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Duck-Work | Boston

Duck-Work was a pavilion designed for the Urban Timber exhibition in the Boston Society of Architects (BSA) Space Gallery located in Boston, MA. Its sloping roof plane invites visitors to congregate both above and below, providing a constructed landscape with theater-style seating. It also functions as a structural mockup for a building system that could be deployed at a larger scale and take on a number of other programs, configurations and finishes.

Duck-Work combines two tools from traditional wood building techniques in order to create a new construction method: “ducks,” or spline weights, used to aid in the drafting of curved timber elements in shipbuilding, such as the ribs of a hull; and form-work, used when pouring vertical concrete elements in buildings, such as walls. Both of these tools are used to hold a surface in shape via perpendicular clamping, incorporating a form-tie. In thinking about these two tools, the design team created a curved wooden structural module able to hold its shape through the integration of form-ties and/or ducks directly within.


Sean Gaffiney & Cristina Nguyen 



Finalist, 2014

Timber New England Competition

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