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The New Wood Open Architecture (NWOA) Atlas aspires to document projects that unfold to participation throughout its design and building process; an open architecture. The question we are determined to answer is what spatial forms new wood open architecture can promote.

NWOA explores open form by applying open architecture to principles of wood tectonics, assemblies, joinery and finishes. NWOA meaningfully involves the dweller in the ongoing spatial design, building and maintenance of their dwelling. Through physical engagement with building with wood, dwellers form a sincere and lasting relationship with their environment, with their home.

new wood open architecture

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The approach of the NWOA Atlas, blending between theory and practice, on the one hand, aims at common ground, the objectively abstract level, and on the other considers the practice relevance, the specificity of a situation and is therefore subjectively concrete.

The collected projects show how design processes are experienced in their relationships to the human being, showing continuity in basic principles without excluding individuality.

The themes and criteria of the analysis sections of built examples are not to be understood as absolute. The descriptions and analyses are partial answers to formulating a better, more humane, more environmentally friendly world, demonstrating crucial interfaces, are intentionally fragmented and require further discussions. This NWOA Atlas sees itself as part of a larger whole, and it cannot and will not say what is valid for everyone in every place at every time. This does not mean the project evades justified criticism, nor does the current focus guarantee safe ground. It only means the Atlas does not claim to be complete, but precisely because of its growing fragmentary character calls to further engage in critical thinking and researching.


The spoke diagram visualizes the openness of each case study by assigning a point along each spindle based on how the design addresses the respective criterion. The inner ring marks low engagement with criterion while the outer ring marks engagement


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WorkingDiagrams_FULLY OPEN-CLOSED.png

open architecture

greatest degree to which a project can address each criteria to be considered open.

WorkingDiagrams_VARRIED .png

relatively high degree to which a project can address each criteria to be considered relatively open architecture.

relatively open architecture

WorkingDiagrams_FULLY OPEN-CLOSED.png

closed architecture

least degree to which project can address each criteria to be considered closed architecture.


A high level of integrated systems to organize individual working components that are intended for change and adaptation. Accessibility to it’s disassembly detailing that engages an inhabitant to the relationships of their architecture.



How involved the inhabitants are in the project. A gradient between passive and active involvement is divided into primary areas of influence where the inhabitant is involved in the architecture.

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active involvement

A high level of control and influence over the primary architectural aspects of a project. The inhabitant is meaningfully engaged in every stage of the project.

passive involvement

The base level of involvement, where the inhabitant has influences over a limited amount of architectural elements.

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system types

system types

The building component’s ability to perform in dynamic, resilient and disentangled methods. A gradient between hard and soft systems is divided into a building’s primary joints and detail assembly.

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hard systems

A base level of integrated systems of individual working components that are often designed for a specific single use- making difficult to conform to change or adaptation.

soft systems

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