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In creating an expansive new building for Bradford Grammar School, SDA Architects knew they had to think outside of the box – quite literally. The brief called for a simple but striking addition to the new sports surfaces, but with a large 70 x 30m long elevation and a limited budget, SDA opted to deconstruct the barn concept.

A portal frame was constructed to manage the clear span required, and a varied palette of timber cladding, perforated metal sheets and solid panels provided transparency and variety. It’s a passive solution that provides shelter from the weather but maintains the connection with the outside sports facilities.

Russwood Siberian Larch RW014 cladding was selected for its clean lines and durability, and arranged both horizontally and vertically at varying distances to create a ‘hit and miss’ effect. The success of the aesthetic relies on the finishing touches, such as the SiOO:X treatment which will allow for uniform weathering, and KompeFix® strips, which will enhance ventilation and maintain the crisp lines of the cladding.

SDA Architects said: ‘As the building was a bespoke design, Russwood were proactive in providing generic details to assist with the development of the technical solution with the Main Contractor on site.’

Set against the striking red metal sheets, the overall effect is distinctive and unique – a triumph of utilitarian architecture.

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