This oak framed building is the hub of Valentin’s Education Farm at Dumfries House in Ayrshire.
A Traditional Green Oak Framed Building
This hand cut oak frame is constructed using 14 king post trusses. A truss is the triangle formed from two principal rafters and a tie beam. The king post is the vertical post that ties the beam up to the apex of the truss and is a particularly strong type of truss. This timber frame is traditionally contracted, with pegged joints and curved braces.
A Trio of Timber
The structural frame of the building is green oak, a strong and workable material. While the oak is ‘green’ – i.e. still wet – it is relatively workable in terms of cutting the timber and forming the joints. As the timber dries out it hardens, giving oak its notorious strength. The traditional pegged joints also become tighter as it dries, adding to the stability of the structure.
The roof of the building is clad in Western red cedar shingles. Cedar is a softwood, but it has many of the properties of a hardwood, such as excellent longevity and the ability to cope with wet weather.
The building’s walls are clad in larch, also a softwood, but like cedar, it has excellent weathering properties.
All three of these species can be left untreated to weather down to a natural silver colour. They are able to cope with the Scottish weather without the need for coatings in oil or paint because they are all slow grown species, and they have been grown in climates similar to that which they will be used in.
Dumfries House was famously saved by Prince Charles in 2007, and has since become a hub for learning. Jonny has worked on several landscape structures on the estate, including the Peach House, the Woodland Shelter, and three bridges.