Timber Cocoon

This Timber Cocoon is intended as a ‘Contemplation Space’ set within the busy foyer of the Mater Hospital in Dublin.

The space provides a retreat for reflection, for public and patients alike, in the hospital foyer off North Circular Road. The 6 metre tall and 3.5m diameter structure is a curving latticework of Ash. It’s construction is an exciting achievement in timber engineering and craftsmanship.

The timber latticework is made in Ash while the curving seat within is in Walnut. People can enter through the angled timber archway. The latticework at the lower lever is more dense in order to achieve additional privacy for people inside.

Quality Craftsmanship & Style

Garvan has been experimenting with a latticework as a system for building curved structures. Beginning with a pattern for simple 2D surfaces and then progressing to 3 dimensional shapes.

The construction was carried out in conjunction with the John J. Sisk Joinery & Apprenticeship School.

The process began in the workshop. Building a temporary tower as a core and assembling a latticework of Ash strips between the tower and a circular base. Each thin strip of Ash rotating and flexing outwards so as to create a taut member. As the assembly multiplied, it would create a firm taut surface.

With a trial portion achieved, it was removed and reassembled in location, again around a tall core. The whole assembly was fixed together to create a very light but strong surface. The central core was removed to reveal the full cocoon interior.The curved latticework is an incredibly light but strong building method.


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