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23rd January 2014 / posted by GeorgeEdwards

Design Day Out

  • Whitney, Oxfordshire
  • Fareham, Hampshire
  • Stockbridge, Hampshire

Each year, the Design Department embarks on a day out in order to visit particularly notable projects from the past 12 months. Usually the designer’s experience of a site would be just of the frame erection and encapsulation, so it is a rare treat indeed to see the finished article. Thanks to designer Julian Pilkington, the team had the opportunity to visit three past projects in Witney, Stockbridge and Fareham.

The Team

The Oakwrights Design Team

Leaving under the cover of a particularly dark winter’s daybreak, our minibus was soon on its way down the A40 toward Witney in Oxfordshire. This was a chance to catch up with the project that we undertook for Anne-Marie Shepperd, which is an Oakwrights encapsulated post and beam house.

The Route

The Route of our Visits

In a secluded part of suburban Oxfordshire, Mr and Mrs Shepperd’s plot was really beginning to take shape. Although Oakwrights had long-finished our part of the construction process, other trades were still busy fitting-out the house.

Steve Laws at The Shepperds

Steve Laws at The Shepperds

The project’s designers Tim Griffiths and Steven Laws were on hand to offer up further information about the design of the structural oak frame and encapsulation system, and it was interesting to see how rooms and storage spaces were being created throughout the frame.

Design Team in The House

The Design Team in the House

WrightWall Natural Encapsulation

WrightWall Natural Encapsulation from the inside

Our next port of call was lunch at a beautiful, reconstructed tidal mill at Fareham, just on the outskirts of Portsmouth. Fullers had approached Oakwrights to design the structural oak frame for their new destination pub, Cams Mill. Using archive images of the tidal mill that stood there over 100 years ago, Tim Griffiths created a new structural oak frame design true to the traditional craftsmanship of the original.

Cams Mill

Cams Mill in Fareham

After a warm welcome from the staff, we took our seats in prime position beneath the 30ft-high vaulted oak roof. Waiting for us was a delicious selection of sandwiches and pub chips made with locally-sourced ingredients. We also took the opportunity to carefully taste-test the pub’s range of bitters and ales before inspecting the decor.

Full Size Water Wheel

A Full Size Water Wheel

The interior designers had really built on the traditional ruggedness of the timber, adding all sorts of vintage features including a full-size water-wheel and period belt-drives. The client’s choice not to sand-blast or acid-wash the finished frame worked really well with the authenticity of the building, and certainly raised smiles when we spotted the site crews footprints on some of the timbers.

After recovering from lunch, we were soon on our way to a cream tea at the Leckford Estate farm shop.

Greeted by a friendly reindeer, we were soon inside admiring the handiwork of carpenter and frame designer, John Lloyd.

Rob & Reindeer

Rob & Reindeer outside the front of Leckford Farmshop, Stockbridge

Designers being designers, the debate soon descended into a frank and strong-worded discussion on whether cream or jam should be spread on a scone first. Ultimately, it was interesting to see how different builders and interior designers develop an Oakwrights frame into the finished product.

Cream or Jam

Cream or Jam

As dusk fell, we were on the road back home to Herefordshire, full of cream tea, hot drinks, and dreams of what Design Day Out 2014 would bring.

As Dusk Fell

As Dusk Fell on our journey back to Herefordshire




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