TIMBER IN THE CITY 1: Sustainable + Affordable Urban Housing Conference

Timber in the City 1



Conference Chair:
Andrew Bernheimer, Parsons School of Design / Bernheimer Architecture

Andrew Bernheimer is an Assistant Professor of Architecture and the Principal of Bernheimer Architecture based in Brooklyn, NY. Bernheimer Architecture focuses on New York’s urban landscape through research and built work. Their portfolio includes research, civic, private residential and affordable housing projects. He is the editor of the book Timber in the City (2015), on innovations in wood design and construction.




Murray Grove

Andrew Waugh has been director of Waugh Thistleton Architects for the last 15 years in Shoreditch, London. Waugh Thistleton is an architectural practice producing thoughtful and sustainable projects in its own neighborhood and beyond. The practice is a world leader in engineered timber. Andrew was an early pioneer in the architectural quest for tall timber buildings with the project Murray Grove, a nine-story timber building completed in 2009. Today, his office currently holds the record for the world’s largest cross-laminated timber building, Dalston Works. Waugh Thistleton continues to build internationally in timber and Andrew continues a passionate interest in tall timber construction as the only replenishable carbon-capturing structural building material known to man. With this passion Andrew teaches, learns and lectures on the architecture of wood all over the world.


Empire State of Wood
Michael Green, Principal, MGA Architects and Interior Design, Vancouver
Michael Green is an award-winning architect known for his research, leadership, and advocacy in promoting the use of wood, new technology and innovation in the built environment. He lectures internationally on the subject, including his TED talk, “Why We Should Build Wooden Skyscrapers.” Based in Vancouver, Canada, Michael founded MGA to create meaningful and sustainable change in building through innovation in construction sciences and design. Michael and his team are ambitiously extending the boundaries of mass timber construction, having completed some of the largest modern timber buildings in the world, including The Wood Innovation Design Centre and T3 Minneapolis. He is also the founder of DBR | Design Build Research and TOE | Timber Online Education, a non-profit school and research platform dedicated to teaching the design and construction of socially, culturally and environmentally relevant student-led installations, with a focus in systemic change in building for climate, environment, disaster and global shelter needs. Michael is a Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada and has been honoured with North America’s most prestigious awards, including two RAIC Innovation Awards and three Governor General’s Medals. In 2014, Michael received an honourary doctorate degree from the University of Northern British Columbia. He is the co-author of ‘The Case for Tall Wood Buildings,’ now in its second edition, and ‘Tall Wood Buildings: Design, Construction and Performance.

Cees de Jager, Executive Director, Binational Softwood Lumber Council
The Binational Softwood Lumber Council (BSLC) was established by the Canadian and U.S. Federal governments as part of the 2006 Softwood Lumber Agreement. The Council’s mandate, as outlined in annex 13 of the agreement, is “to promote increased cooperation between the U.S. and Canadian softwood lumber industries and to strengthen and expand the market for softwood lumber products in both countries”











The competition challenges participants to design a mid-rise, mixed-use complex with affordable housing units, a job training/educational facility, a center for innovative manufacturing of wood technology, and a distribution center. The project site is in Red Hook, Brooklyn a neighborhood in some flux, cut off from much of Brooklyn geographically, yet increasingly vibrant.

Aspiring to regenerate a dissipating urban manufacturing sector and address the housing needs of New York City, entrants will be asked to design a place for the creation of originative vocational opportunities embracing new wood technology. Entrants will be challenged to propose construction systems in scenarios that draw optimally on the performance characteristics of a variety of wood technologies.