British larch features in Olympics celebration20 July 2012
Larch timber sourced from BSW Timber’s Newbridge-on-Wye sawmill has taken a starring role in an eye-catching project heralding the start of the Olympic Games in London.
As part of the London Festival of Architecture, 17m3 of BSW's home-grown larch has been used to create "Paleys upon Pilers" (Palace on Pillars) - a temporary installation in the historic Aldgate area of the city.
The 11m-high wooden structure marks the start of High Street 2012, the direct route from the City of London to the Olympic Park at Stratford, and will remain in place during the Olympics and the Paralympics.
Architectural practice Studio Weave was inspired by the dream poems of one of Aldgate's most famous residents, Geoffrey Chaucer, written while he lived there from 1374-1386. The House of Fame and The Parliament of Fowls both include images of dream-like temples, made of extraordinary materials.
Studio Weave described the structure, which was commissioned by the Worshipful Company of Chartered Architects, as a "kind of timber embroidery", with a "light nest of decorative timber fretwork creating a series of overlaid buildings of different scales and complexities". The structure, which sits prominently above Aldgate High Street, is supported by four pillars and decorated with images inspired by illuminations on the 14th century Chaucer manuscripts.
BSW's director of public affairs, Hamish Macleod, said the project would help to raise the profile of British timber.
"The supply of sustainably-grown and produced British softwood into the UK construction market is an important business for us and this stunning installation in Aldgate, in the heart of the City of London, will provide a high-profile platform to demonstrate the versatility of our products," he said.