What is beautiful about a piece of wood is its potential.
Add equal parts sweat and ingenuity and you can turn a piece of wood into pretty much anything. Something practical. Something durable. Something necessary.
Or, sometimes, something completely unnecessary but still very nice to look out.
You’ll find five such things below.
Created by Swedish industrial design student Ali Safa A, this set of exercise gear is made from all-natural ash as well as eco-friendly materials like hemp and marble. Made to “be a part of a characteristic home, always visible and to keep you motivated,” the Femton Workout Kit comes with a jump rope, pushup barrels, dumbbells and an ab wheel.
Part roadster, part boat and 100% handsome, Toyota’s Setsuna concept car is made from Japanese cedar, birch and Castor-aralia. With a screw and nail-free body, the vehicle’s 86-panel frame is held together by traditional wood-joining techniques. The car’s exterior is meant to age over time and its interior is outfitted with a 100-year meter to display the passage of time.
Central London could soon be home to an 80-story timber tower if researchers from Cambridge University’s Department of Architecture have anything to say about it. After collaborating with PLP Architecture and engineers to come up with a design, the research team presented their 985-foot-tall design to Mayor Boris Johnson. The proposed tower would be more than five times taller than the world’s largest timber structure, a 14-story apartment building in Norway.
After building his first wooden bike frame following a bet with a friend, woodworking and carpentry aficionado Mike Pecsok realized it was a little bit easier than he had anticipated and decided to make a business out of it. The handmade AnalogOne bikes that his Grainworks workshop creates have frames made of 39 individual layers of wood that are arranged so no seams touch.
The world's largest wooden structure, the Metropol Parasol in the Plaza de la Encarnacion in Seville is an interlocking series of wooden panels that houses a museum, a farmers market, an elevated plaza, a restaurant and numerous storefronts. Designed by Jurgen Mayer H. Architects, the massive piece resembles a honeycomb, a waffle and a mushroom all at once, depending how you look at it.
Main image via Ariel Alasko