BUILDING ON NATIONAL TRUST LAND
Heathcoat Cricket Club, Tiverton, Devon
A STUNNING BUILDING BEGINS TO EMERGE
With a final push just before Christmas the building fabricators Wooden Ways erected all of the timber structure. It soon became apparent that this was going to be very much more than just a sporting clubhouse. The sheer size of the main timber flitch beams and main posts as well as the beautiful roof structure will ensure that this will became a landmark project for both the National Trust and the ECB. But, most importantly, its size and scale sits beautifully within the Knightshayes ground.
It is always interesting to first view a structure as it starts to come alive but for all those who attended the pre-Christmas site meeting it was genuinely exhilarating. The representation from the National Trust were enthused and delighted by the presence the building already has. The materials that have been used and the traditional skills and standards of craftsmanship that had been employed.
The interior clubroom space with the exposed beams and roof structure will be dramatic enough but the large uninterrupted visitors of their ground and the stunning Devon countryside which is a backdrop to the ground, will make this one of the finest cricket viewing experiences in this country. Heathcoat has always been a wonderful ground to play at and it will now have a clubhouse that will be worthy of the location.
Macdonald Design have worked on the creation of many sports buildings but they do end up being quite formulaic employing the use of standard building materials and generating interest through careful use of detail. But, to be involved working with very natural products cut and shaped in a traditional way is incredibly exciting. The mix of natural twists in the traditional beams link to the precision cutting and interlocking of the structure reminds you of the skills that were honed over centuries before the days of mass production and building systems. Such is the strength of the core structure it was able to self-support without needing to employ screws, bolts, glue or any additional braces.