‘Wood’ you believe it: “wood temple” showcases use of natural material in architecture
A new building in Poland shows what can be achieved with wood when modern architecture, traditional influences and respect for the environment are combined.
Wood has been used in construction for thousands of years, from simple log cabins to intricate wooden churches. Light-weight and versatile, it is a renewable resource that – when taken from sustainable sources – can be incorporated into environmentally-responsible construction projects.
These qualities are showcased by the Centre for the Promotion of Wood in eastern Poland, where wood features heavily both outside and inside the building.
Located in the Łuków forest district, the site of the Jata nature reserve, it was built as an administrative building for State Forests, which manages Poland’s state-owned forests.
The building was designed the MMA architecture firm in the city of Lublin, whose portfolio includes modern houses, a Scandinavian-inspired café and a concert hall.
The architects designed the building as a “wood temple”, which showcases the material’s natural beauty and the ways in which it can be used in architecture.
“The Centre for the Promotion of Wood is an excellent example of a ‘green’ investment carried out by a public unit,” they write on their website.
Although it echoes traditional wooden architecture, the building is modern in its approach to generating and conserving energy, in line with the standards of the Polish Institute of Passive Building. The roof features solar panels. Wood or materials derived from wood are used to insulate the building, which reduces the need for heating in winter and helps keep it cool in summer.
Inside, the building has a large space for meetings or other events with a huge window and a high ceiling. Wood features prominently in the design, from strong natural beams to more delicate wooden latticing that helps demarcate the space. Smaller rooms, including an office space, lead off from the main room. Upstairs, a mezzanine was built to house a permanent exhibition.
The result is a building that will age naturally and blends in with its surroundings, as the architects intended.