This speculative project takes the dogtrot typology as a point of departure for an investigation into topics such as mass timber construction, aesthetics of wood, post-digital materiality, and the American South. The dogtrot was a common residential typology throughout the Southeastern United States during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The main feature was a large breezeway through the center of the house to mitigate the harsh summer temperatures by providing passive ventilation.
Cross-laminated timber (CLT) is a large panelized material built-up from layers of solid-sawn timber that are laminated perpendicular to one another to create large rigid blanks that are manufactured in factories using highly precise computer-controlled machines. These blanks take the place of conventionally framed walls, floors, and roofs, and provide unprecedented value in terms of structural performance, sustainable building practices, and efficient construction. Felled logs are scanned, optimized, sorted, sawn, and laminated, after which they are cut to precise dimensions that result in flat-pack shipments that can be delivered to construction sites and assembled in a fraction of the time than that of conventionally framed buildings. Here, CLT is seen as a distinctly post-digital material, a condition that is expressed through the mannerist ornamentation of the CLT panels by utilizing the computer-controlled manufacturing process itself. This approach avoids the common tendency to apply finish materials after the panels are installed.