Based on our preliminary study on timber design from the fall seminar, including fabrication, prototypes and precedents, we became interested in reciprocal frames. These structures are entirely self-supporting--each member rests on an adjacent one. This system is particularly interesting because of the close interaction between the joints and the overall system. Another reason why this system is interesting to us is because we can push the idea of dimensional lumber beyond what is traditionally imagined for the material. Though we’re using a fairly common material, we’re leveraging it to work in new ways with technologies and fabrication techniques like the 5-axis router.

Because the reciprocal frame is a system made up of small components, it can be continuously extended to a large span. These small components also allow us to create the system in the FabLab.  Due to fabrication tool limitations, the size of the pavilion's components will be controlled to be within a certain range for easy operation. In addition, the form of the unit system in the reciprocal frame is not a single pattern, there are many combinations. Through studies and prototypes, we have discovered the potential to create a pattern of innovative load-bearing units for our pavilion. Through studies and prototypes looking specifically at reciprocal frames, we’ve discovered new ways of interconnecting patterns, creating joints, and self-supporting members in this system.