“The Apple Store (AS) at the Barefoot Orchard (BO) is based on a dynamic exchange of creative ideas and energies between university folk and people from Loughborough and beyond. The Fruit Routes ethos of abundance, the give and take between nature and people, has taken material expression through the idea of the AS which will be a functional and aesthetically interesting space across all seasons. A meeting place for folk to come together to pick and store fruit, to take shelter and share, not just the produce of the Fruit Routes, but companionship, appreciation, and a caring for each other and nature. Precious gifts and a lasting legacy for all who stop at the AS as they pass by the orchard, along the FR”. Steven King, local resident & Transition Loughborough
Finally, there is a third aspect that brings these two together: Japanese and British culture of timber construction. During the Summer School, the students work together to use computational design and digital fabrication to develop traditional British and Japanese timber construction into contemporary context. Inspired by traditional methods of joints and assembly, they design a pavilion that utilizes these traditional solutions with modern technology and fabricate them with advanced manufacturing techniques. The experiments end in a final pavilion design that is built each year in Hiroshima in full scale.
In addition to the experience of constructing a small pavilion, the students got the opportunity of visiting Japan.*
The second Food + Wood Summer School in 2019/2020 was the first time that the winning group’s proposal was built in Hiroshima. We were also able to have more community involvement, which meant that members of Fruit Routes and the local community were able to come on and offer feedback on the projects from the first day. This meant that we were able to take steps further towards a community-involved design. Seeing the engagement of students and community was one of the most rewarding elements of the design week in Loughborough, which offered an experience that is rarely offered by standard architecture school curriculum.
The selected project in 2019/20 was titled “The Core”. The building utilised a stacked timber structural system, which invoked the shape of a tree. The core of the tree was used for storage space to store the apples of the harvest. The building recognises the advantage of cold climate and that the time of the year is ideal for apple storage. The structure worked as an open space for the community throughout the year. The building envelope is made by parallel strings running around the perimeter. This solution supports ventilation, reinforces the structure and can be easily removed during events.
The Food + Wood Summer School was a finalist in the Green Gown Awards for Benefitting Society category and was awarded a Highly Commended in the 2019 AUDE Reaching Higher Award for the innovative teaching aspects.
The Summer School project would have been impossible without the invaluable support of colleagues including Ana Ilic and her expertise in design technology and colleagues in Japan: Darko Radovic from Keio University, Yosuke Komiyama from Kyoto University, Toshiki Hirano from The University of Tokyo, Tomo Inoue and Masaaki Iwamoto from Kyushu University.
The Summer School continues as a collaboration between Fruit Routes and the School of Architecure. Organisers of Food + Wood Summer School:So Sugita (HIT) and Matyas Gutai (LU-ARC). The Summer School is supported by Daiwa Foundation and Sasakawa Foundation.