A multi-purpose log building | Spring 2024

Atelier Weinand-S24

The year 2023-24 marks the start of a large-scale study on the subject of architecture in round or rough timber. Indeed, after a major period of research devoted to timber plate structures (2005-23), the IBOIS laboratory now wishes to question the environmental virtues of timber construction in the light of the industry to which it is subjected. The working hypothesis is to recreate the link between material and territory, by putting digital innovation at the service of a common work platform between architecture and engineering, centered on the knowledge and use of wood.

The first semester dedicated to this study (Reinvent Log Architecture | Autumn 2023) was devoted first to a case study, then to project-based and constructive experimentation on the scale of an architectural fragment. Following on from this first half-year, the Spring 2024 program involves the design of a multifunctional building for the future campus of the Haute Ecole du Bois et de la Forêt (HEBF) in l’Argentière-la-Bessée (France).

The HEBF is a project run by local authorities, wood industry players and specialist research centers from across the Alpine region. The aim of this European project is to bring together players in the forestry and sustainable construction sectors around a new teaching hub. By setting up in the heart of the Alps, the campus will be as close as possible to the resource, in a region in transition, with a strong heritage in timber construction and open to the construction industries of the future.

The campus site at Argentière-la-Bessée is a former industrial zone, with several large buildings and warehouses in a state of disrepair. With a view to the future construction of the campus, a programming and layout study on the site was entrusted to experts from Turin Polytechnic. Scheduled for completion in 2023, the project outlines the main lines of development, defines the programmatic poles and quantifies the surface areas required for each sector. Based on the studies and experiments carried out in the previous semester, the project consists of an architectural and structural proposal for the reception building, built in whole or in part in round or rough timber.

The first part of the semester was spent working individually. In the form of a competition, each had to develop a complete project proposal according to the given perimeter and program. This proposal presented an innovative structural design in round or rough timber. At the end of this first phase, a jury had the role of defining the major potential to be developed in each proposal.

Living Archives

The second part of the semester consisted in developing a collective project proposal, made up of the elements identified in the first phase. The workshop then acts in a common interest, divided into thematic groups, but collectively committed to the production of a unified and rational proposal at all scales. By studying the project from the smallest to the largest scale, this second part was also an opportunity to push the study of construction right up to the production of a 1/1 scale prototype.

Living Archives


Prof.: Yves Weinand
Assist.: Agathe Mignon
Guests: Florian Court, Roberto Dini, Véronique Favre, Alexa den Hartog, Fred Hatt, Georg-Christoph Holz
Prototyping and digital wood construction: Maxim Andrist, Joseph Tannous


Arnaud Barrail, Arthur Billotte, Arthur Breen, Paul Delort Laval, Dimitri Deschenaux, Oscar Lallier, Maxime Thorez, David Warfel

study trip to l’Argentière-la-Bessée, march 2024.