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MArch

Simon Feather

Simon Feather

Simon Feather / MArch

Re-Foresting – My Strategy for Timber Production within the Northern Forest in Response to the Climate Crisis

Studying MArch at LBU was an opportunity to explore my own personal interests in architecture. For me this was the use of wood in construction.

I have studied the masters in architecture course part time whilst working in practice for the last four years. Being able to study and work has been critical for me to successfully complete the course whilst continuing to enjoy the life of having a regular wage. I work at RBS Architects in Saltaire. Their support along with regular interaction with professionals ensured my student work is both technical and grounded within a real-life scenario.

 

/ Reforesting Masterplan

Another important factor was the length of the part time course. Whilst four years may put some people off, it gave me the opportunity to attend lots of design and build programmes during my studies; something which I thoroughly enjoy. ‘Hello Wood’ and ‘Studio in the Woods’ in the UK; ‘Arkitrek’ in Borneo and ‘Earthship’ in the US made me more passionate about the use of timber in construction. They also provided me with a background knowledge in related subjects such as forestry, ecology and timber manufacturing and its processes. These experiences also sparked a lot of the ideas I explored within my final design project; architecture isn’t just a career; it’s also an adventure.

/ Exploded Building Axonometric

My final design project was shortlisted for, and subsequently won an RSA student award. My project ‘Re-foresting: a strategy of production within the Northern Forest’ is a set of nine model villages located along the M62, and within the ‘Northern Forest’. Each village uses the environmental conditions associated with their unique location to grow a different selection of tree species. The harvested materials are used to manufacture the villages’ future timber buildings.’ The project aims to promote the use of locally grown timber and revitalise the UK's timber industry.

/ Growth Diagram

My project has emerged out of the climate crisis. Trees are part of this solution and in many ways. Decisions on the trees we plant today will ensure that timber is put to its most effective use to offset the climate crisis and sustainable lifestyles.

The RSA judging panel praised the project for its vision, innovation, for being multi-disciplinary, and for embracing wider spheres of knowledge within the proposed strategy.

/ Internal Design Concepts

The project has given my career a direction and I hope to build upon its academic successes. I produced some key informative drawings that help architects and designers select timber species. These will be continually revised throughout my career to ensure they are an accurate resource.

I think that architects and designers should have input into what we plant within our commercial forests, as they will ultimately be the ones designing with them once they are ready for harvest.