MultiPly: Carbon-neutral, modular timber pavilion opens for London Design Festival


MultiPly is a nine-metre high, carbon-neutral tulipwood pavilion built in the Sackler Courtyard of the V&A as part of the London Design Festival

The installation, a collaboration between Waugh Thistleton Architects, the American Hardwood Export Council and Arup, is designed to demonstrate how modular construction using cross-laminated tulipwood timber is a viable solution to the housing crisis.

The structure is made of 17 modules of American tulipwood CLT manufactured offsite with digitally fabricated joints – the first UK-manufactured cross-laminated timber panels. The pavilion was assembled in under a week and can be taken apart and reassembled elsewhere after the festival.

Tulipwood is sourced from the eastern United States, where the hardwood forest area exceeds 110m hectares and is expanding at the rate of one football pitch every minute. The 43m3 of American tulipwood that make up MultiPly store the equivalent of 30 tonnes of carbon dioxide and are replaced with natural growth in five minutes.

“The main ambition of this project is to publicly debate how environmental challenges can be addressed through innovative, affordable construction,” said Andrew Waugh, co-founder of Waugh Thistleton Architects.

“We are at a crisis point in terms of both housing and CO2 emissions, and we believe that building in a versatile, sustainable material, such as tulipwood, is an important way of addressing these issues.”

Location: V&A, London

Project team: Waugh

Completion: September 2018

Thistleton Architects, the American Hardwood Export Council & Arup

This is part of the Site Showreel, where PBC Today highlights innovative and intriguing projects from around the world. If you have a project you’d like to showcase, get in touch at


  1. The reference to ‘Carbon Neutral’ is a misrepresentation of the truth. CLT is far from neutral in terms of its carbon impact and is not an environmentally sound technology. Most engineered wood building products come with a high carbon debt that remains unpaid over the lifespan of the physical asset. See some honest research here:


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