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Natural and colourful material choices from PAD Studio

Associate Ricky Evans reveals three of his favourite materials specified by the practice on its Chestnut Farm and Clay Retreat projects

Credit: Richard Chivers

Sweet chestnut by English Woodlands Timber

Chestnut Farm was the perfect project on which to specify UK-grown sweet chestnut rainscreen cladding. Working with English Woodlands Timber, we optimised the profile to minimise waste while maximising length and stability. Each timber is a 4.8m length with no joints. Sweet chestnut is durable and versatile, weathering to a natural silver-grey tone. It naturally resists decay for longer than many other types of timber so does not need to be treated with preservative chemicals. The deep profile and spacings create a distinct shadow between each vertical timber, animating the surface and giving the elevation depth.


Credit: Jim Stephenson

Pluck Kitchens

We were introduced to Pluck Kitchens by our client on the Clay Retreat. Made in the UK, from British grown timber and using British ironmongery, Pluck is a carbon neutral company with its own colour and material palette, constructed of a high-pressure laminate on plywood. The modern yet relaxed and playful style perfectly complements our own. Its kitchens are high quality and extremely durable, with elegant simple details providing many storage solutions and bespoke layouts. Its Clay Retreat design won ‘Kitchen of the Year’ in the Ideal Home Awards this year.


Credit: Jim Stephenson

Clay Plaster by Clayworks

Manufactured in the UK, this natural alternative to gypsum plaster is pre-mixed, pre-pigmented and comes in a range of colours. We have specified Clayworks on several projects including the Clay Retreat and a current historic brick barn conversion, combining it with natural insulation for a fully breathable fabric. In the Clay Retreat, we applied the finish to all walls and ceilings throughout. Its tactility softens spaces to make a neutral relaxed backdrop, with warm and inviting subtle tones and texture. The product is extremely low in embodied carbon (0.048-0.068kg CO2 e/kg), non-toxic, compostable and a passive regulator of humidity.



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