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The Greek Arcadia is a vision of a bounteous natural paradise, and it’s certainly a fitting description for this picturesque new nursery situated in the rolling fields of Easter Bush. Briefed by the University of Edinburgh to create a magnificent early learning centre that maximised both the internal and external environment, Atkins Ltd decided to put nature in the frame – quite literally.

The architects came up with a vision for a timber-framed building orientated around a central piazza, offering panoramic views out across the surrounding fields and the mature tree belt to the south. The connection with the landscape is further enhanced by full height glazing in every playroom and a covered external play loggia. By utilising timber cladding inside and out, Atkins have created a harmonious aesthetic that beautifully complements the rural setting.

Russwood Siberian Larch (SILA) was selected both for the external cladding and the decking, with revolutionary silicon coating SiOO:X ensuring the timber will develop a uniform weathered appearance. A further benefit of SiOO:X is its water-repelling properties, allowing for an open board layout that gives the façade a strong graphic quality. 

Atkins said: ‘We found the team at Russwood very easy to deal with and very knowledgeable about their products. The assistance they provided was essential to achieving a modest and elegant cladding strategy.’

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