Could this be a new way to design and build houses and cities?

Could this be a new way to design and build houses and cities?

The picture above caught our eye here in Property & Interiors Towers at Irish Examiner HQ this week — not only was the design subject intriguing, but its setting reminded us of the approach to the main entrance to University College Cork.

Half-close your eyes and you’ll see what we’re talking about — except instead of a trot along the Mardyke, if you were to get up close and personal with the innovative timber pavilion pictured, your stroll would be in Madrid.

Speaking of Spain, in 2018, its population increased to 47 million — the fastest annual jump since 2009 and copperfastening its position as the Eurozone’s fastest-growing major economy.

In order to keep up with population surges in ever-expanding cities, in a way that is not harmful to our planet, it is crucial to utilise new technologies that use sustainable materials.

This is where off-site timber construction that can provide quick-to-assemble, high-quality housing with low carbon emmisions comes in as a potential solution.

The installation is called MultiPly and it’s a modular timber pavilion created in collaboration between the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC), Waugh Thistleton Architects and ARUP.

And forget about the Oscars, it will have a red-carpet moment of its own at Madrid Design Festival 2020, in Madrid Río at the entrance to the Casa de Campo from February 1-15.

MultiPly first debuted at London Design Festival 2018 and has since been recognised for its use of sustainable materials and representation of modular housing, winning recently in the Small Project of the Year category at the Wood Awards 2019.

So what’s so special about it? Well, it’s believed to signal a new way to design and build houses and cities. The tulipwood used for this eight metre-high carbon-neutral timber pavilion.stores the equivalent of 22 tonnes of carbon dioxide and is naturally replaced with new growth in the US forests in less than two minutes.

MultiPly responds to two of the greatest challenges of our time: the growing need for housing and the urgency to fight climate change, presenting as a solution the combination of modular systems and sustainable building materials.The three-dimensional structure is constructed from a flexible system of 12 CLT modules of American tulipwood with digitally manufactured joints, as if it were a piece of furniture ready to assemble.

“The main objective of this project is to publicly discuss how environmental challenges can be addressed through innovative and affordable construction,” says Andrew Waugh of Waugh Thistleton Architects.

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