Royalty, lords and plebians

Built for Lord Rothschild, Windmill Hill at Waddlesdon Manor (below), was designed as an archive and study centre with supporting offices and storage. Completed in June 2009 the property took 21 months.

Paying tribute to the location’s working past is the select choice of materials, including oak windows and shutters, rendered walls, wood cladding, and zinc roofs, with walls 1.5m thick in some places to establish a stable internal environment.

‘We didn’t just want to drop an alien object beside the farmhouse.’ said architect Stephen Marshall.  ‘We wanted it to look like a piece of sculpture, not tacked on.  The giant triangles supporting the roof are like furniture.  It has been such a wonderful thing that I enjoyed being part of’.

Clad in kiln dried oak the owners sand the wood down and varnish it every six months (above)

The reading room roof comprises ‘two huge trusses made of wood that just lean against each other,’ says Marshall. ‘Then you simply infill the gaps to get the grid.’ The challenge was making 600 glulam solid oak beams veneered with oak.  It is unusual as there are no visible nuts and bolts.

James Fitzpatrick, fitzpatrick + partners (Sydney), Eileen Newbury, Leading Edge Events and Peter Maddison, Architect and Host of Australian Grand Designs (below)

Vertical louvers previously installed to protect cattle from high winds now provide effective shading to those in the Reading Room. (below)

Savill Gardens Garden Centre (below) has a gridshell roof structure which took 12 months to build.  The longest length of wood in the world – 95 metres of larch – follows the edge of the building.

The Crown required that timber from the park be used where possible.   ‘There is no timber better than mine’ claimed the Royal Forester (apparently).

Following the fire at Windsor Castle (below) architect Giles Downes redesigned four major state rooms.  Although traditional in style, the new designs represent a radical reinterpretation of gothic architecture inspired by sinuous plant forms.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.