When first receiving the tender drawings for Flint House, the complexity and obscure shape of the structure made it difficult to fully envisage what the building would look like set in to its rural surroundings, and we certainly did not expect it to turn into such an aesthetically demanding and architecturally driven project that it evolved into.
When called for our first design meeting we realised it was not going to be your average construction project as the route to site involved driving past the world famous Waddesdon Manor, through a forest, down a number dirt tracks and into the middle of a field.
Lord Rothschild had a vision of creating a unique piece of architecture that blended into the arable landscape. This alone created a number of challenges as the design would need to be both visible and fully functional but did not jeopardise the overall aesthetics of the building. Fortunately due to the reinforced concrete construction we were able to hide all of our connections within the concrete framework, whilst using the piles as the earth terminations to minimise the amount of external inspection housings. The biggest challenge was how we would protect the unique stone roof tops, terraces and recesses without installing surface fixed roof tapes.
To overcome this complex challenge and through a number of design meetings we decided to install a series of tapes hidden beneath the stonework and connect onto around 50 mushroom style strike plates which would be set into the top of the slabs. Due to the varying colours of flint cladding and stone work we decided to powder coat the plates up to 8 different shades of grey which enabled them to blend in with the building as much as possible.
The project works ran for around 2 years and involved a lot of liaising with other contractors to ensure the clients targets were met and the outcome was a success. The building may not be the largest scale installation of our kind however its attention to detail made it one of the most demanding projects we have worked on in years.
Once the scaffolding had been removed and you took a step back it was clear to see that our hard work and expertise had paid off. A remarkable and unique building has been constructed with a fully compliant lightning protection system which as quoted by RIBA is a ‘marvel of geological evolution and construction… a celebration of location, material and architectural design at its best’