The Smile, a 112-foot-long, 10-foot high structure that was on display at the London Design Festival, is a curved tube made from cross-laminated timber (CLT) that is meant to show the strength of hardwood CLT as a building material, Kristin Hohenadel reports for SLATE. The tube was designed by architect Alison Brooks and engineered by Arup. It is made from American tulipwood:
While CLT is usually made from spruce, Arup and the American Hardwood Export Council have been experimenting with using abundant and fast-growing North American tulipwood, which the engineers say has proved both stronger and better-looking than spruce. They used construction-sized CLT panels fastened together using 4,000 foot-long screws.
According to Hohenadel, the Smile is "filled with 20 tons of steel counterweights. Thanks to all this impressive engineering, the slender structure can support 60 people on one end without turning into a giant see-saw."
For more images of the Smile, follow the link below.