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Forest of Fabrication

dRMM: pioneers of timber architecture exhibition

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Type/Sector: Cultural, Leisure
Tagged: Collaboration, Digital Manufacturing, Engineered Timber, Sustainability Exemplars

Collaborators

London venue The Building Centre
Liverpool venue RIBA North

The exhibition featured 24 dRMM projects designed over 24 years. Models of both built and unbuilt schemes showed how they all pushed the boundaries of possibility for timber structures.

Collaborators

London venue The Building Centre
Liverpool venue RIBA North
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Winnipeg Market Hall, competition design
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Endless Stair installation in Milan, built
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WorkStack, ongoing
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Hastings Pier, built, 2017 Stirling Prize winner
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Sky Health and Fitness centre, built
01 Timber is the new concrete

Pioneering in practice

Many of the models exhibited had never previously been publicly displayed, and were shown alongside digital projections of concept sketches, project drawings, construction and final photographs. The displays were testament of dRMM’s research and innovation through material research, model making and prototyping.
The exhibition revealed our thought process of investigating structural systems through fabrication and testing; exploring new assemblies and probing one-to-one building fragments.
‘Forest of Fabrication’ was hosted at The Building Centre from in London, from February to May 2019 and at RIBA North gallery in Liverpool from September 2019 to March 2020.

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Endless Stair in Milan, built
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Kingsdale School Auditorium, built
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MK40 CLT Tower, built
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Timber Tower, research project
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Winnipeg Market Hall, competition design
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WoodBlock House, wall sample, built
02 A material for change

Let's talk about trees

During its life a tree makes oxygen, eats carbon and provides food, shade, habitat, colour and character. And endlessly renews itself. Trees control wind, water levels, soil erosion, pollution and temperature. Not only do trees make cities more livable and desirable when alive, they then provide fuel, compost and construction material when dead—an exemplary model of positive design.
dRMM deliberately presented the delicately crafted timber models on freshly cut tree trunks, bringing the raw material back to the heart of the conversation. Developing sustainable forestry and planting more than is cut is a prerequisite to meaningful engineered timber construction.

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View of the installation at The Building Centre. Model shown: Bat and Ball community centre, competition
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Logs used as street furniture outside The Building Centre during the exhibition
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View of the installation at The Building Centre
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View of the installation at The Building Centre. Model shown: Wintringham Primary Academy, built
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View of the installation at RIBA North. Model shown: Sky Health and fitness centre, built
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View of the installation at RIBA North. Model shown: Kingsdale school auditorium, built
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View of the installation at RIBA North, models and stools around the Alex de Rijke's round Table
03 Fabrication as design tool

Model making and the design process

To us, models are an essential piece of architectural design development. dRMM’s workshop is a testbed for architectural exploration. It is where architectural drawings and concepts are confronted for the first time with the physical reality of materiality, gravity and the three-dimensional world.
dRMM enjoy developing concepts and capturing clients’ visions through extraordinary models that prove that the 2D can be realised in 3D.

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Making the Wintringham Primary Academy model
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Making the Kingsdale School auditorium model
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Making a context model
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dRMM's workshop
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Making the Kingsdale School auditorium model
04 Programme of events

Starting a conversation around models

Good models not only convey the form of an architectural project but also its materiality, tactile qualities, building sequence and many other aspects. Playful, evocative and interactive, dRMM models are real conversation starters.

‘Forest of Fabrication’ was a theatre of great knowledge exchange and networking both in London and Liverpool, placing dRMM at the forefront of the progress of timber design. The show attracted a number of professionals invested in the development of timber construction, or simply interested and curious about its potential. dRMM curated a varied programme of events to start conversations between collaborators and specialists from all industries; forging new connections between students, researchers, designers, engineers, manufacturers and developers.

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Launch ceremony at The Building Centre, Alex de Rijke
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'Meet the architect' tour at RIBA North, Raphael Villiermet
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'Meet the architect' tour at RIBA North, Jonas Lencer
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'Timber symposium' at RIBA North, Raphael Villiermet
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'CLT Masterclass at RIBA North, Steven Wallis
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'Panel discussions' at RIBA North, Jonas Lencer
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Sponsors Tour at RIBA North
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Launch ceremony at RIBA North, Alex de Rijke

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