The Hideaway outside classroom

The Hideaway

Outdoor Classroom, Haverhill

The Brief

An octagonal structure, named The Hideaway by the school children, set in a beautiful spinney on the schools ground.

The Result

The decorative boss at the ridge of the roof was carved out of oak creating a spiral that has eight sides for each one of the main rafters to sit plumb on, looking a bit like a wizards hat! The structure is magical and blends perfectly with the natural surroundings.

The uprights, handrails, ramp spindles and wind braces all came from a couple of sweet chestnut trees that we felled. The willow for weaving the panels was sourced locally and cut especially for the build.

All floor joists and rafters are made using stress graded pine, as is the decking. We used Douglas fir waney edged planks for the roof. This is a more cost effective option than cedar shingles, and really works with the rustic feel of the structure.

We had larger planks of Douglas fir planked from the same tree for the internal benches.

We cut all of the joints for the uprights and waney edged chestnut wall plates on our framing bed in the woods. The chestnut planks used for the wall plates came from one tree. The uprights sit on concrete slabs with compressed hardcore beneath them.

The benches built to sit outside the structure were made using off-cuts from the chestnut wall plates and chestnut logs.


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