Scale Infinite – dRMM

dRMM is a London-based international practice of architects and designers founded by british architects Alex de Rijke (1960), Philip Marsh (1966) and Sadie Morgan (1969) in 1995. Studio Director Jonas Lencer (1978) joined dRMM in 2004. dRMM is renowned for creating architecture that is innovative, high quality and socially useful. They have recently been awarded the Building Design (BD) Architect Of The Year 2013 for their significant contribution to British architecture. dRMM’s strong reputation is owed to a talented and resourceful team who work in the belief that outstanding architecture comes through collaboration, lateral design, environmental awareness and building innovation. Almost twenty years after the studio’s inception, dRMM have won numerous awards for their projects in various architectural sectors including residential, education, interior, leisure, culture, workplace, and place-making. Their first project, No. One Centaur Street (2003), won eight awards including the Riba London Building of the Year, whilst in 2010 the community-driven project Clapham Manor Primary School was a runner up for the Riba Stirling Prize. In addition to their larger schemes, dRMM have successfully delivered a variety of smaller projects in the cultural sector including exhibitions in the UK, Norway, Italy and Brazil. They have worked on gallery and exhibition design for institutions such as the Milton Keynes Gallery, Modern Art Oxford, and the Design Museum London. dRMM’s Timber Studio has pioneered the use of engineered timber since 2000. Introducing cross-laminated panel construction to the UK education sector with their award-winning Kingsdale School (2005), they were able to demonstrate how CNC-cut structural timber could outsmart its competitors in versatility, building efficiency, and character. The studio has continued to innovate in engineered timber research. Their landmark project for the London Design Festival 2013, Endless Stair, pioneered the use of hardwood for cross-laminated timber (CLT), demonstrating the structural use of tulipwood – an abundant, relatively inexpensive and sustainable American hardwood – for the first time in architecture. The project was a manifestation of dRMM’s continuing advocacy of timber as a relevant material for 21st century architecture. American Hardwood Export Council For over 20 years the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) has been at the forefront of wood promotion in Europe, successfully building a distinctive and creative brand for U.S. hardwoods. AHEC’s support for creative design projects, such as the Interni’s ‘Feeding’ New Ideas for the City, demonstrate the performance potential of these sustainable materials and provide valuable inspiration. The installation The project is the latest iteration of Endless Stair, a structure of Escher-like interlocking staircases originally installed in front of Tate Modern for the London Design Festival 2013. Endelss Stair was conceived as a three-dimensional exercise in modular timber construction, offering the potential for reconfiguration and adaptation to different contexts. Scale Infinite is a further play on perspective: six interlocking flights of steps made from American tulipwood cross-laminated timber (CLT) will be joined together to create a visually arresting form, which offers a contrast to the classical uniformity of the Renaissance building. Endless Stair was the first ever use of hardwood for cross-laminated timber, which is usually made from softwood. American tulipwood (Liriodendron Tulipifera) is an abundant and relatively inexpensive hardwood, strong and stiff for its weight. Testing carried out during production showed that tulipwood is three times stronger than a typical construction softwood, enabling dRMM to design slender components. This project helps demonstrate that hardwoods can add a new dimension to future timber construction.