Field Station

Research & Innovation

Field Station

Project Info

Using crown timber, often dismissed as forest waste, this 100m2 multi-purpose pavilion at Hooke Park marries technical innovation with a deep respect for nature and demonstrates the potential of modern architecture to contribute positively to woodland management.

Developed by students from the AA’s Design + Make postgraduate programme, the woodland pavilion serves as an open-air laboratory for long-term ecological studies, creating an interactive space for both the AA community and the public.

Mature beech, which grows in abundance in the 142-hectare woodland campus, was used for the pavilion’s primary structure – showcasing how this underutilised resource can be transformed into an effective construction material.

In partnership with engineers at ARUP, a structural logic was developed resulting in a distinctive space truss of beech roundwood braces within a dimensional ash grid. This innovative design allows a striking three metre cantilever on all sides.

By integrating computer visioning during robotic fabrication, the branch variations of the 256 roundwood braces could be adapted to in real-time. This technological innovation accommodates material eccentricities and shows how advanced manufacturing techniques can be harmonised with natural, irregular material to create scalable architectural solutions.

LocationHooke, Beaminster

ArchitectThe Design + Make Programme

Structural EngineerARUP

Wood SupplierHooke Park

ContractorThe Design + Make Programme

SpeciesBeech (UK), Ash (UK), Norway Spruce (UK) - FSC and Grown in Britain

ClientThe Architectural Association

PhotographerThe Architectural Association, The Design + Make Programme

field station
field station