Wood that wows: Church in Romania buttressed in giant glulam arches

roof beams
© Viorel Plesca via Archdaily

Before we start:

Glulam is short for glue-laminated timber, built up from small pieces of wood finger-jointed together and laminated with all the pieces going in the same direction, unlike cross-laminated timber, where plies go in alternating directions. It's usually used for structural elements.

Discalced Carmelites are a Christian order going back to 1593 who apparently don't wear shoes. (from dis- (expressing removal) + calceatus (from calceus ‘shoe’).

Architect Tudor Radulescu has built a church in Romania for the Order of Discalced Carmelites, described as a "contemplative monk order known for its austerity." They wanted an austere church without a lot of ornamentation, and indeed the structure itself is ornamental.

It is hard to understand the translations in ArchDaily, but I like this paragraph describing the use of new tech to build a traditional space:

In an age of new technologies, of conversions in the build environment in particular, in an age of birth of new programs, of breakthroughs towards a tomorrow’s world, there is a project theme in which the modern alternative gives way to the traditional, where the function satisfies the old and ancient requirements.

The Glulam is made by Moretti Interholz, an Italian company that also waxes poetic:

Glued laminated timber is a live, dynamic, natural material. It can adapt itself to demanding tasks, while keeping on showing its beauty. A material which conquered our heart, which has always accompanied us. And will always do.

Indeed. More images in Archdaily

Wood that wows: Church in Romania buttressed in giant glulam arches
From little pieces of wood, architect Tudor Radulescu builds a dramatic church for Discalced Carmelites

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