Student resources

Over the years, I have met some people they are generous enough to share their insights on different individual buildings in different occasions, luckily some of them were recorded. In this page I put together some resources for students and those people who want to learn timber. Notice that I tried to edit some of the longer presentations into bite size (5-10 mins) and put them in the lower part of this page.  You might find some of them duplicated with longer presentation, however, this will be easier for those who don’t have time to watch the whole presentation and just want to look into any specific topics. Here you go:

Wood in Architecture 

This is a long presentation, this talk was given by Andrew Waugh, Director of Waugh Thistleton Architects and Graham Willis Professor of Sheffield School of Architecture. Andrew talked about why his practice pioneered using timber in their projects and also give some insights on some of their projects. To watch the video, click the Figure in the left hand side.

Note 1: The audio effect might not be the best due to the facility in the classroom, but should be ok.

The timber gridshell

This is a long presentation. This talk was given by Prof Richard Harris. Richard and I have worked closely together since 2010. He have 30+ years experiences in practice before joining University of Bath as a full time Professor and retired in 2016. During his time in practice he has been involved in many timber projects, so I invited him to talk about timber gridshell and share insight to our students in Sheffield School of Architecture.

Note 1: I recorded this presentation using my phone, so you might find the quality far from being excellent. But it is better than none.

After the presentation from Prof. Richard Harris, I sit in a café with him carrying on the conversation on the gridshell. I asked him two questions that might be interested to some people. The first question I asked was there are two types of gridshell, one being noded and another being bend-to-shape. In what situation he would choose noded over bend-to-shape and vice versa. The second question was about the cost of different types of gridshell.


Form finding in Architecture

This is a long presentation by Dr. Chris Williams, one of my former colleagues. In this presentation Dr. Chris Williams used gridshell to talk about form finding in architecture. Chris has worked on a number of high profile projects, such as Mannheim gridshell, The Great Hall of British Museum, and Maritim Museum in Amsterdam, etc.. Part of the presentation was edited into the Mannheim gridshell which you can find below.  

Note 1: Chris is always very generous and you can download his presentation slides [here]

Case Studies


Technology of gridshell

Prof. Richard Harris talks about technology of the bend-to-shape gridshell, what are the challenges and the limitations. He starts from the very fundamental of mechanics and links to a real project.  

Mannheim gridshell

I have heard the presentations about Mannheim gridshell in different occasions, from different people so different perspectives. It is interesting to see how different people talk about the same project so we can compare the notes. Below are presentations from Dr. Chris Williams, Prof Richard Harris and Andrew Lawrence talk about Mannhaim gridshell. 

Below are some other gridshell projects (not all timber).

Shigeru Ban’s Pompidou Centre in Metz is not a gridshell, why?

Although Shigeru Ban’s Pompidou Centre in Metz looks like a grid shell, but it is actually a framed structure. Let’s listen to how Andrew Lawrence says about it. Andrew is the leading timber specialist in Arup and have been involved in many high profile timber projects, he was involved in this project and is generous to share some insights with us….

Other types of low carbon architecture

This is a long video, we have Andrew Waugh of Waugh Thistleton Architects to talk about their RIBA Stirling Prize 2018 shortlist project,  Bushey Cemetery. Andrew generously shared insights on how the concept was developed, technical challenge to use rammed earth, and some other interesting knowledge he has learned in the design process….