Students in WSE 425/525, Timber Tectonics in the Digital Age, recently assembled their prototype for a covered park shelter in the Peavy Forest Science Center Atrium. The course is a collaboration between OSU’s Department of Wood Science and Engineering and U of O’s Department of Architecture.

Co-led by OSU’s Mariapaola Riggio and UO’s Nancy Cheng, the course explores timber structural systems and creates new technical and design possibilities using digital techniques, modeling and tools.

Prototype of the structure

This year, students partnered with the city of Salem to create a prototype for a covered structure or shelter for a park. Permanent shelters are expensive and a cheaper alternative that can be deployed quickly is in great demand. Inspired by the circular economy, students were charged with creating a design which minimizes waste, uses components cut from scraps and promotes reuse.

With the support of TallWood Design Institute and material donated from Roseburg Forest Products, the class first built a scale model and then a prototype at Oregon State’s A.A. “Red” Emmerson Advanced Wood Products Lab. The structure uses a bottom-up, kit-like approach and is designed for disassembly. The components are interconnected using wood-to-wood joints and include engineered wood panels.

The prototype is on display in the College of Forestry’s George W. Peavy Forest Science Center atrium through the month of March, watch a timelapse of the assembly.

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