Cowley Structural Timberworks
Having just completed the timber reading rooms at Peckham Library, Gordon Cowley was the perfect choice to fabricate our timber geodesic auditorium at Kingsdale School.
The design was not a perfect sphere but more of a deflated football, with an asymmetric form. Cowley’s suggestion to achieve this was for plywood panels in a frame of timber pencils connected by omni-directional nodes. These were cast in steel at the bottom but alloy at the top where there was less load. Cowleys were willing to take on and manage risk responsibly rather than shying away from the experimental. Their skill and ‘can-do’ attitude made the project a joy, and the resulting auditorium is a manifestation of this.