We’re delighted to be doing 2 buildings that form the new Tree Management Centre at the National Arboretum: A big span workshop building that uses Westonbirt’s own timber in complete 20 m hand hewn lengths, and this one – the smaller of the two that is the new ‘Mess’ facility for the tree team. The first is starting on site this autumn.
Wall framework etc all going up this week. The perimeter platform is ‘scaffolding’ which is made from our timber, and will be used in the build – nothing is wasted, and nor are we having to pay out for scaffolding hire, which can mount up. It will get removed once the walls are complete. The nature of the structure is gradually becoming more evident – it’s a ‘baggy’ secondary structure that sits around and away from the main frame, allowing you to walk between column and wall. Pretty much everything here is being exposed in the finished building – the studs are all visible, as is the silver insulation, and the flooring. I don’t have a big deal particularly about ‘honesty’ in buildings (or maybe I do, but rather, I shy away from the lazy and cod morality that often sits alongside this) but I am interested in how the process of assembly becomes the architecture. I’m interested in how the description of a building is inextricably bound up in it’s tectonic language and method of construction, rather than just an idealised description of space. What isn’t visible, yet, is the areas of transparency – or really how the building sits in the woods.