Local Timber Built on Site. A Thing of Beauty!

Categories: Homes / Dwellings

Piers Taylor's firm Invisible Studio has added a pair of woodland maintenance buildings to the National Arboretum in Gloucestershire, England, using only trees felled in the routine maintenance of the estate.

The British studio worked in partnership with engineer Buro Happold on the design for the Wolfson Tree Management Centre and Mess Building.

The two timber buildings provide machinery storage and staff facilities for Westonbirt, The National Arboretum – a forest estate established in the Victorian era by Robert Holford, and which now hosts a collection of 15,000 trees originating from China, North America, Japan, Chile, and Britain.

Both new blocks are constructed from timber cut down as part of the routine management of the estate's tree collection. The tree-thinning process continued as the project progressed and the design had to be adapted to suit the material that became available.

"We particularly wanted to use the timber from the arboretum – as the client had an extraordinary resource which they hadn't exploited previously for building," said the team. 

"One of our interests is how you can use imprecise materials to make a precise building, and this is something we have enjoyed with this project."

All the timber was milled on site, cutting out processing and transport costs, and the structures were built by a team of volunteers and trainee carpenters under the guidance of a skilled contractor.

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