Flying timber

2014-05-01

When Australia's Department of the Environment planned to move into a new office block in the capital city of Canberra, the focus was on building as eco-friendly as possible. The result was both beautiful and innovative, an eruption of recycled timber.

There are few places around the world where climate and environmental issues are as topical as in Australia where the ozone layer just gets thinner and thinner and where they have extreme droughts and floods. This places new demands on architecture. The office building in the photo is designed by the architect firm Mach Studio, which, as much as possible, has considered the environmental impact of every little detail, from the solar panels on the roof to the entrance interior which is made from 2,000 pieces of recycled timber, all different from different sources. Some are lacquered and come from demolished buildings, some are painted and were waste from a sport area build. But the pieces of timber are not just a beautiful installation. They are also placed in a smart pattern that shuts out the sun and keeps the cool night air circulating in the building longer. The building is one of many that are being built in an entirely new eco-smart and green district in Canberra.