Bauen mit Holz – exhibition in the Pinakothek der Moderne Munich

The United Nations declared 2011 the “International Year of Forests”. In response to this the architecture museum and the department of timber construction at the University of Technology in Munich presented an exhibition that dealt with the ecological, technical and design possibilities of this material.

The exhibition starts with the forest and reflections on wood as a raw material. Opposite this, five current timber construction projects are presented and their benefits in terms of climate protection are explained. After this 52 selected international examples illustrate new digital finishing methods and illustrate the architectural diversity of modern timber construction: from the low energy house to wide-spanning structure to high-rise buildings. A room made entirely of beech wood completes the exhibition. Rarely encountered in timber construction, this wood is here used most effectively for various building elements that form the floor, ceiling and wall, employing a variety of surface finishes.

The chief protagonists are the models of timber buildings made with acribic precision by students from the architecture faculty at the TU Munich (department of timber construction). The stands for the models presented are uniform, delicate frames made of spruce. The information is presented in the form of short texts, plans, photographs or videos on 120-centimetre-wide strips of silk paper extending the height of the room. The unbleached, naturally brown lengths of paper surround the huge rooms and give the exhibition a rhythm. Dates and facts are transformed into impressive explanatory graphics. For example: the amounts of different kinds of wood are translated into a 20-metre long bar diagram that uses pieces of the various woods. An 80-year old spruce tree – from the rootstock to the tree top – lies in the middle of the exhibition space as a scenographic intervention. The 40-metre-long trunk is freed from branches, some of the bark is removed, and it is divided into individual sections with increasingly fine longitudinal cuts. The top of the trunk points towards a 5x5 metre patchwork made up of different wood-based materials. The link between the tree as a primal form of plant and the technical world of planning and building is also a theme of the exhibition logo. An archetypical house is shaped from the branches of a tree and focuses in semantic terms on the core messages: wood is a sustainable, highly efficient building material and building with wood is active climate protection.

In the publication accompanying the exhibition nine well-known experts analyse the ecological significance, technological potential and new aesthetics of this familiar material.

Bauen mit Holz – Wege in die Zukunft
Architecture museum of the TU Munich in the Pinakothek der Moderne
10.11.2011 – 05.02.2012