Where is CLT Going? And where has it come from?

As Cross Laminated Timber begins to go global, with production rapidly increasing and new factories opening all over the planet, Unstructured Extra 9 looks at CLT’s first European chapter, in depth and in detail.

CLT pioneers and Stirling Award winners, London’s dRMM, alongside WaughThistleton and Hackney, North London’s surprise CLT world centre.

Europe-wide SauerbrauchHutton’s brand new Hamburg ‘Woodie’ student housing, Nordic experimenters Helen & Hard, brickcentric Holland’s CLT timber undercurrents, and Lausanne’s I-Bois latest folded plate CLT, Vidy Theatre. We head to the source of the revolution, South East Austria. Gerhard Schickhofer whose Graz University research helped kick-start CLT is interviewed, and we report from the country’s Styrian forests and factories.

Andrew Lawrence, Arup’s timber main man writes on where he believes CLT is going, our Further section profiles the rise of Tall Timber. We explore less noticed aspects of this timber shake down: Arts & Crafts and CLT, a folded plate monocoque CLT chapel outside Stroud and, in Wales, the future of Brettstapel.

With CLT in the midst of transiting from a primarily European to a Global sustainable material, Unstructured Extra 9 provides an unparalleled, up to the minute, overview of where it’s at, and where it’s going. 

Where Europe is going with CLT

Smart Deco from Norwegian Woods – Stavenger's Helen & Hard
Brickcentrica's Holland's CLT undercurrents
Where is CLT Going? Taking stock of the revolution in CLT
Mittel Europa Calling

Graz University's professor CLT – Oliver Lowenstein meets Gerhard Schickhofer

Box stacker – SauerbrauchHutton Go CLT /Hamburg student housing by Kerstin Kuhnekath
Folded In - Yves Weinand on I-Bois's Folded Plate CLT experiments
Of forests and factories – In the Styrian heartlands

Unlikely CLT world centre – Hackney!
Out of Town – WaughThistleton in Brighton
2020 vision - Arup's Andrew Lawrence's vision of where CLT is going
Against the Grain

The Crafted CLT - Adam Richards, FeildenFowles, and Carpenter Oak & Woodland
Nic Pople on the first ever CLT Monocoque
Brettstapel - A new name for an old technique - Dainis Dauksta
Further - Related info, including CLT High rise and buildings at scale
The avant-timber provocateurs

A dRMM special themed section, featuring Alex de Rijke on Timber Towers, Maggies Oldham, CLT and dRMM, Hastings and the people's pier, plus further features.

Why Timber Towers don't cut it – Alex de Rijke
dRMM and CLT – the way sexier building material
Tender Timber – Maggies Oldham goes natural materials
Diving for Pearls - dRMM's People's Pier and Hastings and Coastal regeneration
Along the sea front – Hastings Photo-Essay by George Sinclair

Fourth Door Further - Related Fourth Door and other article features


With over 25 years of experience in the field of forestry and design of timber structures, Dainis Dauksta worked as lead consultant at Wood Knowledge Wales until recently, and continues to do so part time, and has since started his own consultancy, Woodscience Ltd.

Alex de Rijke is co-founder of dRMM and has been at the forefront of engineered timber advocacy in Britain and internationally.

Kerstin Kuhnekath is an architecture and design journalist and radio producer based in Berlin and runs the Audio Architekten web magazine.

Andrew Lawrence is head of timber engineering at Arup Engineers, or, as he is currently titled, is their Global Timber Specialist. He has been collaborating on CLT projects since the late 2000’s, including on the Hardwood CLT experiments outlined in this feature.

Nic Pople runs his North Sussex practice Nicolas Pople Architects and has been exploring experimental building all through his career.

George Sinclair completed his part 2 architecture course at the Cass in summer 2018, and works across media, including sculpture, graphic design as well as architecture and photography. He is a core part of the Fourth Door network.

All other articles are by Oliver Lowenstein from Fourth Door

This Unstructured Extra wouldn’t have been possible without time, contributions and help of a wide number of people.

I’d particularly like to thank Liam Dewer, Jonathan Fovargue, Nic Pople, Bernard Planterose, Alex de Rijke and George Sinclair for their help and time with this edition of Unstructured Extra.

As well as these people, I am grateful to Tamara Mazurenko, Unstructured’s numero uno web-designer.

Fourth Door would also like to thank the following organisations for funding support for the web-edition; American Hard Wood Export Council, Wood For Good, and for travel and accommodation support for a research visit to Austria in 2018, pro-Holz Austria and Murau Tourism.