To make it even better

To make it even better

Abstract

The Vorarlberg architect Hermann Kaufmann is a pioneer of the modern timber construction with which his name is inseparably linked. In his pleasant but persistent manner, Hermann Kaufmann has never tired of pointing out the qualities of timber construction and, at the same time, developing it further with his buildings through the use of new modern products and the sounding out of new construction methods in order to make timber construction, as he himself says, even better. He has always been open to new developments. Commercial buildings seem to be a good field for trying out these new developments and new construction methods in timber construction.
As functional and practical as commercial buildings need to be, they also clearly do leave some leeway for trying out new ideas. Clients, architects, and construction companies use such buildings to experiment, to try out new joints, new material combinations and new engineered woods. By looking at a few examples of industrial developments, we can see how timber construction has changed from a traditional to an ultra-modern method, and better understand the advantages that this building material offers and how Hermann Kaufmann prepared this path with his buildings.
This text is an abridged and revised version of an article first published in «Bauband 3: Gewerbebauten in Lehm und Holz», a special edition of the journal DETAIL – Zeitschrift für Architektur + Baudetail.