Located in Gloucestershire, Westonbirt, the UK National Arboretum is an expansive estate which is home to an impressive collection of 15,000 tree species with origins in China, North America, Japan, Chile, and Britain. The two new buildings will serve as staff facilities and machine storage.
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All of the materials used to construct the two new wooden cabins that were found on site. Using timber pieces that were cut down during the estate’s routine tree management, volunteers and trainee carpenters worked under the guidance of a contractor to build the two new buildings. The team had to adapt the design according to the oddly-shaped materials that became available during the process.
“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.”
The end result is one very serene gabled-roof structure clad in oak planks. A slight invert in the mess building’s roof splits the luminous interior into two distinct uses, a mess area with a kitchen and toilet, and a social area on the other side. The machine shed is just behind the staff building and has a Corsian pine frame made out of 20-meter-long trusses. The two new additions are part of a larger project which will eventually see a new welcoming center and a tree-top walkway open to visitors.
+ Invisible Studio
Photography by Andy Matthews.