The background of our building technique comes from the design of an early timber aircraft design, specifically the deHavilland Mosquito, developed in 1940. Metal had always been the material of choice for aircrafts, but shortages during wartime Britain prompted a return to timber and plywood in order to produce this highly successful fighter plane. This also meant furniture makers could use their woodworking skills to create the streamlined fuselages and wings.
The shape of the fuselage is essentially a ‘monocoque’ or single shell. This makes it possible to generate exceptional structural strength by creating a relatively light curving form.
The ‘Aviator Haus’ concept is applying this ‘monocoque’ principle to building. It is pursuing the more innovative idea of ‘strength through shape’ as opposed to traditional boxy concrete housing. A simple principle that helps reduce materials weight, consumption and cost.
Shape & Sustainability
Reducing the amount of materials consumed in a building is also a refreshing approach to environmental sustainability. We use timber, which is a natural resource, in a very responsible way.
The images shown are the early ‘Proof of Concept’ trials for what was to become the Aviator Haus. Dating back to 2007 and Garvan de Bruir’s MA research into making efficient structures in timber.
The two buildings today operate as part of the DE BRUIR Leather workshop.
Here are some older computer visualisations of the buildings. We played with ideas like an alternative balcony design, incorporating a roof window, alternative window layout, etc.
I also like the potential of building on stilts so there is less interruption to the environment.