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Alex Monroe Studio, Snowsfields

Alex Monroe Studio, Snowsfields

Small Project Highly Commended 2013

Project Title: Alex Monroe Studio, Snowsfields
Location: London
Wood Species and Products Used: Austrian spruce cross laminated timber
Building client/owner: Alex Monroe
Architect: DSDHA
Structural Engineer:  Structure Workshop
Main Contractor/Builder: Neilcott Construction Limited
Joinery Company: KLH UK
Wood Supplier: KLH UK

The Alex Monroe Studio, Snowsfields represents an intelligent modern design that is inspiring both in its appearance and its holistic approach to sustainability and the use of wood.

The superstructure of the building is entirely constructed from prefabricated cross-laminated timber panels. This allows the design and construction process to be intimately linked and treated as a holistic exercise, allowing all the necessary on site tolerances to be absorbed and considered from a very outset. The prefabrication process also allows the structural elements to be delivered and assembled on site in a very short period of time.

The structural timber panels form the finish to the inside of the building. The industrial grade timber is white washed and lacquered. In treating the timber in a very minimal way, the quality of the wood and the manufacturing process are visually championed, seen in all its rich quality and eccentric imperfections. This also provides the interior of the building with a raw, robust and most importantly natural finish. Against this material backdrop, all the built-in furniture and joinery have been fabricated from the same cross laminated spruce timber panels, specifically designed to respond to each part of the jewelry making process. This creates a coherent narrative of natural surfaces and finishes throughout the building. Over time the timber will reveal a patina of use, in a consistent way, recording day-to-day life of a jewellery studio.

To complete the narrative of structural and decorative timber finishes throughout, the entire staircase is an in-situ timber staircase supported by a 4 storey tall single piece of prefabricated structural cross laminated timber panel. The underside of the timber staircase is then lined in spruce plywood board to match the structural timber surfaces.