Fabricwood pavilion made from bent and folded plywood

Plywood is a type of engineered wood with many advantages. It is strong, yet very light and, depending on the amount of plies, bendable. Design studio PRODUCE Workshop created a pavilion from plywood that is bent and folded to create an effect of tufted fabric pulled over a frame. Because of this effect, the plywood is dubbed fabricwood.

The procedure to make wood look like fabric begins with drawing a CNC pattern on flat plywood. PRODUCE Workshop uses a tailoring technique called darting to cut slits from the surface, allowing the wood to bend in the same way fabric conforms to the body. The darts and their respective angles on a flat piece of plywood determine the eventual curvature when closed. Circular cut-outs are used at the converging point of the darts to allow the plywood to bend and avoid tears. The slits are “stitched” close with cable ties, while rivets connect the edges of the modular panels.

To give thickness to the walls, two layers of plywood are connected together with wooden dowels and rivets. With a combination of physical and computer modelling, the geometry of the final 3D form could be simulated. The end result is a billowing structure that looks almost upholstered.

The whole structure is very lightweight with minimal framework and made so it is symmetrical.

The 20-metre (65.6 feet) arched structure is made from 280 panels of plywood. It situated in a Herman Miller “Shop-in-Shop” in Singapore.

Photos: PRODUCE Workshop (via Archdaily)