Woodchip Barn

Structural Designer


Client Name

Architectural Association School of Architecture


Dorset, UK


AA Design & Make Supported by the tutors and staff of Hooke Park, students of the Architectural Association's Design & Make programme led the design and fabrication process of the Woodchip Barn project.


Jack Draper Dorset-based craftsman and furniture maker Jack Draper was responsible for project coordination and site management throughout the build phase of the Woodchip Barn project


Located in Hooke Park, a woodland which serves as a test ground for experimental timber structures, the barn was part of a student competition to design a storage barn. The structure would use Beech trees harvested from the local forest.

A prime concept of the project was to use “Y” shaped tree fork junctions structurally, so that the natural strength of these joints was exploited. The timbers were 3D scanned, enabling fabrication using a seven-axis robotic arm.

Judge's comment:

A superb blend of craft and technology. The judges loved the use of “found” forked branches to make a vierendeel truss supporting the roof of this barn. They were particularly impressed with the use of scanning and robot technology to adapt the “found” forms into a reliable structure.