Tulipwood louvers align on a Shoreditch office building

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Waugh Thistleton Architects’ Black and White building features timber inside and out. Designed to offer flexible workspaces in London’s Shoreditch neighborhood, the sleek-finned building contains 38,000 square feet of net internal area across six stories.

The building is made from a beech laminated veneer lumber (LVL) frame and cross-laminated timber (CLT) slabs, with the core allowing for large, open-plan workspaces. David Lomax, associate director at Waugh Thistleton, told AN that the design team considered glulam products, but opted for a hardwood LVL product as it uses “up to around 97 percent [of the tree log] by extracting a veneer.” This is in contrast to cutting planks out of logs, which creates excess timber that is often used in materials with shorter lifespans. Opting for hardwood LVL also allowed for larger interior spaces, Lomax said, as the product, which is up to three times stronger than steel, reduces beam and column sizes, and makes for a slightly shorter building that better fits the site’s context.

worker installing louvers on a facade
The wealth of experience that workers have with timber buildings in London helped lead to a streamlined construction process. (Courtesy The Office Group)

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