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A Nice Disguise - Tulipwood makes Staircase Bloom

25 October 2013 | Updated 01 January 1970

Architect Stiff+ Trevillion has used American tulipwood to build a sculptural timber form inside a converted office building in North Kensington, West London.

Made from panels of stained tulipwood, this feature is not only decorative but also functional. The architect designed it to disguise an ugly staircase which the budget did not allow the designer to replace. Also, in a space dominated by hard surfaces, it also serves an important acoustic purpose.

One of the best value and most versatile US hardwood species, tulipwood is widely used in construction, furniture and interior joinery. Although relatively light in weight and soft, American tulipwood has ‘excellent’ mechanical properties and has a high strength to weight ratio, making it suitable for laminated beams and structures.

Tulipwood is often painted or stained, but the use of natural finishes to show off its colour variations and grain patterns, is increasing. 

Article written by Mike Gannon | Published 25 October 2013


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