THERE IS A FOREST IN MY BACKYARD…
Wood Works, a new travelling exhibition programme organised by the Estonian Association of Architects (EAA), the Estonian Centre for Architecture (ECA) and the Irish Architecture Foundation (IAF), will pay tribute to the “secret life” of wood, from timber to architectural backbone at the Solstice Arts Centre in Navan from January 29th to March 25th, 2022. Entitled “There is a forest in my backyard but my house is built from trees grown far away”, the exhibition is curated by the Estonian-Irish architects team composed of Alder Architects in Dublin (St John Walsh) and b210 Architects in Tallinn (Aet Ader, Helmi Marie Langsepp and Mari Möldre).
The project explores the transformative lifecycle of timber from extraction to transportation, standardisation to encapsulation in construction and disassembly for potential reuse. In uncovering the unique traits of timber, five Irish and five Estonian architecture offices – including Hannigan Cooke Architects, Joseph Mackey Architects, OGU Architects, Robert Bourke Architects, Wrkshop Architects (Ireland), Creatomus Solutions, Paco Ulman & Kaja Pae, Peeter Pere Architects, Ruumiringlus, Studio Kuidas (Estonia) – were invited to work in pairs and to question how industry and construction can learn from and be shaped by these inherent qualities of the material.
The new normal inspired the long-distance process, which began in autumn 2020, with a physical exchange of models and ideas by post. In the final display of the resulting nine exhibits, unexpected dialogues emerge between countries, interests, observations and experiences.
The opening seminar was held at Solstice Arts Centre on January 29th from 11am to 3pm, followed by a second public seminar in March and an educational programme for children and adults during the exhibition. The Wood Works project is supported by the European Commission’s European Regional Development Fund through Enterprise Estonia, with additional support for the exhibition from the Arts Council of Ireland, Cultural Endowment of Estonia, Enterprise Ireland and Meath County Council.
Denise Maguire Editor of Irish Construction Industry Magazine & Plan Magazine