Contemporary use of wood in complex diagrid frame for Conservation Area conservatory
RIBA National Award winner 2021
RIBA London Regional Award winner 2021
Tsuruta Architects for private client
Contract value: undisclosed
The simplicity of adding a conservatory to the rear of a townhouse gives architects an incredible range of expressive opportunities. Wooden Roof takes this to a new level of sophistication and elegance. Its grade II listing limited its overall height and demanded it remain subservient to the main building, prompting a uniquely crafted timber structure that uses digital manufacturing and draws on traditional Japanese joinery.
Used as a new sunken dining space in the garden, the precision of the faceted glazed roof extends to the way the timber ring beam is jointed and even to how the perimeter gutter is detailed to provide a genuinely considered elevation to the upper rooms of the house. The design emphasises timber’s expressive qualities by putting the language of carpentry at the heart of the project. It exemplifies how intrinsically sustainable timber can and should become the structural material of choice for small- and medium-scale projects.
Setting the extension partially below ground level required a meticulous negotiated section. The detailing of the external surfaces was no less carefully rendered than the roof itself. Even the placement of stone slabs in the lawn to make an outdoor seating area has the compositional skill of an artist.
Internally, the quality evident in the structural joinery of the roof runs throughout the furniture. The project adds visual balance, clarity and beauty to the listed house as well as facilitating domestic life.