‘The workshop of dreams’ goes to Interzum

The American Hardwood Export Council will showcase its innovative approach to hardwood communications at the Cologne fair through three initiatives: The Workshop of Dreams, four unique design pieces created with underused hardwood species; The Smile, the most ambitious CLT structure ever made; and AHEC’s revolutionary interactive map of the U.S. hardwood forest distribution, growth and removal data.

The American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) will present the four thoughtful pieces of ‘The Workshop of Dreams’ in Germany for the first time. Originally created for the Hay Festival Segovia (Spain), this project brings together four of Spain’s most innovative architects and designers with inspiring talents in an exciting collaboration that celebrates creativity and craftsmanship in wood. The resulting unique mix of objects – a beautiful set of coffee tables, a completely ergonomic lounge chair, an extraordinary kitchen cart and an unusual design concept for a portable cabin -, effectively demonstrate the vast capability and beauty of some of the lesser known American hardwoods such as American tulipwood, cherry, red oak, alder and gum.

On a full cradle-to-grave basis, the carbon footprint of all the products from The Workshop of Dreams is better than carbon neutral. The biogenic carbon locked into the wood during growth exceeds all the emissions required to extract, process and deliver the timber to the factory in Madrid where they were manufactured. Detailed environmental impact results for this project are available here.

The AHEC space will also feature a scale model of ‘The Smile’, the revolutionary timber pavilion AHEC created in collaboration with Alison Brooks Architects and engineers Arup for London Design Festival last September.

This project featured the largest ever panels of cross laminated timber (CLT) to be made, showcasing the structural and spatial potential of cross laminated hardwood and, more specifically, tulipwood CLT. This project has become vital in demonstrating how hardwoods can play a greater role in the construction industry and make the built environment more sustainable.

To coincide with the launch of the re-design of americanhardwood.org (due to be launched at the beginning of March), AHEC will also present a new interactive online tool that shows forest distribution, growth and removal of American hardwood species across the United States.

This new technology presents accurate information at fantastic detail – from the whole of the United States down to individual counties – and demonstrates visually the true sustainability of American hardwoods. Visitors will be invited to discover this tool and use it through an interactive screen.

David Venables, AHEC’s European Director, reiterates how valuable Interzum is within AHEC’s programme and adds ‘Interzum continues to be a vital communication platform for us and our industry to network, influence and educate timber industries across Europe and beyond.’

A team of AHEC staff and consultants will be on hand to discuss AHEC’s marketing strategy and answer questions on a wide range of current issues relevant to U.S. hardwoods; including EUTR compliance, LCA research, potential for thermally modified hardwood and structural applications and the launch of the interactive map tool.

Visit the AHEC exhibition stand at Interzum, 16-19 May, located at H-029