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A prefabricated timber frame with shingle cladding

TIMBER IN ARCHITECTURE - Working Details

The curvilinear form of the building is constructed from a framework of prefabricated glulam beams. The beams are supported on a lightweight steel structure below the first-floor slab, which itself is supported off eight steel columns. The timber structure is given further stability by two concrete cores.

The beams are fabricated by two principal methods. On the north elevation they are modular, to incorporate the timber framing for the dense array of windows. The beams span from floor to ceiling and are supported off the perimeter floor beams with bolted steel-plate connections.

In contrast, the south elevation beams span across the three floors, and are deep in section, with lateral support taken from a double layer of timber struts that also form the substrate for the cladding. The beams are set 7-9m apart to accommodate the balconies.

The beams are clad externally with hand-cut larch singles, again sourced and produced locally. The roof is clad with copper. The shingles are cut in two manners, laterally and radially, offering increased structural integrity, good water-draining characteristics and the aesthetic appeal of a variegated finish.

The shingles are nailed by hand on to 30 x 50 battens, supported on 60 x 110 counter battens fixed to a substrate of plasterboard and ply sheeting nailed to the glulam beams.

The windows to the north are high-specification double-glazed pivot units with aluminium frames. The windows are set within deep reveals, chamfered to allow in maximum light and clad on all four sides with larch shingles. The north elevation is heavily insulated, with a 440mm-thick zone of insulation between the main glulam beams. The beams are dry-lined internally, with a layer of ply and plasterboard.

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