The Perseverance of Decay

Project location: Corvallis, Oregon

Oregon State University, Peavy Hall, Arboretum

The Perseverance of Decay _ A tree-like structure created from heat, pressure & fire, is inspired by the cycle of life and destruction.   The structure, filters light and the surrounding contextually fabric to provide a place of contemplation and reflection.  Reaching 22’ in the height, the structural ribs are tied at the base to a concrete footing by steel plates.  The ribs are bound at the peak by a steel top plate.   The wooden structural ribs are made from (TMT)Thermally-modified timber that have been laminated into a curve.  The inside edge of each wooden rib is torched.  The tourching evokes the feeling of being within a burnt out tree, and also speaks to the devastation of forest fires.  The charred wood makes a direct connection to the fragility and impermanence of life, and the prompts contemplation on the manner in which humans manage the enviroment.  The spacing of the wooden ribs echoes the vertical aspect of tree trunks and mirrors the feeling of being within a forest.  The subtle irregularity of the spacing reflects the random patterns found within the forest, and serves as an opposition to the manner in which forests are planted for timber generation. The charred wooden interior provides a slight reflective surface that shimmers in direct light.  The burnt edge serves as a preservation technique, and also connects the users of the space to the cyclical nature of life.  The inner core of the space is comprised of boulders and a basalt column that collects rainwater. The space serves as respite from the chaos of the surrounding contextual fabric and encourages a brief moment of reflection. 

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