Linkage Lamination – Carving a Festival in Portland, UK

Stemming from a close study of Michihiro Matsuda’s recycled guitar No.125A, the project explores two methods of fabrication – earth casting and timber lamination. A common language is established between the two techniques, allowing for the creation of complex glulam beams fabricated using earth cast concrete formwork. Digital simulations are used to calibrate their behaviours, and the cast formwork is designed to enjoy a second life beyond its initial fabrication role.

This process is played out through the design of a large glulam inhabitable digging machine, with a bespoke linkage system that allows it to carve the earth, and movement rails enabling it to bridge across the site. Located in Portland UK between active quarries, the site hosts a festival in the summer, for which the machine prepares throughout the year by carving and casting the performance spaces into the ground itself. Visitors occupy the space between the formwork and laminated apparatus, and can make connections between the landscape and the machine that traverses the site above them.

Laminating Waste Shavings

Creating thin timber shell structures from shavings, generated in the guitar lutherie process.

Digging Machine Movement Model

A linkage fabricated to explore the spaces that open up within the digging machine. The linkage can draw a range of arcs, lemniscates and parabolas simultaneously as it rotates.

Laminated Timber Structural Fragment Model

The model attempts to achieve the maximum potential for freeform curvature from rectangular timber input blanks, to develop a materially efficient but highly sculptural language.

Inhabitable Digging Machine Entrance View

A rendered view discussing the various layers of enclosure that occur as visitors navigate the structure, and the relationship between the freeform glulam structure and inhabitable timber pods.

Festival Landscape Perspective Section

This drawing discusses the project as a whole, detailing the relationship between the digging machine that moves above the site, and the carved festival landscape which it constantly develops and iterates below.

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