Y Timber

The Idea

“The beautiful building does not hurt the landscape, but makes the landscape more beautiful than it was before the construction of the building.”

Frank Lloyd Wright

When George’s Faculty of Forestry proposed the Arboretum to Innovhousing as a site for the new project, we realized we had the possibility to create something unique in a place full of diverse species of trees, by blending the building with the environment, without altering the latter’s original function.

The integrative forms of hybridization with the forest environment are emphasized to become a distinctive feature of the project.

An example is in the external cladding’s joists mostly built with local timber that became redundant due to the fires in the George and Knysna area in 2016.

We have minimized the height of the building to match the surroundings, no more than 2 floors, choosing instead to increase the footprint of the building.

We avoided the hardness of ninety-degree angles and use curves instead, in order to give continuity to the volumes.
We have resized orthogonality, inspiring our process to the profiles of the mountains.
The building must adapt to the host environment to the point it mingles with it.

As Frank Lloyd Wright states: “The beautiful building does not hurt the landscape, but makes the landscape more beautiful than it was before the construction of the building.”

Mono-functional environments create redundancy of space over time. Exploring the connections between form and functions should give way to an environment characterized by multiple purposes.
Space is becoming more and more precious and can no longer express a single service, therefore accommodating numerous uses and experiences within the same structure is a way of evaluating space effectively.
Providing different and complementary uses means to facilitate inclusion in educational, economic, cultural, and moral growth.
To prevent constraints and conceive a new form that would promote the emphasis on space- and the potential of its structural dynamics- we avoided the use of beams in the interior of the building.

The inverted Y shape of the building evolves from the unfolding of functions in its space.