“This is an architecture that excels at communication. Externally, it extends the vocabulary of the school in a new timber-based language, appropriate for this wooded corner of its site. Internally, it carries off a similar feat, creating an education landscape that resonates with the history of the wider school, while conveying a 21st-century mission.
The project, a recent recipient of an RIBA National Award, is also testament to the quality of dialogue between the school’s brief-writers, its estates director and its architects, no doubt informed in part by the shared schools and Sure Start guidance of the CABE decade. The gamble with architecture has paid off.”Read More
Our first housing scheme with Stonewood Partnerships submitted for planning this week.
38 homes in the village of Great Somerford, Wiltshire.
Its 10 years today that Nicola and Ross led the team for the test build for sandbag homes in the Namib Desert.
The build established the catalyst for the Stonewood Design approach to life and architecture, and remains very close to our heart.
As part of the London Festival of Architecture 2019
we exhibited our work at a gathering at 76 Portland Place
Following her involvement in constructing a school building in Limpopo in 2013 whilst at Nottingham University, we proudly supported Hana in revisiting the region in March 2019.
Hana worked with the current students in the next phase of the project to create three classrooms, a nursery store and an office and kitchen, all in an innovative timber structure.
And Adam Chambers wins RIBA South West Project Architect of the Year 2019!
“Set in woodland, the new buildings sit comfortably on their raised gently undulating site, inviting with an understated charm. There is a feeling of ease and space between the buildings, their pitched roofs and low forms intentionally familiar and of a scale young children can relate to.
The walls and roofs are clad in Western Red Cedar shingles on a base of pale brick, making a beautifully textured whole. Window cills and reveals are also carefully detailed in timber and, with the shingles, will be allowed to gradually silver down. The composition in this way works well both from a distance and close-up, and the tactile materials and patterns are clearly enjoyed by staff, parents and children alike.
Great care has been taken to scale the building and elements to relate to the age groups of the children. Starting with the nursery, doorways, windows and play platforms are at low level, linking views through to small outside play areas. This dedication to a (small) human centred design is evident throughout the school. Almost imperceptibly the rooms, openings and fittings grow in scale as the child progresses through the years.
The older prep school years 5 and 6 are arranged around a central common group learning space. The school’s priority of transparency and connectivity is achieved with generous large glazed internal windows through to every teaching space. The spaces feel acoustically calm with woodfibre acoustic boards on soffits, high performance acoustic doors and retractable screens. The plan form is ordered and controlled, yet the spaces feel varied, through a composition of roof shape and height. The arrangement of spine walls conceal services. The main hall is tall and light, flanked by small music practice rooms. The main internal finish is exposed Cross Laminated Timber which, like the exterior, achieves a freshness in its simplicity.
The close relationship of the architect and client throughout the design and delivery of these new school buildings is evident, for example in the bespoke designed fixed furniture, from plan chest storage in art rooms to nursery play structures. But even more so in the pride of both in describing the challenges of prioritising within a tight budget and timescale to achieve the overall result – a place for the children that is conducive to learning.
The strong relationship of the client and architect, what has been achieved on an economic budget and the level of innovation in the use and patterning of the shingles and all highly impressive.”
We were generously invited to the “soft opening” of the Newt in Somerset.
This offered the opportunity for an office awayday exploring the gardens and enjoying the cider and food at the estate of the historic Hadspen House, and the site of a number of our emerging building projects.Read More
Atlantic View of our new house project at Sennen Cove in Cornwall.
Due for completion this summer. Watch this space.
We are so pleased to welcome Tania to the Stonewood Design family
as our Practice Manager.
Tania brings great experience in all aspects of architectural practice management, having spent the last 16 years at Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios.Read More
Following her involvement in constructing a school building in Limpopo in 2013 whilst at Nottingham University, we are proudly supporting Hana in revisiting the school this March. Hana will now be working with the current students in the next phase of the project.
Look out for emerging site photos.
Our latest booklet looks at past and future work,
covering our project experience across various sectors including
Homes, Culture and Arts, Community, Residential, Workplace
Researching cheese making for a new project.Read More