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Timber has been a traditional building material for centuries and continues to be popularly used due to its sustainability and unique aesthetic. Timber structures are not only visually appealing but also environmentally friendly as wood is a renewable resource with a much lower carbon footprint compared to other building materials. Another great benefit is its versatility, this has resulted in the use of timber in architecture to evolve from traditional log cabins to contemporary designs that incorporate advanced digital fabrication techniques.

The natural warmth and texture of wood create a sense of comfort and well-bring that is particularly appreciated in residential designs. From small cabins to large public buildings, timber continues to inspire architects to create sustainable, functional and beautiful structures. For this reason, at Mudd architects we regularly use timber in our projects. In this blog we are going to explore the ways in which we have incorporated timber into a variety of designs.

In 2021, we completed an outdoor dining area project for Hotel Swiss Moraira, located in Alicante. Since the concept had sustainability and biophilic design in mind, the use of timber was a logical decision. The three wooden leaf-inspired shapes all have different dimensions and shapes, they intertwine with each other, generating a warm and welcoming atmosphere that invites guests to enjoy their meals in a setting that feels enclosed but in amongst nature simultaneously. Th exposed wood finishes add a natural aesthetic feel, and the delicately designed roof allows for some natural light to filter through whilst also creating shade.

Mudd architects took on a residential project for a house located on the outskirts of the historic centre of Besalú in Girona. We envisioned creating an open and spacious central area with high ceiling that serves as the focal point/ centrepiece of the house.

We utilised timber for both structural and aesthetic elements in this project. The structure of the house features thermocclay wall and wooden beams, combining for both durability and thermal insulation properties. Whilst we implement wooden lattices and exterior cladding with wooden panels to add a contrast between the smooth finish of the walls. This resulted in an organic feeling and unified relationship with the outside nature. Finally, to create a modern yet traditional aesthetic for the external faces of the house, we added gabled Arabic tiles.

Furthermore, MuDD Architects recently completed a unique project called the Writers Cabin, designed and built for a children’s book writer in the north of Madrid. The cabin was not only meant to provide functional and comfortable living space but also had to be an inspiring environment, fostering creativity and imagination for the writer’s future work.

This was a particularly challenging project for a multitude of reasons, one being the client’s desire to create a unique space inspired by Virginia Wolf’s book ‘A room of One’s own.’ We are proud of how our choice of design, material and relationship with the environment helped achieved exactly what the client envisioned. An example of how timber helped achieve this was through the requirement for storage however without causing a sensation of overcrowding.

The client required large amounts of book storage, so we designed custom-made sloped roof to allow for internal locally sourced timber shelves to be placed effortlessly internally. By perfectly balancing the horizontal and vertical elements, we created a sensation of time pausing, in other words zen.

A very special project we are currently completing is a luxury treehouse for Hotel Normandy. The purpose is to create a space that integrates with nature and offers an outstanding forest view, providing a luxurious retreat for hotel clients seeking tranquillity.

Timber is being used as the primary building material for this project. The wooden house is designed to be intertwined with a 10-meter tall tree, which serves as the anchor for the structure. The timber supports the platform on which the treehouse is built and also provides support for the ladder used to climb up to the house.

The treehouse has a rectangular shape with a pitched roof, and both the bedroom and bathroom facades are exposed to the outside taking full advantage of the stunning French forest view. The exterior finish of the house is made of wooden boards, and the supports for the structure are made of iron profiles. Overall, timber is essential to this project as it helps to create a natural and harmonious space that blends seamlessly with the surrounding environment.

These projects showcase the versatility of timber in our architecture projects, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere to providing structural support and insulation. We hope we have demonstrated the sustainable materials are easily versatile and timber has the ability to form a unique powerful relationship between the built environment and nature.

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Drone technology has revolutionised the way we approach various tasks, from aerial surveillance to package delivery. Mudd Architects show how its application extend far beyond these conventional uses. In a recent project in Brussels they transformed a damaged facade into an artistic statement. But why use a drone for construction?

One of the biggest benefits of using a drone for construction is the ability to coat large surfaces quickly. MuDD Architects were able to coat a 15-meter tall wall in a matter of hours, something that would have taken much longer using traditional methods. Additionally, there is no need for scaffolding when using a drone, which saves time and money, and the drone can reach difficult areas that would be impossible to access otherwise.

The drone used by MuDD Architects has the ability to spray up to 30 meters high, and can even be fitted onto a cherry picker for even higher surfaces. This makes it ideal for a variety of construction projects, from waterproofing and insulation to mortar spraying and vertical garden mixes with seed projection projects. It can even be used for facade cleaning of large surfaces, towers or skyscrapers.

But it’s not just about speed and efficiency. The use of drones in construction can significantly reduce the danger level for workers on site. Drones can take on many of the dangerous tasks that would otherwise put workers at risk, such as working at heights or in hazardous environments. This allows skilled master crafters to focus on specific tasks that require their expertise, while the drone takes care of the more mundane or dangerous tasks.

MuDD Architects’ dronecrete mural project is a prime example of how drones can be used in complex urban environments. Working within a netted space, they were able to demonstrate the potential of drone technology to significantly reduce the cost, time, and danger level of construction projects in urban areas. This is especially important as cities continue to grow and construction projects become more complex and challenging.

Take a look at how we maximised the utility of drone sprays for our project in Anderlecht.

Mudd Architects demonstrates that this drone technology can revolutionise construction in numerous way, their Mud Shell project also indicates this. In the 2018 London design festival, Mudd Architects used the drone to spray a mixture of clay and fibre onto little sacking bags filled with hay mounted on a formwork of wooden struts. This allowed for a durable and permanent structure to be that was built in in a matter days from cheap and local materials.

Chaltiel and the team see the utility of this technology in refugee camps and natural disaster scenarios, the binding of the building elements took only in a matter of minutes, this would usually take a matter of weeks by conventional building methods. To add to this, when interviewed by Dezeen, Chaltiel added “The drones are quite easy to bring to any site. When dismantled they fit into two [pieces of] luggage and the pump is on wheels so it can reach remote or difficult areas without the need for scaffolding or cranes.”

In conclusion, drone technology is changing the face of construction, offering faster, safer, and more efficient ways of working. With the ability to reach difficult areas and coat large surfaces quickly, drones are ideal for a wide range of construction projects, from emergency housing in disaster situations to large-scale urban renovations. MuDD Architects’ dronecrete mural and their Mud Shell project show the versatlity and utility of drone in the construction industry. This is just the beginning of what is sure to be a long and exciting journey for drone technology in construction.

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