Labyrinth raises important discussion

Multiply in London, UK by Waugh Thistleton Architects

A playful design and a vision in CLT. The three-storey labyrinth-like building Multiply that was exhibited at the London Design Festival in September was created to provoke debate about the two major challenges of the time: the need for new housing and the importance of combating climate change.

The structure comprises 17 connected modules, produced from 102 CLT panels, which were manufactured in the UK for the first time. The American tulip wood – chosen for being stronger than spruce – was, of course, imported from North America, but the CLT panels were then manufactured in a newly opened Scottish research factory. To further improve strength and stability, the wood in the upper panels has been heat-treated, which makes the material less susceptible to the weather and more water-resistant. Heat treatment is nothing new, but this is the first time it has been done on material that is then turned into cross laminated timber. The other panels are treated with a clear matt varnish.

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