16 December 2021

Top 5 timber case studies of 2021

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One of TRADA’s most popular outputs is the inspirational timber case study, of which we currently host 150!


In this article, we take another look at the top 5 most viewed and downloaded case studies of 2021, selected from all the case studies we've published since 2006.


You can read all of these online. However, you can also download the full PDF – also for free – and access all their detail drawings too.



Two and a Half Storey House, Stoke Newington, London



The Two and a Half Storey House is a masterwork of three-dimensional imagination in timber and an ingenious solution to a common problem: how to create an extra bedroom in a two-storey terrace house. In the case of the conventional terrace house with a double-pitched roof, a loft extension would have been the obvious answer, but this was not a conventional terrace but part of a two-storey two-bedroom 70s terrace in a former council housing estate in Stoke Newington, London.


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The Rye Apartments, Peckham Rye, South London



Facing Peckham Rye Park in South London is a new development of ten apartments which demonstrates how the use of timber can create homes which are sustainable, efficient to build and with interior spaces of exceptional quality. The apartments have a structure of cross-laminated timber (CLT) which is exposed on the internal walls of the apartments, creating warm and tactile interiors filled with light from generous windows.


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Redhill Barn, Devon



Redhill Barn was once a large roofless ruin, standing in a Devon field without access, water or electricity. Within its stone walls the architectural practice TYPE has created a new home which is now the hub of an ecological smallholding. The character of the original building has been restored in a legible and original way. As Tom Powell, director of TYPE, explains: ‘Our strategy was to create a new home within the reconstructed barn rather than converting the barn into a house. We wanted to be very clear about what was old and new, retaining the weathered beauty of the monumental stone shell and wild agricultural setting.’ Key to this was the use of timber for new elements in the building; its lightness, variety of colour and its ability to be carefully crafted stand in contrast to the massive stone walls, articulating old from new.


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The Handlebar Café, Winchester, Hampshire



Six years ago a group of young students from Winchester had a brainwave – to design a community café and cycle workshop on a new cycle path which had just been established close to the town. The students were at a week-long workshop run by SPUD, a Hampshire charity which aims to inspire young people and encourage an interest in architecture, urban design and public art. Together with architecture and environmental professionals who volunteered their help, in particular the local practice Architecture PLB, the group identified the site and put together a design.


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City of London Freemen's School Swimming Pool, Ashtead, Surrey



The architect Hawkins\Brown has used timber to create an elegant cathedral-like structure for a new swimming pool, a structure which is also corrosion-resistant, resilient and carbon-neutral. The new six-lane, 25 metre competition pool building stands in verdant parkland, surrounded by ancient woods, on the campus of City of London Freemen’s School, a co-educational private school for about 800 day and boarding pupils, near Ashtead Park in Surrey.


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