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40 546 Timber Topping

Full course name in English: 
Timber Topping
40 546
Syklus 2
2021 Høst
2021 Høst
Maksimum antall studenter: 
Ute Christina Groba

Admission to AHO and successful completion of three years bachelor level studies (180 ECTS).

Om emnet


In the light of pressing environmental concerns and urgent housing needs, urban densification and the use of exisiting resources together with otherwise sustainable materials are of key importance. At the same time, synergies have to be sought between the existing and the new, not only in form of buildings, but also concerning a city's social tissue.

This course will focus on densification on top of existing buildings. Besides its many other benefits, timber as a construction material is especially suitable due to its low weight and ample prefabrication possibilities. Importantly, the projects are not to be conceived as parasites, although making use of the existing load-bearing structures and potentially also ducts and staircases, but as giving something back to both carrier building and city and thus creating synergies. The "newcomer" could for example facilitate a facade upgrade with better insulation, aesthetic updates and additional functions and spaces. As timber is quickly installed, does not need to dry nor causes much noise, the carrier building can remain in use during the construction period.


After an introductory exercise and accompanied by a series of lectures and workshops, each group of two students will specify an individual problem statement and develop an according architectural approach.

We are going to develop the projects through conceptual models, sketches, texts, drawings and working models.


Teacher Team:

Ute Groba (course responsible), Ona Flindall, Maryia Rusak



- The development and communication of a consistent architectural approach and its materialization in sketches, working models, drawings and text.

- Understanding the importance of integrating a project’s load bearing structure in early architectural concepts.

- Knowledge of different timber construction systems and detailing.

- Introduction to timber architecture within academic fields of discourse.

- Studying and documenting different principles to achieve the type of flexibility the individual project aims at, as well as related constructive challenges, and possible solutions.

- The course will be documented in a course book that archives exploratory models, lecture notes, precedent analyses, and the students' final projects.


Praktisk organisering og arbeidsmåter


- Pre-task / wood workshop

- Lectures and workshops with AHO staff / externals

- Regular supervision and desk crits

- Midterm Review and Final Presentation with external reviewer

- Exhibition / course book

- Each student will have a small extra task that benefits the entire class


Group work:

We aim for working in groups of two students. Final deliverables (such as number of drawings and models or degree of detailing) will be adjusted to the number of team members in case of different group constellations.



- Urban site in Oslo



- Yet to be determined, depending on restrictions due to the Covid-19 situation. We might have to plan for an in-town programme – which we have many ideas for!


Main scales of the students' work (will be specified in each task throughout the semester):

- Urban strategy 1:500

- Architectural approach in plan, sections, facades 1:200 / 1:100

- Detail solutions / section perspective 1:50 / 1:20 (number of details depending on group size)


Deliverables at the end of the semester:

- Concept description in text and diagrams
- Drawings: site plan, plan drawings, sections, facades, details
- Illustrations/renderings/collages/model pictures

The above drawings will be part of your final digital presentation and must also be delivered in printable quality for a course book.

- Working model; model pictures (The model will be in use and under modification throughout the semester and is not meant to be beautiful, but useful)
- Final model; model pictures
- (Depending on chosen site: maybe collective site model)

- Lecture reports, precedent analysis and other documentation of additional tasks where relevant. These will be handed in during the course of the semester after each task is completed and be included in a course book. They will not be part of your workload towards the final delivery.


Requirements to pass:

Active participation in lectures, workshops, group meetings and desk crits are required, as well as the steady development of the project with regular supervision meetings. It is mandatory to attend and meet the requirements of midterm and final review. Postponement of midterm or final review requires a doctor's note.




Obligatorisk arbeidskravPåkrevde arbeidskravOppmøte påkrevdKommentar
Veiledningssamtaler Påkrevd
Oppmøte til undervisning Påkrevd
Annet - spesifiser i kommentarfeltet Påkrevd
Obligatoriske arbeidskrav:
Obligatorisk arbeidskrav:Veiledningssamtaler
Påkrevde arbeidskrav:
Oppmøte påkrevd:Påkrevd
Obligatorisk arbeidskrav:Oppmøte til undervisning
Påkrevde arbeidskrav:
Oppmøte påkrevd:Påkrevd
Obligatorisk arbeidskrav:Annet - spesifiser i kommentarfeltet
Påkrevde arbeidskrav:
Oppmøte påkrevd:Påkrevd
Delinnlevering-Bestått / ikke bestått
Muntlig presentasjon-Bestått / ikke bestått
Prosjektoppgave-Bestått / ikke bestått
Annen vurderingsform, definer i kommentarfelt-Bestått / ikke bestått
Karakterskala:Bestått / ikke bestått
Vurderingsform:Muntlig presentasjon
Karakterskala:Bestått / ikke bestått
Karakterskala:Bestått / ikke bestått
Vurderingsform:Annen vurderingsform, definer i kommentarfelt
Karakterskala:Bestått / ikke bestått