Flitched competition
Smith and Wallwork, Hugo Keene & Tommy Down

bfg or ballasted flitched gazebo…a unique idea developed for an upcycling competition run by the Canning Town Caravanserai with media partner Building Design Journal.

Working in close collaboration with Hugo Keene and Tommy Down from Mole Architects we came up with a building design for a workshop, meeting room and store that was entirely built from construction waste.

Wood formed the key building material with additions of plastic, steel, paint, oil drums and nails. Our proposal created nearly 100m2 of covered column free space.

We spent time developing a series of flitched connections that would be easy to assemble with limited skill. The ballasted frames were developed to repeat throughout the length of the building to enable pre-fabrication using a jig on site.

The ballasted idea came from the aspiration to design a foundation free structure that simply rested on the compacted earth floor. By weighting one side of the building down with earth filled oil drums; and the other side tied back to the existing brick wall; we created a building that would not blow away in the wind. We also cleverly devised the frame to be pre-loaded by the oil drum ballast enabling the 6m span with only 4.8m long bits of timber. Genius?

Renderings courtesy of Hugo and Tommy