During London Design Festival, Waugh Thistleton Architects and Arup have collaborated with the American Hardwood Export Council to create MultiPly, an interactive modular maze-like installation in The Sackler Courtyard at the V&A.
The pavilion confronts two of the age’s biggest challenges – the need for housing and the urgency to fight climate change – and presents the fusion of modular systems and sustainable construction materials as a possible solution.
The permeable structure is built from a reusable cross-laminated timber (CLT) panel system made of 60cbm of American tulipwood. Director Andrew Waugh says it will show that modular architecture can provide not only efficient solutions but also enjoyable experiences: “The structure will lead people a merry dance up and down staircases and across bridges exploring space and light.” Waugh Thistleton joins an illustrious list of architects who have collaborated with AHEC and Arup on Landmark Projects for LDF. “Waugh Thistleton has been pioneering innovative uses of wood in construction for decades,” says David Venables, AHEC’s European Director. “MultiPly explores a new, more sustainable way of building, bringing together a readily available carbon-negative material – American tulipwood – with modular design.”
The project is also a chance to highlight the structural and aesthetic properties of CLT, adds Carolina Bartram, Lead Project Director at Arup. “There is increasing topical discourse on the use of CLT as a material of choice for commercial and residential development. MultiPly provides a fabulous opportunity to showcase how advances in timber technology, together with a focus on modularity and efficiency, means we should embrace timber for future developments.”
MultiPly is carbon neutral: all carbon emissions due to hardwood extraction and processing, together with fabrication and installation of the structure and all transport stages, are offset by the carbon stored in the finished structure and the energy generated by incineration of process wood waste.