Town Enclosure art installation is made of CLT panels

Much art is meant to be seen and not touched. He is visible to the public but separated, untouchable and unknowable. That’s not the case with Town Enclosure, an art installation that’s also functional. The incredible design was created by CLB Architects.

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Town Enclosure was commissioned by Jackson Hole Public Art with support from the Center for the Arts, as well as several private individuals and businesses in Jackson, Wyoming. It is both a sculpture and a functional gathering place always open and always accessible to the public. It’s a performance space, a place to socialize, and a place to experience amazing works of art.

Related: One of CLT’s Largest Builds in the US Is in Oregon

Wooden slats configured standing

Now relocated to Bozeman, Montana, the installation is a 52-foot-diameter circle of cross-laminated timber wall panels that stand 13.3 feet tall. Panels are 7 to 12 feet wide. On approach, the facility seems to echo the natural architecture of the mountains in the background and blends dramatically with the western construction seen throughout the area. The design is open, airy and ingeniously crafted to give it even more complexity.

Standing wooden slats lined up in a curved formation

Cross-laminated timber (CLT) is a type of solid wood that has become increasingly popular in recent years because it is highly durable. This material is made by gluing pieces of soft wood together to create larger pieces. CLT is made from boards cut and glued in cross-sectional layers. It creates large slabs of solid wood.

Made this way, wood can be just as strong and durable as steel and concrete, which have been popular building materials for the past century. With more emphasis on sustainable construction, wood has once again become a superstar.

A curved semi-circle made up of standing wooden slats

Compressed wood is actually very fire resistant, although the fear of wood construction and fire is what made the use of concrete and steel so popular in the first place. CLT does not ignite easily and is effectively self-extinguishing, as the outer layer of wood can burn while the rest remains unburned.

According to Vox, around 11% of all global gas emissions come from building and construction. Building CLT buildings can change all that. CLT also resists earthquakes well.

Wooden slats forming a circle in the snow

In other words, CLT is one of the materials that will help humanity achieve a much more sustainable and cleaner future. And when wood can do so much, no art installation made with it is just another art installation.

+ CLB Architects

Photography by Matthew Millman, Krafty Photos, Tuck Fauntleroy and Cody Brown


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