From old to new

Day one of Make It Wood’s travels on the WoodSolutions UK tour began today with a morning of contrasting elements – a 14th century aged oak hammerhead ceiling in Westminster Hall vs architect Hugh Strange’s unique cross laminate timber home in Deptford.

(Houses of Parliament, London)

Portcullis House (above) has one of the most complex timber roof structures in Europe.  It houses accommodation for 210 Members of Parliament and was completed in 2000.  Originally the atrium roof was conceived as a steel structure but the architects chose a traditional material to reflect the character of the nearby Palace of Westminster.

In Westminster Hall (above) oak is used extensively in the hammer beam roof.  Built in 1399 it has been storing carbon since before the industrial revolution.  The wood supports were prefabricated in Ham, Surrey and brought up the river by barge.

Architect Hugh Strange’s house (below) in Deptford contrasts markedly to Westminster Hall.  The solid timber panels were fabricated in a Swiss factory and driven to London before being erected on site in only two days. The windows, doors and internal fit-out are of FSC tropical hardwood from Nicaragua, felled by a hurricane, and arrived on site in a container.  Hugh Strange describes his home as ‘part of the architecture is making something quite cheap look very grand.’

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