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Today a thriving modern city, Bristol was once an industrial heartland with a busy trading port. This heritage was a source of inspiration for Alec French Architects, who were tasked with creating a mixed-use residential scheme on Wapping Wharf

The development includes residential and retail units, flanking a new street named Gaol Ferry Steps. The architect created a gritty dockside character by combining materials such as original cobbles and Cor-ten steel cladding, which oxidises to a rusty red reminiscent of historic dockside materials. The selection of Russwood’s Garapa Decking, Siberian Larch and Architect Select® Western Red Cedar Cladding provided a palette of robust, rugged materials that enhanced the design aesthetic. Siberian larch provided vertical cladding to timber panels while the cedar marked out key architectural shapes and added a warm and rich shot of colour. Finally, the consistent and knot-free Garapa offered longevity.

The fact that all the timber was FSC certified also proved important in delivering the project’s environmental credentials. Nick Vaughan said: “Russwood quickly provided good sized samples that we could present to the client, and were then able to offer advice on various profiles which would meet our budget without detracting from the overall appearance. Furthermore, their technical advice allowed us to test some of TRADA's principals embedded in the external cladding guidance which was invaluable.”

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