South Gate Yard

Bernard Stilwell Architects, Berkshire, 2011

 

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The gardeners' 'retreat space' is accessed across a timber bridge. 

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  • The gardeners    
  • Views through large sheets of glass, of the idyllic landscape are framed by robustly sized oak surrounds, which convey to the occupants a powerful sense of enclosure and protection from the elements.    
  • All glass is directly glazed between the external structure and internal joinery, to maximise the view out, and natural light in.    
  • The structure is exposed externally. Green oak was chosen as the primary structure for its durability, strength, heritage, and low carbon footprint and maintenance requirements.    
  • The gardeners    
  • Oak, copper, zinc and concrete are used as a palette of materials sympathetic to each other and to thecontext. They are intended to change gently and to mellow over time, and settle quietly into the leafy site.    
  • Extensive use of timber, particularly oak, consistently from the primary structure, in Green Oak, through to external cladding, internal flooring, and bespoke joinery and fittings.    
  • All glass is directly glazed between the external structure and internal joinery, to maximise the view out, and natural light in.    
  • Copper roof sheet and flashings protect vulnerable oak members and joints, and junctions between glass and timber.    
  • Copper roof sheet and flashings protect vulnerable oak members and joints, and junctions between glass and timber.    
  • South Gate Yard is a two storey extension to a workshop building, on a large private estate. It houses secure stores for sensitive material, wc / tea point facilities, and meeting / office rooms reached across a timber bridge.    
  • Copper roof sheet and flashings protect vulnerable oak members and joints, and junctions between glass and timber.    
  • All glass is directly glazed between the external structure and internal joinery, to maximise the view out, and natural light in. This maintains the simplicity and legibility of the timber framing,     
  • A naturally cooled and ventilated user-operable internal environment is achieved by opening these high and low level shutters in the external timber doors.    
  • Oak, copper, zinc and concrete are used as a palette of materials sympathetic to each other and to thecontext. They are intended to change gently and to mellow over time, and settle quietly into the leafy site.    
  • All glass is directly glazed between the external structure and internal joinery, to maximise the view out, and natural light in.    
  • Plan    
  • Undercroft    
  • North elevation    
  • West elevation    
  • South elevation    
  • Eye level perspective.    
  • Eye level perspective.    
  • Eye level perspective.    
  • Eye level perspective.    
  • Construction.    
  • Construction.    
  • Construction.    
  • Construction.    
  • Construction.    
  • Construction.    
  • Construction.    
  • Eaves    
  • Joinery    
  • Head & Cills    

A quiet, thoughtful, confident demonstration of how timber and complementary materials can be combined elegantly, providing a cost effective, low maintenance, long lasting, attractive environment in a sensitive setting

South Gate Yard is a two storey extension to a private workshop building, designed to store sensitive material, with a tightly controlled humidity and temperature range, a meeting and office rooms reached across a timber bridge, and ancillary facilities.

A sheltered undercroft, built half into the sloping ground, provides tool and seed storage and a gardeners’ washroom. The project also included generous landscaping, and an innovative weather screened open air work and storage area, in softwood sleepers.

We have made extensive use of timber, particularly oak, consistently from the primary structure, in Green Oak, through to external cladding, internal flooring, and bespoke joinery and fittings. Softwood has been used for maximum economy of cost and material, where strength and exposure to the elements is not a primary concern.

Gaps between the oak cladding boards allow air to circulate freely; where we have doors, this air circulation can become the room’s natural ventilation, via the inward opening of specially designed shutters. A naturally cooled and ventilated user-operable internal environment is achieved by opening these high and low level shutters in the external timber doors. They are a sustainable alternative to power-hungry air conditioning systems.

Copper roof sheet and flashings protect vulnerable oak members and joints, and junctions between glass and timber. Although relatively expensive, copper will require less maintenance, and give the building a longer working life. In addition, it will hold its value, making it attractive to recycle when it reaches the end of its working life, on this building.

Oak, copper, zinc and concrete are used as a palette of materials sympathetic to each other and to the functions and the context of the extension and its surroundings. They are intended to change gently and to mellow over time, and settle quietly into the leafy site. In a time of restraint and austerity, it shows that small can be beautiful, designed to be cost effective, low maintenance, long lasting, and provide an attractive environment in a sensitive setting.

Data

  • Begun: Apr 2011
  • Completed: Sep 2011
  • Floor area: 100m2
  • Sectors: House, Office
  • Total cost: £155,000
  • Funding: Private
  • Tender date: Dec 2010
  • Procurement: JCT Intermediate Building Contract with contractor's design 2005, Revision 2, 2009.
  • Address: Berkshire, United Kingdom

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