Wood Centre for Innovation

Product used Brimstone poplar Where Oxfordshire Architect Beard Construction

When the Oxford Trust set about creating their new innovation centre at Stansfeld Park, they took time to source the right materials.

Built in the ‘urban wildspace’ of a former quarry, these impressive buildings needed to integrate with the natural surroundings and be as low impact as possible.

Brimstone timber cladding met both of these needs.

Innovative timber cladding, for a inspirational Science Park

Stansfield Park is an inspiring development, providing space for science and technology start-ups, and teaching facilities for primary-aged science education. The development is surrounded by mixed broadleaf woodland and natural ponds, so it was important that the building blended in.

With this in mind, the Oxford Trust chose Brimstone Poplar for the external timber cladding. It’s thermally modified which makes it extremely durable. But it also ages to a natural grey over time.

Brimstone doesn’t contain natural ‘extractives’ such as oil or tanin that can cause unsightly staining on external wood. As a result, the weathering tends to be relatively even compared to other popular cladding species such as Canadian cedar and oak.

Low impact. Locally grown

In addition to its stylish looks, Brimstone is made with the planet’s wellbeing in mind. The wood doesn’t travel thousands of miles, causing high C02 emissions. Instead it uses British grown wood, sourced within one hundred miles of Oxford.

How was Brimstone used?

We supplied 1400 square metres of our Brimstone poplar for the external cladding. It was hugely satisfying to see such a large development entirely clad in homegrown timber.

The Trust also chose Brimstone poplar solar shading for the south facing elevation. This involved Solinear of York installing 222 vertical louvres attached to a metal frame.

The Brimstone timber was perfect for offering solar shading, but also created really interesting shadow patterns on the cladding panels.

Finishing touches

To complete the overall look, The Trust commissioned students from Oxford City College to design benches for the new site. The designs were excellent and we were delighted that they chose Brimstone to make these too.

We think the final development looks stunning. And it’s not surprising that it was shortlisted for many prestigious awards.

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