Research Projects









Case Studies


Being largely non-domestic in scale, these buildings have all been designed to deal with the use of roundpole at larger spans. It is interesting that there is such a diversity of solutions given the perceived inherent limitations of the material.

The first two examples use primarily large section poles in a generally conventional post and beam structural format, whereas the latter three have adopted alternative approaches.

The original design for Drumchapel featured ‘banana’ truss roof elements (see also ‘Bridges’) made of short lengths of roundpole. This overcomes the sometimes problematic issue of taper in poles, especially those from crowns rather than thinnings.

Another technique was employed at Hooke Park which was to splice poles, using different details in each case shown, which effectively allow the use of very long lengths of pole, at a reasonably controlled diameter.


Hotel Lappland
(source: Gaia)

A hotel built mainly of roundpole in the Lapland resort of Saarisalka using particularly large section poles.


(source: B Planterose)
The workshop built by Bernard Planterose at Ullapool in a post and beam style uses large section timbers structurally, clad with sawn larch boards.
Drumchapel Sports Centre
(source: Gaia)
Originally conceived with roundpole roof structure (shown), now concentrating on green ventilation and water conservation strategies.

Hooke Park,
Westminster Lodge
(source: Gaia)
A Suite of offices and seminar spaces designed by Edward Cullinan and Buro Happold, completed in 1998 using long lengths of spliced roundpoles.
Hooke Park,
Main Workshop

(source: Gaia)
The first Hooke Park building which was designed by Ahrends Burton & Koralek with Buro Happold and comprised a tension structure restrained by a concrete kerb at the edges.