Urban Timber: From seed to city exhibition opens in Boston

Boston — “Urban Timber: From seed to city” exhibition, opening at BSA Space on June 26, will celebrate wood as a natural and sensible building material for cities while highlighting its adaptability, versatility, and extraordinary technical qualities. The exhibition will explore how the use of wood in mid-rise buildings can combat climate change and will highlight its potential as the need for high performance, low environmental impact structures continues to increase in our urban cores.

The exhibition will explore wood technology and the recent innovations in engineered timber available to architects and engineers, as well as dispel common myths associated with building using timber.

BSA Space is home to the Boston Society of Architects and the Boston Foundation for Architecture. BSA Space hosts exhibitions on design and architecture, architectural cruises and walking tours, and other programs and events that foster exchange between design and construction, the profession and the public, and encourage collaboration across the city and world.

Included in the exhibition will be a number of case studies demonstrating the successful use of timber in tall buildings. Also on display at BSA Space — and the result of an open competition — will be four winning projects proposed by emerging architects featuring innovative structural uses of timber. The winners collaborated with mentor architects, engineers, and material suppliers to develop and realize their installations in the gallery.

While the U.S. perception of wood as an inferior building material persists, Yugon Kim, founding owner/partner of IKD and co-curator of the exhibition points out: “We now know that timber is a superior structural building material that should be considered alongside steel and concrete. The carbon offset and sustainability benefits of wood make it an ever-relevant and timely building material in our urban landscape. Urban Timber: From seed to city will show that recent developments — including numerous successful implementations of timber as primary structure for the construction of midrise buildings in Europe — point to a different future for wood.”

Emily Grandstaff-Rice, BSA President said, “Urban Timber is a reminder that the strength and solidity of New England’s physical history comes from wood, and that its future may hold a significant second act for the largely underrated structural material. Were it not for the Great Fire of Boston in 1872, the urban landscape of glass, steel and concrete that we know today might have been very different.”

The show will remain on display at BSA Space through September 30. Admission is free and open to the public. The public program will include a series of collaborative public workshops and lectures will accompany the exhibition to provide extra platforms for dialogue and knowledge-sharing between key players in the industry.


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