The Smile has been selected in the category for ‘Small Projects (of under £1million)’. ABA collaborated with The American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) and Arup, whose Special Structures team in London described the project as ‘the most complex piece of CLT engineering in the world’.
The IStructE awards celebrate the role of structural engineers as innovative, creative design professionals and to showcase the world’s cutting edge engineering projects.
“The Smile represents the first use of large Tulipwood hardwood cross laminated timber (CLT) panels and has received worldwide acclaim for its effortless combination of structure and architecture. It was described as the happy face of the timber construction revolution and the centrepiece of the 2016 London Design Festival.
The Smile is 34m long, incorporating two 12m cantilevers – each designed to carry up to 60 people. In terms of structural demand, the Smile is similar to the cantilevering core stabilising a 4-storey building, and it resists torsional distortion effects in the same manner as a box girder bridge.”
The Smile has been selected in the ‘Small Project’ category, among 34 projects that ‘represent the best of British architecture and product design in the world’s only naturally sustainable material’.
The Awards aim to recognise, encourage and promote outstanding design, craftsmanship and installation using wood.
Conceived as a habitable arc, The Smile was a 3.5m high, 4.5m wide and 34m long curved cross-laminated tulipwood tube that cantilevered 12m in two directions with viewing platforms at both ends. ABA collaborated with The American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC), Arup and the London Design Festival 2016 to present the structure at the Chelsea College of Art Rootstein Hopkins Parade Ground.
The shortlist will be on display at the London Design Fair, 21-24 September at the Old Truman Brewery.
The judges said: “This is a stunning housing development which provides an interesting contemporary take on a proud local identity.”
“It is good to see something new and intelligent in the housing sector, particularly within a World Heritage Site, and demonstrates to other developers that high quality housing can be achieved and you can be bold in a historic setting.”
We were delighted to have so many of our friends, clients and colleagues join our 21 year celebration at Somerset House.
The event included a public talk and exhibition of Alison Brooks Architects’ work over 21 years of practice. Mixing digital media with physical artefacts, we brought together over 100 models, 3000 images and key texts in a 50 minute looped video installation.
We also launched a limited edition catalogue ‘Ideals, then Ideas’ to accompany the celebration. This book describes our work within the conceptual themes and four ideals that have underpinned our work in architecture: Authenticity, Generosity, Civicness and Beauty.
London mayor Sadiq Khan has appointed 50 architects and designers, including Alison Brooks, to work with local councils to improve the quality of the built environment across the capital.
Khan announced the appointments as part of the Good Growth by Design programme during a speech at London School of Economics last night.
The Smile has been shortlisted for two awards at this year’s World Architecture Festival, in addition to the overall prize.
Alison Brooks will also be speaking with Jacob Kurek of Henning Larsen Architects on performance spaces. She will discuss performance embedded in the nature of housing and the many roles it plays: as urban form; as a backdrop for public streetscapes; as a sign of neighbourhood identity and a stage for domestic life.