The Roundwood Home is the third of four North Ward houses designed and built in 2008. As the name suggests, it explores the viability of using locally sourced roundwood as a structural material. Roundwood is the name given to small-diameter timber that has been selectively thinned from a forest, a common practice in forestry that improves the growth of the remaining trees. Since timber is an abundant local material in Alabama, making use of roundwood, an otherwise discarded material, was an important investigative element of this project.
The roundwood timbers were configured into trusses that were designed to be visible in the home’s interior. The division of the house’s interior spaces is reminiscent of the Truss Home (the third iteration of the 20K Project) where it is defined by a consolidated central utility core. The utility core’s placement in the center of the home divides the volume into two corridors, which also increases the visibility of the roundwood trusses in the interior. A plywood and metal curtain, hanging on the outside of the trusses, acts as the house’s exterior.