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CULTURAL BUILDINGS PROJECT REPORT


ing, and this meant the existing education building could not be thatched. The straw for the roof was sourced in a


The straw for the roof was sourced in a nearby field, as it would have been done during the Viking era


nearby field, as it would have been done during the Viking era. However, Mandrup says there was an express intent to avoid any kind of pastiche or overt attempt at authenticity, and to use the material for its own sake: “We were really trying to avoid trying to copy a farmhouse, we worked with straw because of its tactile nature and its volume. Trying to work with the specific materiality of the straw I guess makes it abstract.”


The overhanging soffit at the main entrance increases considerably in width towards the sliding door itself. Where it exceeds 40 cm, it is clad in straw thatch to a depth of 15 cm, onto a roof build-up. With the overhang revealed increasingly towards the entrance, the enticing impression is given of a single, massive thickness of thatched roof. A section of wall of the front elevation is also clad in straw, offering a tactile finish for visitors and a unified look. When it comes to fire prevention concerns around using a thatched roof, a Sepatec membrane system, developed specifically for thatched roofs consisting of a glassfibre woven membrane, has been placed directly behind the thatch itself. There are also built-up compartments containing strips of Rockwool in the gap between the thatch and roof structure, stopping fire spreading between each compartment.


The remainder of the building is clad in dark grey untreated Robinia slats, which are also used over felt on the internal section of the roof covering the new exhibi- tion wing. This provides a very harmonious counterpoint to the brown of the thatch, helping the building bed into its surround- ings. Says Mandrup: “The colours of the landscape are muted – brown, grey and olive. The goal was to be as subtle as possi- ble but at the same time give what is quite a large building its own character.” The cladding timber, which comes from central Europe, is “extremely hard,” accord- ing to the architect, such that it requires no maintenance. It is pre-patinated to a black finish but will eventually turn a silver-grey, as will the thatched roof. Says Mandrup, “The straw and wood will take on the colour of the grey-green landscape around it.”


Mandrup is delighted with the aesthetics of the roof now it’s installed – its thickness and texture – but also the fact it was installed completely by hand (by 11 thatchers). “The


WWW.ARCHITECTSDATAFILE.CO.UK ADF MAY 2017


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