Naturally lightweight, the use of timber allows for easier transportation and enables prefabrication of the architectural structure off-site, thus reducing the local disruption and high carbon footprint typically associated with construction work.
Committed to the preservation of the historical mill, the design utilises the privacy of this existing struc¬ture for apartments and extends vertically with the sympathetic addition of a timber tower to create of¬fice space. The proposal also addresses the lack of direct access to the building by introducing an adjacent boardwalk which unites the area as a whole, forming an architectural ecosystem.
Tracing back to its material source, the design concept for the timber structure mimics the verti¬cal stretch of a tree, sinking its roots into the exist¬ing structure of the mill and growing upwards in a network of timber rafters that mimic tree branches. Like a modern take on the glass house, the struc¬ture preserves the warmth, texture and scent of woodgrain inside, flipping the role of the high-rise to contain and celebrate nature rather than exclude and defy it.
Urban Agency’s vision is reverent of the mill’s past and has grown out of this history to provide a future of sustainable living granted by the enormous potential of wood.