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As far as building materials go, Plywood just might be the most versatile in the history of the world. Many of the common, everyday uses like furniture, cladding, joinery, and shelving are staple applications for Plywood, but it seems like almost daily the team here at Plyco are working alongside and discovering so many wondrous and unique ways to utilise sheets of Ply. Today we wanted to dedicate some time 6 of the most amazing, weird, and creative ways that people are using Plywood in 2018.

Plywood Pavilion by the University of Stuttgart

The first of the amazing Plywood creations that we want to show off is this ridiculous pavilion made entirely out of Plywood. As if looking at this wasn’t crazy enough, the whole thing was built by robots! The design of this pavilion is inspired by sea urchins and was created by stitching together laminated plywood elements – it was the first of its kind to use industrial sewing of wood elements in an architectural setting. This particular pavilion is part of a series designed to show the potential of computational design, simulation and fabrication processes in architecture, and in our humble opinion, we’d say they succeeded in showing that off! Purely based on looks and aesthetic this is an extremely impressive piece of design, but knowing what exactly went into this takes it to a whole new level. Who knew that Plywood could be so high-tech?

Shinola Plywood Pavilion by Giles Miller

Sticking with the pavilion theme, the Shinola Pavilion designed by Giles Miller is radically different from the one by the University of Stuttgart, but it’s equally as impressive. Sometimes art can get a little off the wall and confusing, but this structure is just downright cool. Made from 8,000 lightning-bolt shaped pieces of Plywood, it was built for the Clerkenwell Design Week and stood in St. John’s Square. The pavilion was inspired by Detroit factories. The black lightning bolts were cut by CNC machines and were placed by hand into the structure, requiring meticulous precision. Our favourite aspect of this Plywood design is that you can actually walk through it!

Plywood Fire Shelter by SHJWorks

Like the beauty of a snowy landscape but not a big fan of the cold climate? Well, Simon Hjermind Jensen created the perfect solution for you! The “Fire Shelter” built in Denmark provides visitors with the chance to sit in an egg-shaped dome around a fire, while also taking in the sites of Copenhagen. The dome stands at an impressive five-metres tall and features a nifty little hole in the top to ensure smoke from the fire can safely escape. SHJWorks constructed this shelter by bolting sheets of Flexiply together, while the outside aesthetic was inspired by clothing seams. At night it is a truly glorious sight to behold. With this project, Jensen proves that Plywood can brave the harshest climates while also looking stunning.

Toranoko Plywood Nursery

We’ve included this nursery created by Takashige Yamashita purely because the sheer size and magnitude of its curved Plywood roof has to be seen to be believed. It also doesn’t hurt that the entire building looks stunning and that it also has a clear view of Mt. Fuji! Located in Japan’s Yamanashi Prefecture, this nursery is responsible for providing care to the elderly, as well as a space for local children.

Plywood Ripple Table by Benjamin Hubert

Moving away from the large structures for a second – it’s time to talk about what Benjamin Hubert claims is the lightest timber table in the entire world. Dubbed the “Ripple Table”, it was created for the 2013 London Design Festival and weighs in at just nine kilos, despite being 2.5 metres long and 1 metre wide! How on earth did Hubert create something like this? Well, he corrugated three layers of 0.8-millimetre thickness Birch Plywood, leaving the table with an edge that is only 3.5 millimetres thick. This was built using 70-80 per cent less material than a standard timber table and was designed with the desire to be set up and moved by a single person.

Plywood Highrise Apartment

We’ve previously spoken about Japan’s plans to build a massive skyscraper using plywood, however, Finland was able to beat them to the punch in 2015, albeit in a slightly less ambitious project. An eight-story apartment block in Kuokkala was constructed using prefabricated modules of cross-laminated timber that were put together, essentially, like Lego pieces. This Lego house was designed by the Finnish studio OOPEAA and it took builders just six short months of working onsite to complete the structure. Obviously, the carbon footprint of this apartment block was significantly smaller than if a concrete one was to be built in its place. Previously, fire regulations had prevented wooden buildings being built this tall, but a change to Finland’s building codes in 2010 was made, in large part thanks to the advancement and development of cross-laminated timber. This set of apartments was the first of three planned blocks in the area.

I think we can all agree that these 6 examples prove that Plywood is the most versatile material around. Whether it’s a whole block of apartments, a mind-bending pavilion, or the world’s lightest table, Plywood can just about get the job done in any circumstances. No doubt these creative creations have got your own design juices flowing, so why not head over to Plyco’s online store? Not only can you see our entire range, but you can also purchase nearly every product that we stock from the comfort of your own home! You’re also always welcome to pay us a visit at our Fairfield showroom too!


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