Creating a buzz around timber construction

Monday, 5th March, 2018

Creating a buzz around timber construction

A multidisciplinary team of undergraduates, including Welsh School of Architecture student Alice Prum, have been highly commended in a UK-wide timber design competition.

The team were judged to be in the top three of eleven teams competing in Urban Buzz 2018 organised by the Timber Research and Development Association (TRADA), winning a prize of £1000.

60 students from 28 universities took part in the intense ‘charrette-style’ challenge at the Diamond, University of Sheffield in February to conceive ways that timber can be used in the creation of a timber multi-storey car park.

Entrants wowed a distinguished panel of judges with their unique designs, including: architects Carol Costello and Alex Abbey of Cullinan Studio, and Waugh Thistleton’s Kieran Walker; engineers Matt Caldwell of Buro Happold, Keerthi Ranasinghe from the TRADA Advisory Committee, and Arup’s Susie Gregory; and landscape architects Stephanie Crewe of HLM Architects and Kate Shearer of Ares.

Competition judge Carol Costello, Practice Leader at Cullinan Studio said: “Congratulations to TRADA for getting architecture and engineering students from all over the country to collaborate and create outstanding timber designs. Technology is blurring the lines between architecture and engineering. Young people entering this industry today need to be nimble, think on their feet and work together to understand the bigger picture.

“TRADA’s Urban Buzz competition prepares students for working life, by getting them to work in multidisciplinary teams to share knowledge, present ideas and come up with exciting new innovations.”

Susie Gregory, Structural Engineer at Arup, says: “Urban Buzz provides the perfect opportunity for students in architecture, engineering and landscape to come together for discussion and debate, and push boundaries in outstanding timber design. The students today have shown a real passion for timber, from the enthusiastic way they got stuck into the competition and their presentation skills, to the outstanding quality of their designs.”

In recognition of the importance of promoting timber in education, Urban Buzz 2018 was sponsored by the Timber Trade Federation (TTF), Arnold Laver, Stora Enso, Hanson Plywood and OSC Sales Ltd. Media supporters included: IStructE, Architecture Today, and TTJ.

TRADA (The Timber Research and Development Association) is an international membership organisation dedicated to inspiring and informing best practice design, specification and use of wood in the built environment and related fields.

For background on TRADA’s Urban Buzz challenge and details on how to enter next year’s competition, please visit the TRADA website.