An involuntary smile hits the visitors of the London Digital Festival when their eyes fall upon the unique and curved structure, ‘The Smile’ designed by the Alison Brooks Architects.
The idea was to demonstrate the promise of the CLT. The Smile was created using the American tulipwood timber. Alison Brooks claims that his design is stronger than concrete.
CLT is usually composed of spruce. However, Arup, an engineering firm, is also testing the tulipwood that is not only stronger than the spruce wood but also gives more elegant finishing effect. David Venables, the European Director of the American Hardwood Export Council, also endorsed tulipwood and claimed that it is quite sustainable.
Since CLT requires low-grade timber that cannot be used to make furniture, more of the harvested timber can be used.
The Smile uses twelve CLT panels composed of tulipwood. Each panel is nearly 14-meters long and around 4.5 meters wide. The panels are incredibly thin, having a 100-millimetre thickness for both the floor and the walls.
The sunlight can permeate the structure via the small oval holes in the building. Brooks has intelligently installed The Smile at a location where it beckons the onlookers to come close and experience it:
“The Smile’s form implies that it will rock. So the form itself is an invitation to test whether the pavilion moves, and how it feels to walk in on a curved floor. A single door and ramp from the square invites visitors to enter – something like our archetypal image of Noah’s Ark. Inside the door light spilling from the ends of the arc will invite you to walk up the slope of the curve to balconies at either end, rather like looking out from the rail of a ship.”
The Smile was exhibited at the Chelsea College of Art Rootstein Hopkins Parade Ground.
A smiling structure to spread smiles on your faces. What an incredible idea!