WholeTrees January/February 2020 Update


East Maine Learning Center: Architects used WholeTrees' 3D scanned inventory, imported from our beta platform, to show the precise trees that they would like to use in the space. This type of visual design and selection process allows our clients to search our inventory, select exactly the tree they would like and import it into Revit drawings of the finished space. We are excited to expand this digital inventory and provide more tools for clients and their projects. Look for this project's completion in Spring 2020.

Architect: DLA Architects
GC: Hargrave Builders

National Gateway: We scanned 23 trees and shared the files with the architects to place into their Revit drawings at the precise location and rotation desired. The end result is a 3D rendering of the exact trees that will be placed into the space allowing architects and designers to get a real-life vision of the finished space.  These renderings can then be used to produce shop drawings for WholeTrees' production and fabrication teams, ensuring the design team's visions are met and exceeded.

Architect: Landworks-Studio
GC: Paradigm Contractors

MHA: We are in the midst of the design and engineering phase of the new MHA Cultural Interpretive Center in New Town, North Dakota. Exterior angled wood trellises, an entrance with branching columns, an outdoor amphitheater with arching beams, and a log earth lodge all bring culturally significant round timber to this nature and history-inspired built environment. Final shop drawings are headed to the production team, then large white oak, black locust, and cottonwood will be peeled, dried, and converted into these beautifully rendered spaces.

Architect: DSGW Architects
GC: Woodstone Inc.
Engineer: Engineering Ventures

Minnesota Zoo Tiger Lair: These detail drawings show the connection from column to beam that will hold the roof, beams, and rafters for the Tiger Lair Exhibit. A section through the entire structure shows the steel to wood connections and detailed notches to receive the beams. An additional steel rod that runs from the rafter to the foundation provides stability as well as an industrial aesthetic to marry the two materials together.

Architect: Damon Farber
GC: Minnesota Zoo
Engineer: Engineering Ventures

Hitchcock Nature Center: The trees being used for this project have been sustainably harvested from the nature preserve where this pavilion will be built. Final engineering of the connection details and truss design are taking place and fabrication of branching columns and cedar trusses will soon begin.  This will be a wonderful example of site sourced materials for this nature preserve where trees slated for harvesting get new life and a forever home.

Architect: Allied Designs
GC: Morton Buildings
Engineer: Engineering Ventures

WholeTrees Play Concepts: Over the fall and winter, WholeTrees has worked with partners to develop new play element designs for upcoming projects. Some are purely conceptual, some will go through further iterations before the final designs go into production. We are pleased to expand our playground offerings and release a new playground menu.


Houston Zoo: WholeTrees works with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to restore an oak savannas along the Wisconsin River in the southwestern part of the state. Black Locust is an invasive species here and WholeTrees harvests the trees to provide us with immensely strong and durable timbers for building while also helping make this forest system healthier. On a recent harvest our VP of Operations, Derek Mayhew, can be found among the forests, utilizing his expert tree knowledge to guide our selection during harvesting operations. Our crews moved thousands of linear feet of black locust that will be turned into trellis shade structures for the Houston Zoo.

Architect: Studio Hanson Roberts & Brave Architecture 
Engineer: Engineering Ventures
EOR: MLA Engineering
GC: Tellepsen

Tiger Lair: A mortise and tenon joint is specifically designed and engineered to help secure the loads of a cantilevered white oak viewing shelter. Fabrication crews precisely fit each joint within exact tolerances to insure stability and longevity of each of our structures. A tenon and steel pin create a formidable attachment point from this white oak column to the beam it will secure.

Architect: Damon Farber
GC: MN Zoo
Engineer: Engineering Ventures

MHA: As our foremen travel to New Town, North Dakota for a pre-installation site visit, we finalize shop drawings and begin timber harvests for this broad vision by the MHA Nation and DSGW Architects. WholeTrees will provide prefabbed structural timber for a Mandan earth lodge with traditional cottonwood columns, an oak and black locust round timber amphitheater, hundreds of feet of black locus trellis, and a stunning entryway to this new Interpretive Center. This center will use living history programs to tell the story of the Mandan-Hidatsa-Arikara Nation.

Architect: DSGW Architects
GC: Woodstone Inc.
Engineer: Engineering Ventures

Finish Shots

Maryland Zoo Sign Posts: Round timber makes beautiful biophilic structures and creates relevant conservation conversation starters. In their simplest forms, round timber posts and columns add robust naturalism to way finding, education stations, and other signage.
*Images Courtesy of Gecko Group

Designer: Gecko Group

Current Events in the Wood World and WholeTrees in the News

New Artist Residency In Senegal / Toshiko Mori: The rural village of Sinthian in south-eastern Senegal is the setting for this stunning cultural centre. THREAD offers artist residencies alongside a diverse range of programs. A venue for markets, education, performances and meetings, the centre is a hub for the local community and a place where the resident artists can have a truly meaningful experience of Sinthian society. Acclaimed New York-based architect Toshiko Mori worked on this project pro-bono, designing a building that won an AIA New York Chapter award and was selected for the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale. The building is constructed using local materials and local builders have shared their sophisticated knowledge of working with bamboo, brick, and thatch. These traditional techniques are combined with design innovations by Mori. The customary pitched roof is inverted and will be capable of collecting approximately 40% of the villagers’ domestic water usage in fresh rainfall.

The Wood Lab will function as part of Hooke Park, the AA’s woodland campus in Dorset, U.K. with the overarching goal of educating architects in the sustainable use of timber for building projects and other research capacities. Guided by a problem-solving approach, the Wood Lab will combine the latest technologies in science, design, and fabrication in order to develop building strategies that pair with the inherent properties of wood.

MaoGong Barn Art Center: In 2016, the Maogong government and Dimen Eco-Museum decided to convert a vacant barn into an Art Center for local communities. Approach Architecture Studio turned this redevelopment commission into a pivotal part of the Maogong revitalization plan. We love the intersections of round timber, dimensional lumber, shade spaces, and open courtyards.