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Can we create a luxury, modern dwelling with a dowel laminated timber structure?

Location:        Belsize Park
Status:            Tender

Architect:    Caruso St John Architects

Structural Design Brief

Dowell laminated timber floor structure.

Clear internal spans for future flexibility.

Acoustic attenuation integrated into the structure.


This private residential project in North London comprises a new build four storey, single dwelling. The lower ground floor is dug into the site, requiring a partial one storey basement. The intent is to provide a flexible space, with a strong design consideration given to longevity and sustainability of the budling. The Dowel Laminated Timber floor panels provide an enhanced structural capacity to achieve the internal single span, allowing for the integration of cable and lighting tracks in the architectural significant panel recesses.


One of the challenges of using exposed structure has always been the acoustic performance of the space created. Hard flat structure generally creates significant reverberation.

The future occupier for this property is a musician and music lover and more common structural solutions could have ruined the acoustic quality of the space. Dowel laminated timber enables the bottom edge to be routed to create texture, breaking up the reverberation, and for acoustic inserts to be included in the build up.


An intricate brick façade has been expressed as critical to the architectural design and this must be integrated into the structural solution. The external timber panelised walls restrain this brickwork laterally, whilst steel beams have been spliced into the stepped back façade lines to support the façade lines and control long-term deflections.

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