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Hooke Park
Hooke, Dorset
associated engineer
Buro Happold
date  1986 - 1989
era  Modern  |  category  Building  |  reference  SY524993
An experimental building project in 134 ha of woodland, containing structures made from Norway Spruce thinnings.
Thinnings are spindly trees of no more than 50mm diameter at one end and 150mm at the other, which result in long, immensely pliable beams. Normally, these trees are cleared and disposed of to allow thicker growth, resulting in 3.5 million tonnes burnt each year in England alone.
A prototype house and a training centre/workshop have been built at Hooke Park. The buildings are unconventional, irregular domes, their shapes following the logic of their construction.
To build the house, a new kind of joint was devised. This seals the timbers end to end using a threaded steel rod, beaded into epoxy resin which has been sunk into a conical hole in the end of each beam.
The training centre, which was built later, is constructed of an arched, latticed shell of salt-treated timbers, covered with a Sarnafil skin. A skylight runs along the top ridge.
Work continues at the centre to devise new building materials and techniques. As well as ecological sustainability, speed of construction and commercial viability are two main objectives.
Scheme developers: Frei Otto, Richard Burton and William Moorwood of Ahrends Burton Koralek, and Ted Happold
Architect for new prototypes: Edward Cullinan
reference sources   LG/SJ

Hooke Park