This project –being developed with multiple clients, and in parallel with our work leading the NCC Wood Academy- proposes a fresh evolution of the wooden room module sector. Typically used in highly repetitive designs with a time and profitability imperative, room modules (consisting of fully fitted-out and waterproof structural volumes which are delivered to site, lifted into place and plugged into services) also promise high quality living conditions for demountale buildings erected in challenging locations.
The brief for this project begins from four to five bedrooms with private bathrooms, and generous shared space, including one enclosed office. There is a wheelchair-accessible bedroom and bathroom and a fully-equipped kitchen. Particular care is taken with assembly details between units to give a homogeneous finish, despite the industrial and rapid building techniques being used. Each module is slightly different, the overall form in plan is asymmetrical, and the roof is designed as large-format brettstapel panels which can be transported in three pieces on a single truck bed. Foundations are minimal and reversible, and building services (such as sewage) can be offline. Rainwater from the large, single-slope roof is collected under the deck. The aim is to be able to erect and dismantle the whole building in five days.
Relevant uses include cultural residencies in climate-dependent locations (for example, with seasonal snow and constrained access) and medium to long-term retreat and gathering uses. The abundant and highly varied interstitial spaces –providing a wide range of secondary spaces for work, gathering, contemplation and display- allow the building to propose public functions such as exhibitions, meetings, lectures and concerts.
The project has been described by Peter Cook as ‘fascinating..and potentially significant work.’