Despite the wet winter we’ve been busy at the Sylva Wood Centre completing the renovation of our old Grain Store. We’ve just completed this timelapse film, taken over several months, which finishes with the fitting of innovative thermally-modified hardwood products, including cladding, windows, and a door. The Brimstone products were provided by Vastern Timber, in turn supported by a grant from the Forestry Commission.
EU agricultural fund for rural development
The building is almost unrecognisable from its former state, clad in asbestos and fit only for storage. Most visitors are convinced it is a completely new build.
Our thanks to all those who’ve worked on the building, and to our funders Oxfordshire Leader.
posted on February 19, 2016
We are excited to announce that the Sylva Foundation will be moving its offices to a new purpose-designed timber building at the Sylva Wood Centre.
Ever since our formation as a charity in 2009 we have been based in the village of Little Wittenham in south Oxfordshire. Following the gift of land in the nearby village of Long Wittenham, and with early developments of the Wood Centre now well underway, we felt that 2016 would be the right time to relocate our office. Our headquarters will be at the heart of the Sylva Wood Centre, and there our staff will be part of the community of craftspeople supported by our Start-Up facilities and running their wood businesses.
The Sylva Lodge—as it will be known—is a wooden low-energy building designed by South Wales timber building specialists Benfield ATT. Naturally it has been constructed with timber, most of which is home-grown, and all sourced from sustainably-managed forests.
Talking about the building Professor Michael Benfield—Director of Benfield and the inaugural Chair of Wood Knowledge Wales—said:
“I am delighted that the Sylva Foundation selected to work with our company to build their new offices. This confirms our joint aspirations to stimulate a vibrant forestry and wood industry”.
Benfield ATT sourced high-quality Douglas fir from Gloucestershire and sent it to Cilfiegan Sawmill, near Usk in Monmouthshire, to be milled from the log and cut to the desired lengths for the build. The photos below work underway at the Benfield ATT workshops.
Sylva Lodge designed by Benfield ATT
Sylva Lodge designed by Benfield ATT
Internal walls, ready with insulation, at the workshops of Benfield ATT
Benfield ATT carpenters know how to knock wood into shape
The finished truss assembled to ensure it all fits together before it is transported to the Sylva Foundation site.
An expert eye and a steady hand are needed for this work
Building the Sylva Lodge at the workshops of Benfield ATT
Sanding down the rough-sawn timber to bring out the natural beauty, at the workshops of Benfield ATT
We will be following progress of the build over the next few weeks, and plan to move in to the Sylva Lodge by mid April.
Our new address (from April 2016) will be:
Sylva Wood Centre
posted on September 1, 2014
Building work has begun on the first phase of our development of the Sylva Wood Centre. A semi-derelict agricultural building is to be converted into an enterprise hub for wood-using businesses.
view from the east
The 12,000 square foot building will be redesigned to support up to 10 separate wood-using businesses, and a teaching classroom. Over the next four months the former potato store will be stripped of its asbestos roof and gutted, and its existing steel structure strengthened in readiness for new insulated roof and wall panels.
We have attracted our first tenants (more news to follow) and are in discussions with several others. The building will be open for business in January 2015.
view from the west
If you run a wood business based in south Oxfordshire and are potentially interested in securing a unit in the Wood Centre we would be pleased to hear from you. Also from individuals interested in delivering training in wood craft, either professionally or on a volunteer basis.
Our wider vision for the Sylva Wood Centre is to develop the whole site – which includes several more buildings and the surrounding landscape – as a centre for innovation in home-grown wood. The conversion of this building is the first phase towards achieving this vision. Read more about our Wood programme