Shingles (cedar, larch, chestnut etc): A material I have often admired but never had occasion to use before. The picture above is one of our forest lodges overlooking Loch Venachar in the Trossachs and these tall forms within an ancient woodland were the perfect form to experiment with shingles. Firstly, cedar shingles are rare in this country but as ubiquitous as the Marley rooftile in America – so while they are a new material to us, they most certainly are not a new material. We like to try new things – but the most important maxim for experimentation with building materials: Never be First. In fact, best not be in the first hundred as in all aspects of life – best to learn from other’s mistakes and not your own. Enough folksy wisdom on newness – The cedar shingles were chosen here for their ability to quickly become a very visually varied, natural, weathered surface that will allow these tall and angular forms to disappear into the textures and shades of the surrounding forest. There’s a place for bright and sparking materiality; an ancient woodland in a highly scenic area of a very widely loved national park certainly isn’t the place - so picking shingles was as easy as it was obvious. Also…the fact the cedar shingles were considerably less expensive than similarly performing timber cladding was just an added bonus.
So…its that time of year again. Hospitality projects striving to be ready for the season, being built in challenging locations in terrible weather. You would think we’d be used to it by now but the mental fortitude required to live in the West of Scotland always leads one to be overly optimistic about the weather. Last year it was The Beast from the East but this year its a quagmire one minute, bone dry the next, followed by gale force winds and now this weekend pushing 20 degrees. Frankly, its now beginning to get a little concerning and it seems like Al Gore was, inconveniently right. So when the sh*t hits the fan at least our new lodges in Invertrossachs have tonnes of chopped and stacked firewood, an independent water supply, plenty of food (wildlife) passing through the site and far enough away from major settlements to be comfortable…Must stop watching the Walking Dead.
So - we have had a busy few months! We’ve moved office from the less than inspiring environment of the East End of Glasgow to the fresh air of the countryside. We now have a lovely view of Dumgoyne rather than our former lovely view of the dodgy end of the Gallowgate. Espresso machine installed so do pop in for a coffee if you’re passing.
OFIS unit is now craned into place - we’re now realising how much of a “prototype” it is and how unfit for purpose it actually is. So a bit more waterproofing detail required, a bit more strengthening and a lot more thought into occupant safety!
Invertrossachs lodges are finally coming out of the ground - if you could call the stirred up brown soup in which they sit “ground”. Now that drier weather is here we are hoping that site operations will become a lot easier.