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Case studies

Innovative use of larch timber for an award-nominated Miner’s Cottage renovation

Superb design – and an innovative use of Vastern’s Timber’s Siberian larch cladding and decking – have seen Bristol-based firm Design Storey shortlisted for a prestigious architecture award.

The conversion of two 18th Century miner’s cottages into stunning contemporary dwellings has earned Bristol-based architects Design Storey a place on the shortlist for the much-coveted 2016 Daily Telegraph Homebuilding and Renovating Award. We were delighted to see Design Storey recognised – not least because of their innovative use of our Siberian larch cladding and decking.

Miner’s Cottages I and II are located in the Somerset village of Pensford. Originally two cottages, they were joined together in the 1950s to form a single residence. However, Design Storey – acting as both architects and developers – had a vision to reinstate the original configuration as two separate dwellings, retaining the building’s history and character by conserving original features but incorporating contemporary design and living.

One of the keys to achieving this was the addition of a new extension containing large kitchen/dining spaces. As well as beautiful interiors, the extension used Vastern Timber’s Siberian larch cladding for an equally beautiful exterior.

To reflect the industrial and mining legacy of the local area, Design Storey treated the Siberian larch cladding with a transparent black wood stain, applying several coats to get a variation in the colour. They even cleverly integrated storage into the cladding, as this gif shows:

Meanwhile, the deck used wider Siberian larch boards, again supplied by Vastern Timber. For Miner’s Cottage I this was laid conventionally, perpendicular to the building. But for Miner’s Cottage II Design Storey were more experimental, laying the boards in an organic manner in sympathy with the undulating topography of the garden. Director Lydia Robinson said:

"The timber we used had to be of a certain quality to withstand the complexity of the deck geometry and to achieve the very narrow cladding module. Vastern Timber's products delivered the quality we needed and the cladding has been durable and robust"

She added:

"Vastern Timber were very accommodating and really helped us find a module for the cladding that fulfilled our desire for a narrow cladding, but which was also efficient and minimised costs by working with standard plank sizes cut down. They also provided good technical support for the decking installation. We are very happy with the results and would definitely recommend them to clients and contractors."

We wish Design Storey the best of luck in the Homebuilding and Renovating Award – we’ll be keeping a close eye on the results!

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