Wooden Deck Installation | Cambridge, Ontario
In collaboration with: Charlie Gao, Ronnie Kataki, Di Wang, Alexandru Vilcu
The surface designed is a gathering place “over” the Grand River offering walkers, joggers, and runners a pause. The large scale of the platform is intended to invite a family to comfortably use the deck and have ample space to reflect, relax, and enjoy the view. The final result is a form that contrasts the site but complements it through its material palette and its function of offering a gathering place for many passers-by to pause and appreciate the Grand River’s beauty.
The site was chosen due to the close proximity between two trees and their immediate relationship with a cliff that leads directly to the river’s shore. The opportunity here was to create a moment of pause from the path and to unite the trees with the river via a surface.
Modular construction was implemented for the sake of simplicity and to minimize workload while offering efficient workflow. To organize the manufacturing process the deck was designed using only five kinds of members, giving each group member a specific task.
The pair of trees were used as the foundation of the structure as they support two anchor beams from which the deck extends towards the river. The structure then comes down on the cliff using footers attached at 55 degrees to dig into the slope. Thus, as the trees hold the platform laterally, they are also pulling the footers into the ground, manifesting a reciprocal relationship between the two forces.
Detailing was based on elegance, minimum hardware, and structural integrity via unity of members. Thus, notch joinery was used. Notches were cut out of the anchor and deck members so that tension along the anchor beams and compression at the joints would prevent a fatal deflection. The footing was sized according to the site and each piece was cut at a different height to align with the slope of the site.
Software: AutoCAD, Rhino 5, Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator
Manufacturing: Woodworking, Metalworking, CNC Milling