The American Hardwood Export Council has collaborated with Alison Brooks Architects, Arup and the London Design Festival to present a cross-laminated tulipwood structure on the Rootstein Hopkins Parade Ground of The Chelsea College Of Arts from 17 September Until 12 October.

Brooks has designed ‘The Smile’, an urban installation that showcases the structural and spatial potential of cross-laminated hardwood using american tulipwood. The Smile is one of the Festival’s Landmark Projects; a timber structure that can be inhabited and explored by the public.

With expertise from top engineering firm Arup, and using construction sized panels of hardwood CLT for the first time, Alison Brooks’ concept is a spectacular 3.5m high, 4.5m wide and 34m long Curved rectangular tube – the first ever hardwood ‘mega-tube’.

All four sides of The Smile’s interior will be made of the same beautiful hardwood panels as the structure. It will offer a complete sensory experience of colour, texture, scent and sound. The Smile is one of the most important developments in a decade of research and development into structural timber innovation with Arup, and one that could broaden the use of CLT in the construction industry.