Unsupported browser

For a better experience please update your browser to its latest version.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Working Detail: West Buckland School, by Rundell Architects

  • Comment

[WORKING DETAIL 13.05.10] Terraced seating and entrance staircase

West Buckland School − The terraced seating offers a sheltered meeting place for students, and the courtyard that separates the existing Victorian school and the new arts building acts as a social hub.

The paved surface of the courtyard continues up into the new building. Using the timber frame as the supporting structure for a precast concrete staircase seemed counterintuitive, but once the engineers had demonstrated that the loadings were acceptable, it was a matter of ensuring that the timber frame was protected from water ingress.

The changes in level across the site made it necessary to install a reinforced concrete retaining wall along the western edge of the courtyard. The KLH structural frame abuts the retaining wall, separated by a drained and ventilated cavity to prevent any moisture transfer into the timber. The inside face of the retaining wall is covered with a mechanically fixed studded membrane that drains to a cavity tray at the base of the wall.

The KLH staircase is wrapped in an EPDM membrane. Precast tread profiles were set on a continuous mortar bed along their entire length, with each level of treads fixed to the previous one with stainless-steel pins. Once the double-height terraces were completed the intermediate steps were installed, bedded on mortar and located with stainless steel pins.

The soffit above the stair is clad with 90mm-wide Siberian larch boards, fixed to softwood joists above a continuous layer of black insect mesh. The larch cladding is fixed with stainless steel, self-countersinking screws in a board-on-board arrangement, which provides ventilation behind the timber. A 50mm-deep PPC aluminium coping caps the roof parapet, providing a crisp edge to the elevation.

Daniel Burt, project architect, Rundell Associates

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.