Prefabricated Curvilinear Timber Building Systems - BC-359

Preferred Disciplines: Wood Science and Engineering. Masters, PhD, PDF
Project length:  8-12 months (2 units)
Desired start date: Jan 2018
Location: Vancouver, BC
No. of Positions: 2
Preferences: Language: English
Company: Patkau Architects


About Company:

Patkau Architects is an internationally recognized architecture studio based in Vancouver, Canada. In parallel to our building practice, we are​ also​ actively engaged in material research. This work focuses on developing innovative methods that utilize conventional building materials to create evocative forms. Our research is documented in a recent book, Material Operations, which includes investigations in several different materials spanning in scale from objects to buildings.​ 

Project Description:

Significant cost is usually associated with building projects exhibiting complex, non-planar geometry. We have developed a construction technique that allows a large subset of curvilinear surfaces, called ruled surfaces, to be economically fabricated using primarily linear timber elements. The next step in the development of this rules surface construction technique is to optimize it for use in non-repetitive geometries while improving its overall performance.

Background and required skills

Research Objectives/Sub-Objectives:

Develop strategies to produce economical, mass customized, curvilinear timber panels for deployment as expressive building enclosures.


Leverage sophisticated manufacturing technology and parametric / analytical modeling to optimize panel prototypes in terms of: a) spatial / material expression, b) structural / material efficiency, c) thermal performance / sustainability objectives, and d) integration of building systems

Expertise and Skills Needed:

  • Advanced CAD/CAM and fabrication experience
  • Structural and building envelope development 


For more info or to apply to this applied research position, please

  1. Check your eligibility and find more information about open projects.
  2. Complete this webform. You will be asked to upload your CV. Remember to indicate the title of the project(s) you are interested in and obtain your professor’s approval to proceed!
  3. Interested students need to get the approval from their supervisor and send their CV along with a link to their supervisor’s university webpage by applying through the webform or directly to Amin Aziznia at, aaziznia(a)