Stadshoutpavilion Amstelpark, Amsterdam 2014-2015

The Stadshout Pavilion is situated in an open area of the Amstel Park where the city of Amsterdam envisaged a meeting point for performances, wedding ceremonies and similar activities. This timber pavilion is he first permanent structure by Stadshout („city wood“), an initiative of local craftsmen with the mission of making good use of locally cut down trees that are usually shredded. Starting point was the execution in fresh, undried Elm trees from Amsterdam canals.

The design relates to is surroundings: a clearance in a park with mature trees. The triangular roof lights let through filtered daylight and create interesting shadow patterns on the ground. The structure was carried out in sewn Elm- and Douglas trunks with galvanised steel nodes. The roof was covered on zinc with standing seams .The architect worked with sketches and 3D models in close collaboration with the structural engineer and the Stadshout craftsmen.

The decision not to stack the beams but to link them lengthwise led to the steel nodes that accommodate considerable forces coming together at these points, as well as enabling the subtle angles in the roof surface. As a consequence of the use of undried timber, shrinkage and some settlement can be expected, which the sliding node connections can accommodate. The zinc roof also allows for movement and settlement of the structure.

The logs from different parts oft he city were kept at length and came together on a large pile at the boroughs park maintenance yard. This is where Stadshout has an 11-meter long band saw. This is where the logs were sawn and made to size with specially acquired equipment amongst which a huge drill standard and a special chain saw.

During a very busy week, the roof structure was assembled, lifted onto its V-shaped legs and hoisted to the concrete base platform with a huge crane and many assistants. After some initial settlement of the structure, the roof planking was put on, followed by the zinc cladding and glass panes.