Wickersley Northfield Primary School, Rotherham

Wickersley Northfield Primary School, Rotherham

Client: Wickersley Northfield Primary School
Architect: Rotherham Construction Partnership
Type of works: supply of Vincent Timber's Western Red Cedar shingles.

Pushing the boat out with a bold design vision, architects Rotherham Construction Partnership specified Vincent Timber’s Western Red Cedar shingles to represent fish scales on an unusual site in Rotherham. Wickersley Northfield Primary School is certainly putting the fun into functional with the design of its recent extension. From afar, you could be forgiven for thinking there were five rather colourful, capsized boats on the premises, but these are in fact the links that amalgamated Wickersley Northfield Infant and Junior Schools.

To provide brand new state-of-the-art facilities to serve the new Wickersley Northfield Primary School. The two, previously separate, school
buildings now form one integrated school building with a new main entrance and reception area, and staff facilities.

Approximately 90m2 of the Western Red Cedar shingles were used per building to finish the development. Use of colour (which is almost totally absent in the existing 30 year old system-built buildings) was an important aspect of the design and serves the purpose of providing character and a stimulating environment. It also protects the external timber finishes from greying due to the effects of ultra-violet light. A durable micro-porous stain with a long maintenance cycle has been used. The cedar shingles have been finished in seven different colours – tones of Blue and Turquoise, with flashes of Orange and Yellow – to give the effect of fish scales.

A Wood Awards and RIBA Awards 2007 shortlister, the stunning school, with its upturned boat curves and unique circle windows, has attracted a lot of attention. Because the surface of the module shell is curved in two directions, cedar shingles are the ideal means of cladding them. Colouring each individual shingle also shows-off and emphasises the natural scale-like appearance of the shingles to great effect.

When correctly applied, cedar shingles have endured hurricane-force winds and rain for up to half a century. Taking care to make certain its product was fixed to a high standard, Vincent Timber provided the specialist stainless-steel fastenings required to fit the shingles. The company also assisted in securing the services of a specialist shingle installer.

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