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Esteemed Architect treats School of Design

Foster + Partners Associate reaffirms the importance of timber in modern construction

Swinburne’s School of Design was home to an engaging lecture by world-renowned architect Richard Maddock recently. The Foster and Partners Associate spoke to a theatre full of aspiring design students about a variety of topics, including the structural integrity of timber and a number of projects that he has personally been involved with over recent months.

The University of Tasmania graduate has become an integral part of Foster and Partners’ Specialist Modelling Group, working out of their London office on a number of innovative designs the world over since 2014.

Maddock spoke about his experiences designing the new Crossrail Place for London’s Canary Wharf, an innovative structure with a rooftop garden and a latticed wooden roof structure, in order to “bathe the garden in natural sunlight”.

“It really stands out amongst the steel and glass skyscrapers of Canary Wharf.”

Maddock also went in-depth about his team’s reliance on wood construction, labelling trees as “silent engineers”.

With a real focus on the structural integrity of hardwood, Maddock explained in detail the composition of a number of large trees, including the famed Sequoia trees of Sequoia National Park, California.

According to Maddock, timber’s tensile strength is developed as the tree grows, with the outer of the tree exposed to wind pressure, ensuring that the timber derived can thrive in adverse conditions.

To learn more about Maddock, as well as Foster + Partners, visit:

Ryan Malcolm

Ryan is a driven student completing Professional Placement with the Centre for Design Innovation throughout 2018. After completing two years of his...

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