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The Hawkhead Centre – Best Use of Timber Awards 2018 Shortlist

Name of building
Hawkhead Centre
Date Completed
September 2017
Building type
Support Centre for the War Blinded
Paisley, Renfrewshire
Designer site
Scottish War Blinded

Timber is the predominant cladding, and most prominent internal material used in the Hawkhead Centre. The exterior of the building and its outbuildings (a potting shed and garage) are clad in white-stained Scottish Larch. The stain contains an admixture to avoid the spread of fire on the façade, rather than the conventional two-stage application of fire-retardant coating followed by decorative stain.

The most prominent feature of the building interior is the double curving Birch plywood ceiling. This canopy extends outside to form a sheltered entrance over the veranda, where a curved Larch lining is used. This is stained to match the colour of the Birch plywood, giving the impression of a ceiling which runs continuously from outside in. This ceiling has an aesthetic role, visually connecting each room inside and continuing to the outside. It also has a technical role in housing all of the services, light fittings and acoustic absorption material for the spaces below. The ceiling uses a framing system that was curved to shape on-site, which the manufacturer advises is the first outdoor implementation of the product.

Timber was also used internally as a key part of the visual contrast strategy: with Dark Walnut used for handrails; door frames and furniture; lighter timbers such as maple veneers are used for doors. Coloured wood fibre panels were used as a cladding material for the feature internal ‘pod’ housing the dining area servery, the ‘heart’ of the centre.

European Larch is a hard strong timber with an attractive warm reddish brown or terracotta colour with gold streaks, which fades to silver after prolonged

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