Old Copse

Begent Architecture, Beenham, 2017


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OC_05_lane above 

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  • OC_05_lane above    
  • OC_19_shed roof    
  • OC_22_shed eaves closeup    
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  • OC_35_store ele lane    
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  • OC_11_shed internal to rear    
  • OC_10_shed internal to store    
  • OC_34_store shed inline    
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  • OC_29_store louvres to shed    
  • OC_38_shed side closeup    
  • A1601_614-Site_Plan    
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  • A1601_102-Site_Elevation    
  • A1601_702-Store_Axo    
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  • A1601_602-Roof_Details    

Forestry building and wood store designed to facilitate bringing the adjacent ancient woodland and SSSI back into management, using continuous cover silviculture.

The buildings provide storage for equipment and timber, cooking facilities, shower and composting toilet for workers. Resulting in maintaining and enhancing the existing biodiversity, producing firewood and timber products, and improving the woodland’s contribution to carbon sequestration, flood control, water and air quality.

Charred larch rain-screen cladding, and weathering steel roof benefit from not needing chemical treatments, and require minimal maintenance. Charred larch mimics the black painted weatherboard of local agricultural buildings. The steel roof and bespoke eaves details provide a robust finish which mimics the colour of the local vernacular clay tiled roofs and crinkled tin farm buildings. As the colour and texture change from wetting and drying and in different lights it resonates with the changing seasons and forestry activities throughout the year.

The modest massing and form of the buildings respond to the pragmatic functions while respecting the local building scale. Situated immediately adjacent to the woodland they serve, the buildings deal with a tight constraint of a narrow site exacerbated by distance constraints from a lane, neighbour and the SSSI. Proximity to several large mature oak trees, teamed with an aspiration of a long building life, resulted in a foundation design incorporating helical piles which gain their strength beyond the influence of the trees.

The main building benefits from SIP construction, giving rapid construction and enabling maintenance of an internal environment to better dry timber from the wood. Internal plywood lining allows versatile fixings for workshop and storage. The larch frame wood store has a louvred wall to resist the worst of the weather from the prevailing direction, whilst also providing a united elevation with the main building to the lane.


  • Begun: Mar 2017
  • Completed: Aug 2017
  • Floor area: 40m2
  • Sector: Industrial
  • Total cost: £176,000
  • Funding: Private
  • Tender date: Nov 2016
  • Address: Old Copse, Clay Lane, Beenham, RG7 5PG, United Kingdom

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