Commercial & Public Access Highly Commended 2007
Building Owner: National Trust, Longshaw Estate
Architect: Allen Tod Architecture
Builder/Main Contractor: C.R. Gibbs & Sons
Structural Engineers: Ove Arup & Partners
Joinery: C.R. Gibbs & Sons
Wood Species: Swedish Softwood Plywood (Roof Structure), Spruce and Birch (Internal Linings, Larch (Rainscreen), Cedar (Roofing).
The Longshaw Estate Study Centre in the Peak District National Park was inspired by its woodland and moorland setting and a strong sustainable agenda. The desire for a well-insulated building with a light touch on the landscape is reflected in the choice of timber for the structure, external skin and internal linings.
The walls were constructed in panels off site, based on standard plywood sheet sizes as a low cost and low waste use of material. All the internal and external details are then derived from the same principles, providing a rigorous continuity to all the elements of the scheme: from the detail of the spruce and birch plywood internal linings that articulate this modular construction, to the size of the openings and the detailing of the external cladding.
This expression even extends to the bespoke plywood furniture. Heavily insulated with sheep’s wool insulation and externally clad with a larch board rain screen and cedar roof shingles the building sits sensitively in the landscape.
By working with the joiner, it was possible to produce robust and practical construction details realised with entirely “off the shelf” components. The building was conceived with sustainable principles in mind at the outset. This informed every aspect, from the specification of timber from FSC certified sources within Europe, to the requirement that materials and skills be sourced locally wherever possible. The structural timber is all Scandinavian softwood, while the oak engineered flooring is from Chauncey’s Timber Flooring, who aim to source only from the most sustainable manufacturers predominantly from Europe. The windows and doors are either specially manufactured from the ply and structural timbers, or by Scandinavian Window Systems using energy efficient Scandinavian factories and sources.