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As cities seek to reduce carbon impact, one of humanity’s oldest construction materials is emerging as a promising solution to the sustainability challenges that modern construction presents. With breakthroughs in engineering and manufacturing, “mass timber” has become a fresh way of using sustainably sourced wood to build structures with breathtaking design while enriching life in urban settings.

Don't miss the complementary exhibition ReCovered: Chicago’s Urban Tree Canopy.

REFRAMED: The Future of Cities in Wood tells the story of building with mass timber and features architectural models of mass timber projects from around the world, from public spaces to office buildings and adaptive reuse to new construction.

This exhibition explores the many positive aspects of building with mass timber, including sustainability and safety. It also reflects on biophilia, the human instinct to seek connections with nature. Biophilic design centered around the use of wood creates aesthetically pleasing environments and has been proven to promote well-being and positive mental health benefits among occupants.

REFRAMED will also offer the hands-on opportunity to experience wood through a learning pavilion constructed from mass timber, as well as a striking visual demonstration of the superior ability of mass timber to withstand fire.

REFRAMED is on view April 25 through October 2023.

REFRAMED is co-curated by the Chicago Architecture Center and the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, and presented by the Softwood Lumber Board.

ReCovered: Chicago’s Urban Tree Canopy

Encompassing the entry to REFRAMED is ReCovered: Chicago’s Urban Tree Canopy. In this exhibition, visitors will discover the magical role that trees play in our city. ReCovered explores the impact of trees – from quality of life to quality of air – on the urban dweller’s experience.

ReCovered features an immersive, abstract tree canopy installation that allows the dappled sunlight to filter through, creating a space redolent of a grove of trees on a warm day. Visitors will learn about tree planting initiatives throughout Chicago as well as trees native to the local area – and have the opportunity to write down their own thoughts on the importance of trees in their memories and lives.

ReCovered is co-curated by Ross Barney Architects, which is led by AIA Gold Medal Awardee Carol Ross Barney.

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