The “Architettura in Legno: Creatività, Tecnologia e Innovazione” seminar held in Milan, at the Fondazione Feltrinelli, on December 14th, 2017, was a great success. The core of the discussion for the day was wood and its use in architecture. The welcome speech by David Venables, European Director at AHEC (American Hardwood Export Council) was followed by the presentations by Alex de Rijke (Founder Architect of dRMM Architects), Alison Brooks (Principal and Creative Director of Alison Brooks Architects) and Andrew Lawrence (Associate Director, Advanced Technology and Research at Arup), who were introduced by Nicola Leonardi, Publisher of THE PLAN. Alex de Rijke presented at first ten projects, highlighting dRMM’s inclination toward wood as a qualitative building material, and later focused on his project for the Maggie’s Centre in Oldham, an oncological center in Greater Manchester. Then, Alison Brooks took the floor and described The Smile, a temporal installation she realized at the Chelsea College of Arts in London, stressing also the peculiarities of the wood used. Andrew Lawrence concluded the cycle of presentations illustrating a time map of the use of this material, defining the change in perception by the architects, and showing how to increase its utilization in major scale projects. Finally, he brought to light two perfect examples for his thesis: The Smile and the Warner Stand (in collaboration, respectively, with architecture practices Alison Brooks Architects and Populous). The common denominator that put together these important projects has been the collaboration with AHEC, at the forefront of international wood promotion and consultancy. A bond also consolidated through an article featured in THE PLAN 103.
A panel discussion, moderated by Nicola Leonardi, ended the seminar, and involved all four speakers of the event. In front of a crowded room, they were able to discuss on how much wood can be a fundamental and fascinating element in construction, design and engineering.