the 1:50 lattice structure in the sunlight

14.02.15 | refining the structure

Project Lacey Green

At the start of the month I met up with Steve (the project’s structural engineer), to refine design of the timber lattice structure. Having made a 1:50 laser cut model, it was easy to see where the joints would be complicated – particularly at junction between wall and roof. Making all the angles orthogonal helps a lot to simplify these connections, and so we altered the orientation of the roof-plane members so that they are at right-angles to the timber lattice on the gable-end wall. Steve was very keen to make the side walls orthogonal to the roof plane as well, which would entail moving the base of the walls inwards so that they’re at a 45 degree angle to the ground. I’m not sure about this formally (the resulting shape reminds me of a 70s ski lodge!) and it also reduces the size of the interior space. I therefore based my 1:5 model of the corner connection on the original form, with vertical side walls. Rather than connecting directly, each member of the lattice meets an 100mm x 100mm frame which runs around the edge of the structure. However, the number of cuts required into this structural member is problematic from a buildability point of view, so needs a little more work!

I also built a 1:1 mock-up of a whole lattice and steel footing detail, to test the CNC cutting process, assembly and connections. Because the sample planks of timber I’d collected from Hooke had already been cut to the exact width, we had to create a jig on the CNC bed to slot each piece into (normally you screw a large sheet down to the bed and then cut the shape out from that). The footing was fabricated down the road at M. H. Hall, a steel company I worked with last year when I built a sink for the farm. It was really useful to get a sense of scale, and helped me decide to increase the size of the lattice so that each piece is 1.5m long, rather than 1m (which creates too dense a facade). Both these pieces were shown at the RCA’s Work In Progress show, open to the public this weekend, alongside lots of other interesting material explorations from students in ADS6. It was really nice to work at the Farm alongside everyone else, with each person exploring very different things.

The priority for the next week is to resolve the timber structure fully and prepare the final construction drawings to discuss with local contractors, so that I can work out a building schedule and system. I can then focus on the design of the clay tiles, and start prototyping them at the farm in collaboration with H. G. Matthews.