Inspired by a self-supporting system first studied by Leonardo da Vinci in the 15th century, our design consists of simple rectilinear glulam timber beams assembled without the use of ties. Once completed, the compressive loads of the building itself lock together the longitudinal and cross beams in a scissor-like fashion, creating an efficient self-supporting system that permanently secures the structure in place. This technique also minimises the number of metal joineries with the aim of reducing unsustainable materials, effectively reducing the building’s carbon footprint and extending the building’s life span. Our choices of material celebrate the structure’s eventual weathering, deliberately minimising the frequency of operational maintenance whilst allowing the building to slowly develop a textured coloration and patina that will help it further blend into the context of Clitterhouse Playing Fields.


Client: Argent Related and Barnet Council
Use: Sports Pavilion
Structure: Timber
Status: International Design Competition


Images: Luce Atelier