Timber Transformer  

Youghal Boardwalk

The durability of Indonesian hardwoods is displayed in the boardwalk in Youghal, in County Cork, Ireland. Youghal’s 400 metre hardwood panelled beach walkway, that is disability access friendly, runs from the Front Strand Beach to Claycastle Beach. The original boardwalk was destroyed in a violent storm in 2014, but bangkirai decking is likely to prove more resilient to storms, tidal surges and the movement of sand as this tough decking will be held in place with steel pylons driven deep into the beach, as our specially commissioned selected photographs show. Here we see the tropical wood standing up well to a frosty morning, as well as salt water and other tough 

Timber supplier: Abbey Woods
Photographer: Conal Thomson/findr.me

Image caption: Bangkirai decking and steel pylons are designed to resist the fierce Atlantic storms.


The Pod Gallery

The award-winning Pod Gallery was completed in 2014 by Stonewood Design. The restoration of the Grade II Listed Home Farm Barn in West Littleton near Bath was accompanied by the design in wood of the Pod Gallery. Indonesian marine ply was a key material in the solution. The client required a space within the barn that was warm, dry, light and air-tight, and which could be used to house a personal collection of watercolour paintings. The task evolved as a ‘ship in a bottle’ puzzle, the existing roof of the barn was kept intact during construction and the resulting gallery is a lightweight timber structure which only touches the barn where it sits on the existing raised barn floor, directly above the cellar below. It cantilevers over this floor, giving the im-pression of floating, or of a vessel which is launching forth. “The robustness of marine ply externally felt appropriate and honest,” say the architects, “the weather-proofing requirements of this ‘box’ were still relevant as the working barn had no sealed windows and doors that were open most of the day. The front elevation was faced in oak. Internally a mix of plywood and lime plaster resulted in a calm and robust wall to hang paintings.”

Architect: Stonewood Design 
Contractor: Stonewood Builders 
Photographer: Craig Auckland


Titanic Belfast

Opened in 2012, the Titanic Belfast is a tourist attraction built on the site of the old Harland and Wolff Shipyard, where the Titanic was built. As the winner of the World Travel Awards’ ‘Best tourist attraction in the world’, the hardwearing decking made from Indonesian bangkirai sees a large footfall with nearly 680,000 visitors in 2016. The original exposed decking of the Titanic was built with high quality yellow pine. The bangkirai is a heavy hardwood with similar properties to the better known yellow balau – it is tough and durable. Bangkirai belongs to the genus Shorea, which is named after Sir John Shore, Governor-General of the British East India Company between 1793 and 1798.

Architect: TODD Architects
Photographer: Gareth O’Cathain

Image caption: The decking and water feature help build  association with the Titanic story within a bold contemporary design forest industries.