The goal of this phase of the Mass Timber Research studio was to redesign an existing home using steel construction methods into an optimized mass timber home. My partner, Malina Pickard, and I were working with Pezo Von Ellrichshausen’s Cien House in Concepcion, Chile. It was completed in 2011 and consists of a two story, rectangular podium which is embedded into Chile’s hillside, with a five story, square tower centered over the podium.
The first phase included the documentation of the existing structural conditions. The existing home is situated on a 20’ x 20’ grid with load-bearing concrete walls and non load-bearing interior wood stud partition walls.
The goal of phase two was to directly translate this scheme into mass timber construction. 5-ply CLT panels were used for the floors with 7-ply CLT walls.
Finally, in phase three we expanded the grid to 24’ x 24’ to include 3 modules per grid measuring 24’ x 8’ each. One of these modules would be designated for “wet/technical” programming such as kitchens and bathrooms, and the wet modules would stack on top of one another throughout the tower. The concept of the modular design is that more modules may be added or subtracted or pushed and pulled to create varying forms such as balconies, double height spaces, overhangs, and height variation.