Written on Day 4 of the Timber Competition Internship by Carla Jooste
The last 3 days I have developed a love for wood Construction more than ever before. Been always intrigued and inspired by wood, the last couple of days I came to love it more than ever before. I think the biggest impact it carries is the physical experience of timber, to breath in the timber where it performs so well, to stand for a few minutes in silence inside/outside of the building structure and being aware how timber creates a feeling of “groundedness”, belonging, minimalistic, enchantment and inspiration.
Timber houses is not just another house, it has the ability of creating an atmosphere that is far greater than one’s imagination. I now understand why Architect Pavel Hórak fell in love with Timber and inspired to design with this beautiful material.
The atelier of Domesi has been extraordinary. Not only have they received me with “open arms”, but the way they accepted me in the office the last few days showed me the quality of Czech people and it has been an absolute significant.
I had the honour of visiting building sites, the famous concept house and finished project with the founder Pavel Horák of Domesi/Prodesi. What an amazing experience it has been! It was so inspiring to experience how such a beloved Architect have such a humble heart and is willing to make his time available for young Architects to really understand the essence of Timber Construction.
The atelier of Domesi/Prodesi is beautiful, it is an ordinary old building, but the way they changed the interior to present their company’s identity was beautiful to see and compared it with the way they approach projects as well. They might have the chance to design a timber house on a beautiful open land site out of the country, or a regular site in the middle of the neighbourhood. And though both types of outdoor environment are in contrast with each other, the Timber Construction and design of the house performs the same feeling, properties, and inspiration. They produced the same quality of excellence, creating something beautiful and be willing to be different.
As a young South Africa Architect, I have this passion to challenge the norm of Architects. I believe as an Architect you must challenge yourself to start thinking different about building materials and the way one design a home. That is exactly why I fell in love with Timber construction. Not only does it have so many “good properties”, it also creates so many other advantages on how one’s experience is in a timber house.
As South African Architects we always admire and look for inspiration and precedents FROM European projects and being able to experience the projects in real life has broaden my perspective of thinking.
“A believe, there is a string you can pull through Architecture”. Architects around the World follow the same design process, to see life of an Architect are relatively the same. I think, what makes Domesi/Prodesi Studio so successful and different from other Architectural companies is the fact that the company has its own identity. They specialize in timber construction and they do it to the best of their abilities. What I also found inspiring is that the Project Managers and Architects work together, this make the process of on-site problem solving more efficient, you collaborate with people you trust, creating an excellent work relationship. The Collaboration between Structural Eng., Architects, Carpenters, Project Management and Furniture design are one of the most important things in Architecture to achieve the best results.
I think, it is especially important when designing with Timber to have a regular collaboration of a specific Eng. and Carpenter to achieve the best results. What also stood out for me is that the same procurements are used to provide a successful project, i.e. Waterproofing, rotting an insulation. These same issues we deal with in South Africa and they make provisions for these factors. In the end designing a CLT building have many advantages, but it will take time and effort to convince clients to think differently about Timber Construction.
I believe, that this isn’t impossible, the more people see, and experience Timber homes being built the more people will be interested in considering something different.