Sky-High Timber Frame Mine Lets Recycled Beetle-Kill Pine Shine

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A five-story pavilion made from reclaimed beetle-kill pine inverts the structure of a mine, putting its internal architecture on display for the 2015 Biennial of the Americas in Denver. ‘Mine Pavilion’ by Chilean practice Pezo von Ellrichshausen consists of stacked square modules in a tall and narrow configuration, looking a bit like a giant billboard when viewed from afar but feeling like an open-air chapel inside.

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The architects utilized the common practice of securing the foundation modules with locally-sourced rocks. While the structure looks impenetrable from the outside, it’s actually a tunnel that guests can walk through, enabling them to gaze up at an almost fractal pattern of wooden beams that just seem to go on and on.

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Lacking any enclosing walls, the timber frame can be appreciated for all of its elegant simplicity. Plank after beautiful plank of pine stretches up toward the sky, the repeating arches leading the eye to patches of blue.