Last week I was lucky enough to visit the Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy in London. One of the highlights for me was the Architecture Room where the exhibits really blur the boundaries between art and architecture.

Not only have I never seen balsa wood so expertly deployed but also these Lilliputian constructions signify the sometimes breathtaking ambition of today’s architects and specifiers.

Some of the models may have been described by the co-curator of the room, architect hristopher Wilkinson, as "rather frivolous, architecturally" and "more a visual interpretation" but there’s no doubting their ability to impress and inspire.

One model that has become more than mere visual interpretation is Mr Wilkinson’s own creation "From Landscape to Portrait", an installation that takes pride of place in the Annenburg ourtyard leading into the main entrance of the Royal Academy.

The structure, which somehow manages to stand out and yet still fit right in with its environs, is a combination of concrete, steel and engineered timber but I have to say, genuinely with no fear of bias, that it’s the latter that plays the starring role.

Eleven giant Kerto Q LVL frames, supplied and machined to millimetre perfect tolerances by Metsä Wood, are rotated through 90° along the structure’s 12m length, moving from a landscape to a portrait position.

Clever engineering, concealed behind LVL infills, ensures the 5x3m frames are braced and supported even though they appear to hang in space.

Steel had apparently been contemplated for a nano second but Kerto’s strength-to-weight ratio and dimensional stability meant the frames would be robust, yet slender. And, from an artistic point of view, timber suited the narrative of wooden picture frames – it was very definitely the architect’s preferred option.

There’s no doubt that it’s a striking piece both visually and from an engineering perspective but what, I hear the cynics ask, is the point of it?

The American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) could certainly explain the point. AHEC has had a long association with architects and specifiers and has had considerable success in engaging with that community and persuading it of the merits of designing and building with timber.

Whether it was the tulipwood Sclera pavilion at the London Design Festival on London’s Southbank or the red oak Timber Wave at the V&A, AHEC has managed to showcase timber in locations where the footfall is in the tens of thousands.

The fact is that as well as speaking volumes to the artistically inclined, for the timber industry From Landscape to Portrait is also another marketing masterpiece.

Thousands of people attending the Summer Exhibition will walk around and past the installation, touch it and appreciate both the timber and the engineering. For many, according to Metsä Wood’s head of technical engineering and design, Frank Werling, it will be "a revelation".

And for those smartphone owners wanting to learn more about the piece, a scan of the QR code at the front will take them to a website including a time-lapse film of the construction process and a link to Metsä Wood’s own site.

In terms of marketing timber, I’d say that was a work of art.