Oriented Strand Board (OSB) continues to provide designers and architects with the ideal material for their projects thanks to its strength as a construction material and various design credentials, such as its unique layered composition. One such design collaboration saw OSB used in the winning design for an international architectural project organised and sponsored largely by Arch Triumph.

Chosen from hundreds of proposals, the ‘Triumph Pavilion 2014’ design was put forward by award-winning company IPT Architects and has recently been shortlisted for the ‘Small Non-Housing’ prize for the Architects of the Year Awards 2014.

Here, Amira Idris-Town, partner at IPT Architects, talks about the project and explains why OSB played such an important role in the final design.

Q. What was the idea behind the Pavilion?

A. “Our aim was to provide an inspirational and interactive space for the general public to use and enjoy. The approach was to create a structure that constantly shifts from solidity to transparency depending on the vantage point. We used geometries in a creative arrangement and that the structure they formed makes inspiring and ever-changing shadows according to the position of the sun creating a sense of place with tranquillity, beauty and mysteriousness.”

Q. When did the pavilion take place?

A. “The pavilion was launched on 5th June at the Museum Gardens adjacent to the Victoria and Albert Museum of Childhood in London. It was also open to the public during the London Festival of Architecture also held in June 2014 – it was a pleasure to see people using and enjoying the design.”

Q. Where did you hear about OSB?

A. “Initially OSB was recommended to us for structural sheathing on pre-fabricated buildings and other structures, however we wanted to use it more for design purposes and therefore put forward OSB as the main material specified in our design entry for this international competition.”

Q. Why did you choose to work with OSB?

A. “We had previously used OSB for concealed structural sheathing. We then found a beauty in the aesthetics of the OSB (together with its sustainability and cost efficiency credentials) and started specifying it for finishes on some buildings and structures. For the pavilion we chose OSB because of its unique layered composition and engineered look, which seemed fitting within a natural setting and really helped the Pavilion stand out against the background of wildlife and green space.”

Q. How did you use the panels?

A. “The materials and fabrication method for the Pavilion are based upon simplicity and sustainability using diagonally cut oriented strand board panels. Each frame comprises of a structurally efficient diagonally cut OSB panel to shape the vertical elements with a further diagonally cut sheet forming the horizontal cross brace. This configuration does not only ensure no material wastage but also creates an interesting notion of spatial forms.”

Q. What are the most important aspects when specifying a timber panel product for design?

A. “Strength as a construction material is certainly important and was a key reason why we specified OSB as the main product used throughout the project. It was also vital that the materials adhered to tough environmental guidelines that govern the construction and architecture industries.”

Q. Did the environmental credentials of OSB play a part in its specification?

A. “Definitely. OSB fitted the bill perfectly thanks to its sustainability, origin from FSC accredited forests and low carbon emissions during manufacture. We are proud to have produced a design that uses environmentally sound materials as this really is a key value of our company and the architecture industry as a whole.”

Q. Would you recommend OSB to other architects?

A. “Yes, I would recommend OSB for its structural strength, aesthetics qualities and design credentials. The fact that it is cost-effective alternative to plywood and also has approved origin and chain of custody is vitally important to ensure it meet with codes in the industry. OSB can be stained, painted or varnished as desired, making it ideal for use in interior design as well as exterior structures.”

For further information on OSB and the JOSB Done campaign visit www.josbdone.com or visit the Twitter page @JosbDoneUK.

For further information on IPT Architects and to view the latest projects, visit www.iptarch.co.uk or call 020 7703 0022.