‘We looked at ceramic and metal options. Given the setting and amount of foliage, we felt that timber was the most sympathetic and would bed in the best,’ says CDA partner Matthew Witts.
These are of Canadian Red Western Cedar, cut 12.5cm wide with rounded rather than (cheaper) square edges, and installed in less than a week. In total, about 25,000 were installed. Already, they are weathering to grey as intended.
With costs under pressure, the architect did well to hold onto the key elements of chimney, steep pitched roof and rounded shingles. The masonry chimney survived in part due to its role as a bracing element and the fact that a less steeply pitched roof would mean only negligible savings.
‘We fought quite hard for the chimney,’ says Witts. ‘If we’d had square-edged shingles and no chimney, it would have been a very different building.’
Head to RIBA Journal's website to read more from Pamela Buxton's article.