Despite the prevalence of dimensional lumber as a basic building material, not much research has been done to understand and leverage this common material beyond its typical applications as balloon framing for domestic architecture. Most commonly deployed in assemblies consisting of trabeated construction, the feasible span of a member from wall to wall is well understood to be determined by the depth of the member. Due to the nature of reciprocal frames relying on assemblies of smaller, self-supporting members, greater feasible spans can be accomplished using these systems compared to the same dimensional members used in a typical construction system. While this increase in span creates more opportunities for us in our design, a single-layer reciprocal frame is also limited in the amount of additional weight and force that can be placed on top of the structure.

To extend the spanning capacity of a reciprocal frame system, we explored ways to optimize the system as a hybrid condition, where a double layer is used to stiffen the weakest moments in the structure. Looking at space frames and other thickened assemblies as precedents, we began to research and prototype different approaches for connecting and reinforcing these interdependent layers. Aiming to use the same dimensional timber members to brace these layers, we studied different approaches for joinery, connection, and overall geometry. As our work progressed, we developed the concept further by only using the double layer where additional strength and reinforcement is needed. This allowed us to rationalize the form and optimize the performance of the structure at a local scale without adding excess weight or material.