A current exhibition at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. is challenging the notion that wood is an antiquated building material. Timber City was designed to demonstrate the wide range of benefits offered by cutting-edge methods of timber construction, including surprising strength, fire resistance, sustainability and beauty. The exhibition opened in September 2016 and will run through May 21, 2017.
Timber City illustrates the proven value of timber as a modern, strong, and versatile building material through featured projects. Curated and designed by Yugon Kim and Tomomi Itakura, founding partners of the Boston-based architectural design firm ikd, the exhibition examines the recent boom in timber construction worldwide and highlights U.S.-based projects, including the two competition winners of the recent Tall Wood Building Prize, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
This immersive installation examines the recent innovations of timber technology, especially cross-laminated timber (CLT) and explores how U.S.-based timber production can help revitalize rural manufacturing communities and benefit urban centers in a wide range of ways. As the only building material that can both reduce carbon emissions and remove carbon from the atmosphere, timber is uniquely positioned to move us toward more sustainable, healthy, and beautiful buildings and cities.
As part of the exhibition’s run, two American-manufactured massive timber panels have been installed in the National Building Museum’s historic Great Hall. The vertical panel stands 64 feet tall, soaring to the Museum’s third floor level, and the horizontal panel is 40 feet wide.
Timber City is funded in part by the USDA Forest Service and the Softwood Lumber Board.