“Design & Make’s project for 2015 has been a robotically fabricated Wood Chip Barn. The structure provides long-term storage for wood chip to fuel the Biomass Boiler House. With a storage capacity of 400cu.m, the barn will enable the Hooke Park estate to process and use it’s own timber for renewable heat production. The first structure to be erected outside of the educational campus, the barn occupies part of a site which had been used for sawmill operations and is envisioned to facilitate an increase in timber processing activity.
The barn’s arching structure is formed from forked beech-tree components directly sourced from the surrounding woodland. The inherent form and structural capacity of the natural tree is transferred and exploited within the truss structure using 3d-scanning techniques and robotic milling to form the connections.
Having surveyed Hooke Park’s beech compartments, a database of potential forked components was established, and from it, the structural concept was developed. Based on the criteria of this structure, 25 forks were harvested from the forest, brought back to the campus and scanned in 3D. An organization script was used to generate a final arrangement of forks in collaboration with engineers from Arup. This digital model was then translated into fabrication information with which Hooke Park’s new robotic arm transformed each fork into a finished component. After being pre-assembled in Hooke Park’s Big Shed, the building’s pieces were assembled on site.”
Tutors – Toby Burgess, Martin Self, Emmanuel Vercruysse, Charley Brentnall
Students – Mohaimeen Islam, Zachary Mollica, Sahil Shah, Swetha Vegesana, Yung-Chen Yang
Structural engineers – Arup
Images – Valerie Bennet