Clad in over 5,000 linear metres of Vincent Timbers Western Red Cedar, two famous London glass and timber houses which, featured on Channel Fours Grand Designs show, have won a sought-after regional RIBA award. The cedar panelling was a key factor in the judging criteria of the houses built by Talisman Manufacturing Ltd and Bill Bradley. Having all remarked on the aesthetic beauty of the cedar panelling, two RIBA judges went on to make specific references to it in their enquiries.
Designed by architects Hampson Williams to encourage architects to design houses suited to making better use of brownfield sites, the timber-clad homes based in East Dulwich stand proudly between two rows of surrounding houses.
According to renowned Grand Designs frontman, Kevin McCloud, the houses driven by precision and rigour show what you can get if you are prepared to pursue quality without compromise. As seen on TV, the eco-houses prove that going green doesnt have to mean cutting corners on style.
Bill had been planning and dreaming of his perfect house for many years before actually committing to a build. In his mental picture, the house was always going to be clad in Western Red Cedar. He was keen to use it because of (a) its inherent beauty, (b) its durability is proven and (c) it is one of the most beautiful finishes available. Bill and his wife Sarah planned to build two identical timber houses in south London, selling one to finance the other and fulfil their dream of living mortgage-free.
Bill, who is a perfectionist and master craftsman, said: "I absolutely love the cladding. The Western Red Cedar was a pure joy to work with and is commented on by everyone. It looks different from every angle and in all weathers. It has fantastic warmth and depth that adds to the overall aesthetics of the houses.
He continued, The service from Vincent Timber was exemplary. They provided fantastic advice and delivered on time every time. Due to the changing nature of the TV schedule on top of the usual complications of any build we had to rearrange deliveries often at short notice. Vincents were very accommodating on this front. The lorry drivers were particularly helpful.
An ingenious design, the stunning wooden builds utilise as much light as possible, whilst keeping a level of privacy that would not have seemed possible with such close proximity to so many neighbours. Cabinet-maker Bill decided to make the most of his fantastic joinery ability by constructing the houses himself, with a bespoke architectural design.
The fire regulations for the project, due to the houses close proximity with neighbouring homes, specified that they had to be fire treated. This was carried out with Arch Timber Protection's proven industrial fire-retardant treatment, Dricon. British Board of Agrément approved, the treatment process for Dricon complies with both ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. Its compatibility with coating systems is highlighted within the Dulwich Glass and Timber House project, where the natural linseed-oil based Restol coating system, also from Arch, was used. Arch Timber Protection was recommended by Vincent Timber and was extremely knowledgeable and helpful with professional
advice, explained Bill.
On site the timber was coated with three coverings of Restol, containing UV inhibitors to maintain its colour and natural appearance. Vincent Timber was recommended to Bill, and after lots of research on the internet and having spoken to several other companies, they found it was, by far, the most impressive company in terms of advice and delivering information.
The houses now go through to the RIBA National Awards, along with many others.