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Prefabricated panels of cross-laminated timber were used to construct this micro cabin in the Pacific Northwest, designed and built by architecture students at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

The Emerge cabin is located near Eugene, a small Oregon city that is surrounded by forests and farmland. The compact structure was created in three weeks by 13 students in a design-build programme called PLAIN, led by professor Jason Griffiths at UNL’s College of Architecture.

Encompassing 80 square feet (seven square metres), the cabin is used as a classroom for visitors to the Bauman Tree Farm – a 673-acre (272-hectare) family-owned farm that promotes forest stewardship and education.

“The educational cabin serves as a gathering place for small elementary school tour groups wanting to learn about sustainable forestry,” the design team said.

Conceived in collaboration with the farm, the building’s design is meant to convey a relationship to the forest and the production of lumber in the Pacific Northwest.

“It provides a way of visualising the transition of wood from its natural state through the incremental procedures by which it is transformed into a lumber product,” said Griffiths. “These transitions then narrate the assimilation of the product into architecture, and in this case, back to the forest.”

Rectangular in plan, the small cabin is topped with a pointy roof with a chimney-like protrusion containing a skylight. The building is elevated off the ground on four concrete piers, helping minimise its impact on the earth.

Walls and flooring are made of cross-laminated timber (CLT) panels that were fabricated off-site. For the shingled roof, the team used CLT, along with glu-laminated timber and dimensional lumber.

“A CLT panel consists of several layers of kiln-dried lumber boards stacked in alternating directions, bonded with structural adhesives and pressed to form a solid, straight, rectangular panel similar to plywood but larger,” the team said. “It can be ordered to builder specifications, so the entire build project can be delivered onsite precut and ready to assemble.”

Front and rear facades feature tall wooden screens with an irregular pattern that evokes tree branches. The lower portion consists of straight lines, while the upper section becomes more fractured.

“The screen was a way of working out a narrative between the regular geometry of industrial lumber and the pattern of trees,” said Griffiths. “This narrative runs from the bottom to the top. The idea was that the gables’ geometry disappears or meshes with the pattern of branches from surrounding trees.”

Visitors enter the cabin through a wooden pivot door, which is lifted upward via a counterweight system. Inside, the skylight funnels daylight into the one-room cabin, while also providing views of the forest canopy. In the centre of the space, a portion of the floor was cut out, forming a sunken seating area.

“The interior can be occupied in different ways by arranging or storing CLT sitting blocks and a floor/table in desired arrangements, depending upon the occasion,” the team said.

Using CLT – an increasingly popular material for construction – was a driving factor for the team. Early in the course, students were provided with samples of the material that they used to test connections, finishes and details.

“The first week consisted almost entirely of this type of exercise, where students could use onsite shop facilities to try out their ideas and reach a resolution quickly through direct experience with the material,” said Griffiths.

The programme has three additional projects in Nebraska underway, all of which use CLT. One is a storage and meeting facility at an orchard in South Sioux City, and another is a cabin at the Cedar Point Biological Station near the town of Ogallala. A third will be created on the Santee Sioux Reservation in the northern part of the state.




Wave is a new generation log home manufactured by Polar Life Haus, a Finnish wooden house manufacturing company. Designed by Finnish architect Seppo Mäntylä, Wave is combination of solid wooden constructions, glass and steel. The unique curving shape of the house was inspired by the design of boats and airplanes.

The house was on show at the annual Finnish Housing Fair held in Mikkeli in July – August 2017. The house won all three categories at the show: the Best House, the Best Interior and the Best Garden.

Polar Life Haus is a Finnish family company dating back to 1907 and is also known as Honkatalot in Finland. The company manufactures individually designed wooden homes and log homes with a special focus on environmentally friendly building materials and the well-being of people and nature. A half of the houses manufactured each year are delivered around the world – mainly Germany, France and Russia.

Seppo Mäntylä is one of the leading Finnish wooden house architects. Polar Life Haus has collaborated with him on several projects.




Zaha Hadid Architects has officially completed its first project in New York City: a residential building with steel bands and rounded glass corners beside the High Line park.

Named after its address in Chelsea, 520 West 28th Street is an 11-storey structure that includes 39 private residences and a number of luxury amenities.

The building is wrapped in metallic ridges that join sinuously across the facade, and jut out from the floor plates to form balconies and terraces with rounded edges.

Large floor-to-ceiling windows curve around the corners of the apartments, mirroring glass balustrades.

“The facade conveys the attention to detail evident throughout 520 West 28th – brushed and tinted by hand to resonate with the adjacent structures of the High Line,” said Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) in a statement, which also described the building as “very much [part] of its surroundings”.

The main entrance space at one end of the L-shaped building is 1.5 storeys high, creating a split-level plan across the development that is articulated prominently on the exterior.

“These split levels are expressed within the interlocking chevrons of 520 West 28th’s hand-crafted steel facade, which carries the spirit of Chelsea’s industrial past,” said ZHA.

Adjacent to the High Line – an elevated pedestrian parkway along a former freight rail track – 520 West 28th Street is extremely visible in the otherwise dense neighbourhood.

“There is a powerful urban dynamic between the streets of New York and the High Line, a layered civic realm that has developed over generations and in many iterations,” the firm said.

Passersby can easily peer into the apartments and private courtyard, formed from two walls of the building and a tall planted wall. The outdoor area is populated with tables and chairs and a stepped design that serves as a water fountain.

The feature incorporates a glass panel that acts like a skylight for the private swimming pool directly underneath.

The 25-yard (23-metre) subterranean lap pool is one of several amenities available to residents, along with an IMAX theatre and a gym – all of which were revealed in photos released in October 2017.

These and other interior spaces share a futuristic appearance. An entryway has a grey wall with a texture that looks rather extraterrestrial, while planting provides accents for the otherwise monochromatic palette.

Ornate ceilings are brightly painted white with detailed ridges. Built-in track lighting resembles a thin line of glowing rope.

The structure’s 39 condos range in price from $4.95 million (£4 million) to $50 million (£40.3 million) for a penthouse. Spanning three levels, the most expensive residence boasts a lacquered white internal staircase, and five bedrooms, a balcony on its lower level and large private rooftop.

The building is designed with multiple cores, providing several private elevator lobbies with 11-foot coffered ceilings and tailor-made counters.

In the apartments, the kitchens feature white lacquered islands that ZHA designed with Italian brand Boffi, which mirror the flowing lines seen throughout the building.

Other details include Gaggenau Hausgeräte kitchen appliances and bathrooms with electrochromic glass that frosts over for added privacy at the push of a button.



A hug is a form of physical intimacy, universal in human communities, in which two or more people put their arms around the neck, back, or waist of one another and hold each other closely’.

The work is situated at the Aghios Ioannis Detis location on the island of Paros. It has an eastwards orientation, with a view towards the sea and the Naoussa bay. The area is under a special protection order, and adjacent to it the Environmental Park of Aghios Ioannis Detis has been created.

The complex consists of two buildings with a shared open-air space and a swimming-pool. The large mass of a single building is broken down into two and is harmoniously adapted to the terrain. The masses are laid out facing the view, and the central courtyard has been created between them, adapted to the slope of the terrain and protected from the north winds.

The entrance is on the western side of the site, at its highest point, and has been inserted between the masonry buttressing walls. The buildings, of a small mass, are adapted as much as possible to the incline and topography of the terrain. A basic aim has been the least burdening with a building mass of the protected area. The courtyard at the rear, protected from the strong winds, organises the functions by creating a nucleus with direct reference to the building masses. Such forms are encountered in monasteries, which have the cells on the perimeter and the church in the centre. Similar arrangements are also to be found in traditional complexes of ‘katoikiés’.

The stone walls encircle and ‘hug’ the building, protecting it from prying eyes. Ιn some places, the walls become a building, and in others, courtyards are created, adapted to the ground and to the environment. The plastered white walls of the buildings are visible only from the inner courtyard, and fragments of the elevations can be seen by the passer-by. The elevations consist of walls around the central courtyard; in this way plasticity of form is achieved, integrated into a unitary approach to architecture. The design of the apertures is combined with the architectural character of the building. The feature of the repetition and standardisation predominates. The apertures in the perimeter wall are as few as possible. Great emphasis is placed on the ‘fifth elevation’, the roofs, as there are views from the hills round about.

By employing the features of Cycladic architecture, we have de- signed an ensemble of buildings and a landscaping of the terrain adapted to the waterless Cycladic conditions, with a view to leaving the smallest possible footprint on the environment. . The transformation of the morphological features of Cycladic architecture with a view to creating a contemporary architectural language is, together with its integration into the natural landscape, the guiding principle of the design.

The totality of the intervention realised is in dialogue with the land- scape and creates a space for habitation. Βy breaking down the boundaries between the roofed and open-air space, it embraces human activity in creating a familiarity with the space and the locality.