Mass Timber Translation - Lina Bo Bardi's Glass House
Lina Bo Bardi’s Glass House in São Paulo embodies both traditional and contemporary modernist influences. The front of the house features a glass prism which floats on thin steel pilotis. The ground below this prism slopes upward, culminating in a hill which holds the traditionally styled back half of the residence. This condition inherently creates hierarchy, prioritizing the modernist approach and leaving the traditional construction, occupied by housekeepers, largely unseen.
The case study translation into mass timber involves a series of iterations that subvert the hierarchy in the original concrete and steel home. The pitched roof is replaced with one manually curved and clamped laminated veneer lumber panel and the concrete floors and walls are replaced with 5 ply CLT panels. The thin steel piloti are also replaced with 8” glulaminated columns that are angled on the ground floor to mimic the surrounding forest on the site. This move strengthens the lateral support of the building. Some concrete elements of the building remain in order to prevent the timber from touching the ground.