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UK’s touring observatory uses Accoya

Accoya has been used in the creation of two award winning, architect-designed, rotating observatory buildings.

UK's touring observatory uses Accoya

The structures, which are currently touring through South West England, were commissioned as part of an open competition for up and coming artists and designers by charity SPUD.

The winning design was from a young group of recent Architecture graduates working at Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios. The project was funded by Arts Council England, with Accoya Distributor, James Latham, providing sponsorship and wood for the structures.

Named The Observatory, the installation is made of two separate buildings. The buildings were designed to give the illusion of floating above the ground. They can also be rotated to provide those inside with 360 degrees views of the landscape.

Accoya was used for the interior cladding of the buildings and was initially chosen for its 50 year above ground guarantee and durable properties. The structures move around coastal locations in Dorset, Cornwall, and Lymington, and it was important the wood used could withstand the weather conditions of these coastal areas.

As well as being specified for the internal cladding, Accoya was used to create all the doors and window frames, while Medite Tricoya Extreme, a wood panel product also developed by Accsys technologies, was used for external edging.

James Latham’s sales & product development director, Paul Latham, said: “This is a fantastic initiative for us to be involved with. Not only does it show an innovative and fascinating use of timber, in particular Accoya, but it is also highly educational and includes a learning and engagement programme engaging with universities, colleges and schools, plus it also has a strong environmental message too.”

Mark Drury, SPUD co-director, added: “The Observatory has been a real team effort with creativity and collaboration at its heart. It’s been a pleasure to work with colleagues at James Lathams and Accsys Technologies to explore innovative materials and approaches and to help realise this exciting initiative.”

Laura Ladd, head of marketing for Accsys Technologies, commented: “The Observatory is a distinctive project which has a strong design focus. For many architects and designers, Accoya is the perfect solution when faced with highly visual projects which need to be durable and sustainable, which was also the case here.

“It is great to see that the project was announced as the winner of the Small Project category at the Wood Awards this month, and demonstrates how effective the team were at combining the requirements of durability and sustainability with the high aesthetic qualities that was achieved with the finished product.”

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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