When we took on the challenge of the outdoor classroom, we knew we only had the half term week to construct it so we had to design it to be, as far as possible, pre-fabricated, while also meeting the brief and design approach that had developed through the workshops with the children.
We were intrigued by making a circular structure and the paraboloid ‘pringle’ roof out of timber, a material that naturally tends towards straight lines. We modelled the structure in 3D CAD as well as physical models, in order to calculate the angles of the supporting beams, and the notches that needed to be cut out of them to slot together. All the cross-beams and the perimeter beam were made off site in advance, and the thin tongue-and-groove boarding to form the curve was painted (by Hana and Tom’s children) before-hand as well. Our regular metal fabricator, Wesbroom, made the steel brackets.