The HexBox Canopy is an experimental segmented timber shell consisting of prefabricated hexagon shaped boxes made exclusively from FSC certified Ecoply. It was devised as a “plug and play” system for rapid on site assembly and disassembly consisting of a relatively inexpensive, lightweight and sustainable material. The canopy is made up of a whopping 1531 timber segments cut from 103 sheets of Ecoply making up 201 boxes which were connected by off cuts produced after cutting the main plates of the structure, instead of traditional metal fasteners.
The canopy is the product of an elective course at the University of Sydney’s School of Architecture, Design and Planning called ‘Code to Production’ where students explore computational design processes and digital and robotic fabrication. The Code to Production team collaborated with the Digital Timber Construction team from TU Kaiserslautern as part of the project.
The timber canopy, which provides protection from the sun and rain, is installed on an exposed and uninspiring terrace of the brutalist Wilkinson Building in Sydney which houses the School of Architecture, Design and Planning.
– Arch structure design minimises construction materials required
– Timber shell is made 100% from Ecoply, made from locally harvested, FSC certified Australian timber
– No metal fasteners were required, timber segments were used
– Off-site pre-fabrication which minimised building waste
– Designed to allow for quick assembly and disassembly
Eduardo De Oliveira Barata, Associate Lecturer at the University of Sydney: Sustainable design and practice are embedded in everything we teach. We have a core master’s studio which focuses on sustainability which all students take so they are acutely aware of the issues. Within our capacity as designers of the built environment we need to be designing buildings with give back more than they take. Net zero buildings should be our minimum standard.
Nadine is the founder and editor of Eco Edition and founder of the Eco Edition Design School. She’s an experienced interior designer, sustainable materials consultant, speaker and serial home renovator.