Timber In the City

Timber in the City

Red Hook, NYC, USA

Spring 2013

Timber in the City: Urban Habitat

Modern timber innovations have evolved to present new opportunities for creative design in architecture. Thanks to progressive researchers, architects and engineers, timbers construction now has the ability to reach new heights and spans that historically would not be possible. Red Hook Brooklyn is moving toward this future of wood in its allocation of the mid-rise, mixed use complex of affordable housing units, job training and educational facilities and bike shop. Included in its program is a center for innovative manufacturing of wood technology with an accompanying distribution center to be located within the project. Maintaining accountability to Red Hook, the project responds directly to the site, its people, and its history through the implementation of the project. 


Scope and Intent

Site Analysis, Big Statement, Concept Design, Market Feasibility, Schematic Design, Team Coordination, Graphic Presentation, Competition Entry, Urbanism


Laura Fox


Jeff Williams


4 Weeks

Program Use

Photoshop, Indesign, Rhino, Revit, Illustrator


urban faculties by defining existing urban corners, preserving the one-way-street infrastructure, and maintaining consistent scale at street faces. 


to the urban morphology is attained by locating mixed use commercial facilities at street level and lofting residential systems above. Adjacent to Ikea and the on-site existing three story commercial structure, the bike shop responds, becoming part of the commercial streetscape. 
Oriented to take advantage of passive hvac and lighting control systems, plenty of diffused light saturates residential units from the north and vertical shade control systems work with the eastern western and southern light patterns.


of the urban population is accomplished by orchestrating the public plaza in relationship to the adjacent community garden and farmer’s market. Providing street level access to educational facilities, commercial vending and covered community space the project becomes a harbor for residences and community members alike.


the shipping cranes of the industrial past the form of the project evokes the base shaft and jib configurations of the nearby cranes. The jib or arm of the crane in the project is a residential cantilever with timber member truss structures suspended above the plaza below. 
RESTRUCTURING_timber construction methods, the project utilizes a vertical midrise framing system, interior room partitions, a skin of wooden exterior louvers, and long span members such as glulams, joists and composite wood + concrete flooring systems. Large timber glulam members create horizontal box trusses that transfer loads from the cantilever’s edge to the earth below. Lateral wind forces are controlled by CLT shear walls further anchoring the building to the earth. Composite flooring rests on a timber member vertical framing system adding needed weight from uplift and a fire retention factor as well as working to insulate the structure. Interior partitions walls and ceilings are made from a North American hard maple product, whereas the structural framing is made from a North American southern pine and louvers made from a West African Iroko wood. Exterior wooden decking is made from Epay wood. Working within the place but innovating beyond constraints of timber the project works as a cantilevered crane, a harbor to Red Hook.