The Fold House – Canada

The site is located in a protected natural habitat in Canada; Working with environmental and conservation authorities on the project was a challenge but also an inspiration for Partisans architects.
Building such a structure with a hidden beam 27 meters long and a cantilevered roof was one design challenge. The second was the cradle and stair in a thin shell steel structure. Getting permits and then getting through the engineering and materiality challenges of the noted architectural elements were a huge relief fern the studio.
The roof, sculptural ceiling and floors are constructed out of bent white oak, the compression bent wood is first steamed to make it pliable then it’s placed in a compression chamber. This process shrinks the boards up to 25% of the original length while maintaining their other dimensions. The wood goes through further compression and resting to equalise the forces in the planks. Then it is shipped to site with a relatively high moisture content that allows it to be flexible until installed and fully dried.
Once dried, the planks retain their shape. This process requires no steam bending on-site and is easily bent “cold” by hand back to their original uncompressed length. A more traditional process of steam bending lengthens the original wood fibers past their original lengths when bent, often leading to splits in the wood and limited workability.
A plywood waffle cradle was hung from the underside of the stair and the compression wood was directly bent onto the plywood ribs, which served both as a guide and support structure to fasten the planks. 
The project is comprised of a pair of domino forms above and below a sweeping cantilevered green roof. Under the green roof lies the pool and wellness facilities. Inside the dominos are the guest house programs including three bedrooms, baths, and a great room with a kitchen. The pool room and guest home are bisected by the stair and breezeway which is a lovely covered outdoor room.

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