Plank House: Material Property Driven Forms
Core studio, instructed by Mark Goulthorpe
Using a traditional kayak building method, taught in my family, this house seeks its form by using interlocking wooden strips to create complex curved surfaces—resulting in a marshland dwelling and workshop derived through material properties and building systems processes.
Surfaces are produced from narrow, individually bent strips (1/8” thick x ¾” wide) of white oak, glued edge to edge. This process is able to create thin, lightweight, and seamless structural curves.
Directionality of the material is important to form-finding. The assemblage of wood strips is capable of a different bending range in each direction, and also can create two unique creasing typologies.
These material properties and directional tendencies can be mimicked through a specific perforation pattern on bristol paper. This provides an effective and fast way of scaling material properties while also providing an accurate guideline for how the wood strips are to be arranged over the form.
Continuous and muti-performative surfaces were devised, fulfilling the needs of furniture, surfaces, partitions, floor/ceiling, and door/window openings within one construction system. These surfaces were aggregated and arranged for wood strip continuity —each row of wood strips traces around the entire house and over the site.