Architecture Foundation Australia

International Alumni Projects

Projects by the great community of participants on 'oz.e.tecture' events

Bangladesh : Mohaimeen Islam

Mohaimeen Islam Badhon, Dhaka, Bangladesh : Glenn Murcutt Master Class 2013

[ student design + build : local native timber : computer robotics : rural barn ]

Wood Chip Barn at Hooke Park, Dorset, England

Architectural Association Design + Make M.Arch Program 2015-16

Five students of AA Design & Make MArch 2014/15 programme, designed and built the Woodchip Barn, as their final group project, based on which they submitted individual thesis dissertations, which had to raise research arguments and place the Woodchip Barn as an evidence for their propositions.

The M.Arch programme is mainly run by Program Director Martin Self and Emmanuel Vercruysse. Among other tutors, Toby Burgess, Kate Darby and Charley Brentnall, supervised as studio tutors during the program on schedule basis. Charley Brentnall is the make tutor who advocates with his expertise in timber construction.

Design & Make’s 2015/16 project was the robotically fabricated Wood Chip Barn at Hooke Park, the AA’s forest campus in Dorset, UK. Following the installation of a woodchip-fuelled biomass boiler on previous year, the students of the AA’s Design & Make 2014/15 program were tasked with the construction of a bulk woodchip storage barn to allow the campus to be sustainably heated with Hooke Park’s own trees. The ambition of the design was to use structurally - found natural junctions/forks in trees.  Using 3D 

scanning as a feed for the newly acquired robot-arm to fabricate the structure. The final arching structure of the barn is thus formed from forked beech tree components directly sourced from the surrounding woodland.

The initial task for the students was to survey Hooke Park’s beech compartments in teams, to help in preparing a database of potential forked components, from which the structural concept was developed. Based on the criteria of that concept, 25 forks were harvested from the forest, brought back to the campus, and scanned in 3D. An organisation script was used to generate a final arrangement of forks in collaboration with engineers from Arup. This digital model was then translated into fabrication information with which Hooke Park’s new robotic arm transformed each fork into a finished component.

The 180 sqm Wood Chip Barn is located at Hooke Park’s wood-processing yard. Spanning 25 m x 10 m, the building consists of a concrete slab, timber push-walls and a wooden roof, suspended from that arching vierendeel truss formed by the beech tree-forks. 

The truss, after being preassembled in Hooke Park’s Big Shed (see – link below) and all other components, in the yard, were then erected on site by the student group, under the guidance of Dorset 

craftsman Jack Draper who coordinated the fabrication and site operations. To aid a productive workflow up to construction stage, the building task was divided into four components: Floor & Wall, Roof, Truss, and Truss legs – each one or two students with responsibility of designing and testing these four parts to finally combine them onsite into the whole building.

Design Team: (Design & Make Students) - Mohaimeen Islam (Bangladesh), Zachary Mollica (Canada), Sahil Shah (India), Swetha Vegesana India), Yung Chen Yang (Taiwan)

Tutors: Toby Burgess, Charley Brentnall, Martin Self, Emmanuel Vercruysse

Project coordination and site management: Jack Draper | Engineers: Arup - Francis Archer, Naotaka Minami, Coco van Egeraat  Workshop manager: Charlie Corry Wright | Robotics developer: Pradeep Devadass | Forester: Christopher Sadd | Estate Manager: Jez Ralph | Workshop technician: Edward Coe

Erection team: Timothy Hallbery, James Vooght, Aurimas Bukauskas, Summerbuild Volunteers

Photos: Valerie Bennett, Evgenia Spyridonos, Sahil Shah, Swetha Vegesana, 

See Wood Chip Barn

See also Big Shed



architects thinking locally acting globally


Lindsay Johnston