch reform of construction.

Funded by the British Council the collaborative build with architectural scientist Mae-ling Lokko drew on the support of 27 students from a diverse range of disciplines from across Scotland and Ghana, returning to first principles on what the definition of a building should be.

Responding to the developing climate crisis ahead of next month's Cop 26 conference the initiative re-uses the foundations of a previous building, which store the equivalent of 14 tons of carbon, to support a curvilinear timber lattice that mimics the shade and shelter provided by a forest canopy to serve as a nursery for indigenous plants. The structure will also double as a workshop and learning space to facilitate conversations around the role of construction in cutting carbon emissions.

Stretching the strength and suppleness of larch to its limit the project saw individual timbers joined together with stainless steel cable ties and bolts to form 16m long supports that the designers weren't sure would stand until fixed into position. The embrace of natural materials extends inside with furniture was created from mycelium fungus and agro-waste in just five days.

Illustrating how construction can transition away from high emission concrete by pioneering alternative techniques, technologies and materials, the build show ways of weaning ourselves off the highly polluting material and the second most used substance after water, with 8% of global emissions now linked to cement production.

In a video statement, Arc Architects said: "Progress in construction is impeded by its insularity, working with people who are different to us helps develop co-design skills and communicate beyond the bubble of architecture."

"The building is a temporary installation but all buildings are temporary though we rarely design with that in mind, even the venue for Cop26 is predicted to be below water soon. As our fixed infrastructure buildings and coastal settlements struggle with increasing rainfall and rising sea levels we need a more flexible and adaptive architecture."

Championing a leadership role for women in the profession the team observed that applications for creative participants were dominated by women at 83%, a telling proportion which prompted Arc to observe: "We need a change in leadership from men to women in construction because women are less vested in the established culture that inhibits progressive change. We found a generation of talented professional women committed to change who now need pathways to power along with the 17%, If we are to transform our profession to be fit for the 21st century there is no doubt the future is female."

Peter Wilson of Timber Design Initiatives adds: "Timber technology is firing forward, you can make things with bits of trees that you couldn't before. The fundamental thing is how do you make something work. The great joy of a project like this is its fundamental thinking, The idea of a grid shell introduces an interesting dynamic because you can create structures which are unusual but at the same time stand."

An open day will take place on 29 October between 14:00 and 18:00 to showcase the classroom and the lessons learned.


Fat Bloke on Tour
#1 Posted by Fat Bloke on Tour on 19 Oct 2021 at 09:56 AM
Tick box fad'ism.
Middle class make work scheme.
Art imitating engineering ...

Discuss !?!

Architectural scientist -- WTF?
Parody project wasting other people's money.
File under ego trippers on the "make".
Benefits to the working class?
Ong Bak
#2 Posted by Ong Bak on 19 Oct 2021 at 11:45 AM
"even the venue for Cop26 is predicted to be below water soon".....based on computer model simulations that are not based in reality.

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