beaver wood vault

Co-Project Manager, KVA matX in collaboration with Knippers Helbig

This project was initiated in the summer of 2012, as a design-build installation for the entry way of the recently renovated Beaver County Day School in Brookline, Massachusetts.  Classified as a matX project, this installation sought to push the boundary of material expression by providing a soft, woven form from traditionally rigid building materials.  To achieve this result, the design team led a rigorous investigation on the bending modulus of various plywood compositions at MIT’s civil engineering lab and input these definitions into grasshopper to control bending and compression parameters.  Laser cut paper models were used to explore ruled surface limitations and overall form through various weaving techniques.

The final form was engineered in collaboration with Knippers Helbig to ensure structural integrity, milled locally in Waltham, MA and assembled on site from a series of individual wooden ‘petals.’  The petals were woven together on site over the course of 2 days, lifted in place, and secured with a series of custom-designed wooden compression fins.  The final wood vault provides an intricate column of light with charging ports and bench at the base for parents and students to site and await the reception staff.  A timelapse animation fo this project can be seen as:  https://vimeo.com/47187262.

design team:  Diana Tomova, Alex Shelley, Sheila Kennedy & Frano Violich

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