"The future is certainly wood," says Shane Williamson, a principal at the architecture firm Williamson Williamson Inc. in Toronto, and Associate Professor at the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design.
The director of the Master of Architecture program at the University of Toronto was recently interviewed for a Globe and Mail article on the revival of timber-framed construction. The piece was inspired by George Brown College’s plans to build a 12-storey tower framed of wood.
"It's a cost-effective approach to building tall," Williamson told writer Adam Stanley, who noted “wood’s green and efficiency virtues.”
Williamson’s Toronto-based firm Williamson Williamson Inc. (previously Williamson Chong) travelled the world to study the application of engineered wood known as cross-laminated timber (CLT) after winning the Professional Prix de Rome in 2012. This research culminated in, among other things, an exhibition at Corkin Gallery in 2014 that explored wood’s material history.
Building on research and a creative practice that employs advanced digital tools as a means to critically engage and transform traditional modes of construction and tectonic expression, Williamson’s work seeks to situate digital fabrication and wood construction in a broader cultural context. He links theories of design and technology to sustainable building strategies.
"CLT in some ways can be considered a replacement for concrete," Williamson told the Globe and Mail. "In many ways, it provides similar characteristics while offering tremendous benefits."