Wander Wood Pavilion

Robots sliced the interlocking, curved wooden slats that form this sculptural bench, which is currently installed on the campus of the Vancouver’s University of British Columbia.

The temporary Wander Wood Pavilion was built during the Robot Made: Large-Scale Robotic Timber Fabrication in Architecture student workshop, held by the university’s School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (SALA) and Centre for Advanced Wood Processing (CAWP).

Participants included 15 architecture students and 21 external partners, who were required to fabricate and assemble a wooden installation for the university’s public green using computational tools.

In the final design, two rows of wooden slats steadily change in shape to create the structure’s outline, which curves to a peak. The exterior forms a rounded shell, partially enclosing a public bench inside.

To create this organic shape in wood, the team created a digital 3D model of the structure. This was then segmented into the individual sections that were cut using robotically controlled tools.

This experimental structure demonstrates the new capabilities of the technology to develop innovative material applications that harness the unique properties of wood to animate public spaces. Wood is a natural partner for these technologies because of the ability to easily mill and shape it with robotically controlled cutting tools.

Two rows of the wooden slats are pieced together to form the structure, with the outer layer bending inwards and then outwards. Wooden teeth on each section overlap so the pieces can be screwed together.

The pavilion was assembled by using interlocking components in combination with 2,200 rivets. The whole installation was built at the Advanced Wood Processing centre indoor wood shop and then moved in sections to the site.

The interior gradually introduces a curve that forms the bench for members of the public to rest. The slats are segmented at the base into zig-zagged sections in order to include this feature.

Small, temporary structures like the Wander Wood Pavilion are an easy and quick way for students to work with new techniques like robotic construction.