QUB MArch student nominated for 3DReid Student Prize 2019

QUB MArch student nominated for 3DReid Student Prize 2019


Recent QUB MArch graduate, Jennifer Whittaker has been announced as a finalist for the 3DReid Student Prize 2019 for her thesis project ‘Temporal Construction in the Forest’. Led by tutors Colm Moore and Catherine Blaney, Jennifer’s work sits within the studio unit ‘In Time’.

Jennifer’s thesis statement can be read below:

The project is located within a forest on the outskirts of Helsinki. Within Finland all forests are sustainably managed as part of the Forest Industry. They are also considered part of public domain due to the ‘Freedom to Roam’ act and provide a place for recreational use. This thesis explores the tension between pragmatic and poetic spatial design, using infrastructure as the minimum means necessary to enable something to happen. The concept of the project considers the site as an indispensable condition for establishing the geometry of the plan, so that the idea can be transformed into a specific configuration or layout. Without a site, the concept has no configuration – it is only a method that needs to be applied.

This project is a prototype construction system for Finland’s Forestry Industry with the ambition to be rolled out nationally. It details how to make roads, ground, temporary structures and canopies. These additions are then placed, where required, to facilitate cutting and drying of timber. It responds to the terrain of the site by being able to map its way over uneven ground. This allows the system to be adaptable to any forest landscape. By designing with a focus on structure and materials found within the forest eg. using the stumps of the felled trees as foundations, it is possible to create elements using a pragmatic system of deployment, which results in a holistic design for the forest with minimal environmental impact.

The system is made up of different components which, when combined in various ways, can create structures of varying temporal nature. The three examples within this project are as follows:

  1. The drying shelters (on site 4-8 months)
  2. The sawing canopy, workshop, cutting and timber store (on site 5-10 years)
  3. The public pavilion and exhibition space (on site 15+ years)

The sawmill canopy and drying shelters are temporary structures within the landscape and move when the centre of forest felling moves to the next area. This leaves behind a landscape which is altered with plateaus and clearings. The pavilion building will remain for community use. During the period when the sawmill is on the site, the pavilion establishes itself as a node in the forest landscape where people meet and stop. It can then be used to facilitate the re-use of the site, giving it the opportunity to become a community hub within the forest.

Jennifer is due to present her project at the final, which will be held in 3DReid’s London Studio on Thursday 18th July.

To read more about the 3DReid Student Prize, click here.

A digital resource communicating the work of Architecture at Queen's University Belfast