The Fascinating World of Wood - Verdict Designbuild
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The Fascinating World of Wood

Blumer-Lehmann develops, plans, produces and installs wooden buildings in all their facets: residential, industrial and commercial buildings, as well as renovations and building extensions.

Specialities are modular buildings and worldwide free-form projects, the supreme discipline of modern timber engineering. Signature projects, such as the seven-storey headquarters of the publishing house Tamedia in Zurich designed by Shigeru Ban, show the potential of timber for large urban buildings.

High-altitude timber construction in Switzerland

Another recently finished project is the summit building by Herzog & de Meuron in the Toggenburg Valley in Switzerland. Working at an altitude of 2,262m above sea level was not a run-of-the-mill activity. The team of Blumer-Lehmann faced some challenging, but exciting weeks working on the mountain. In order to keep with local architectural customs, wood was used as the primary building material. The construction of the roof was one of the challenges mountain architecture entailed. Wind speed and snowfall can be extremely high at this altitude. To ensure the functionality of the structure, a scale model of the building and the surrounding landscape were tested in a wind tunnel. In view of the massive loads on the roof, enormous cross-sections of normal laminated timber were used.

Bearing structure

The selected structure in this case was a timber construction comprising a conventionally erected bearing structure combined with prefabricated wooden frame elements. The construction used traditional carpentry joints such as mortise and tenon and offsets augmented by special timber engineering connectors.