Behind the Project: Lockerbie Sawmill
Andrew Forshaw is an Associate based in our Edinburgh, UK office which specialises in restoration/refurbishment, timber, structural, civils and SuDS. Recently, we sat down with him to discuss the expansion of a timber processing facility in Lockerbie that he is working on for James Jones & Sons Limited.
1. Thanks for sitting down with us today, Andrew. Tell us more about the James Jones project.
Currently, we’re designing an expansion of their office to include new offices and visitor facilities. The project has recently started back on site after the COVID-19 lockdown, with a planned completion in Autumn this year. The architectural team is Konishi Gaffney Architects, who we have a close working relationship with.
2. What makes the project so unique?
One of the most unique features of the project is the fact that from the structure itself through to the finishes, it’s largely timber, making it truly representative of our clients’ products. As an example, we’ve used their JJI structural timber I joists in the floors, walls and roof of the building.
One of the most interesting aspects of the project is the large unprocessed tree trunk that functions as a structural column in the middle of the reception area. The tree trunk really does a lot of work, supporting a transfer beam at the first floor since the load bearing wall doesn’t carry through to the ground floor.
Another unique aspect of the project is the wraparound glass window, which presented a true technical challenge in terms of how we would cantilever the roof over the window to fit the glazing. We created a free-spanning space that wraps around two elevations to install the glass into. The structural arrangement around the window is truly complex in its geometry and structural form.
3. What’s your favourite part of working on the project?
I really enjoyed collaborating with the entire project team. For instance, it was fun working with our Entuitive team, which was split across offices in Edinburgh, London, and Toronto and included Toby Maclean, who secured the project; Greg Riewe and I, who prepared the scheme design; Luca Magliozzi and I worked on the detailed design scheme; and we were supported by Hana Plathner, Grant Walkin and Michael Mudie. The fact that we worked across many offices and with such a large team just highlights how important our One Company approach is.
It was great working with the architects, who we happen to share an office space with here in Edinburgh. It felt really collaborative being in the office together and working dynamically on the finest details to reach the right solution. Working with them and understanding how they envisage the finished product also yielded some practical results. For example, we figured out how to hide, or embed the connections behind the timber within the structure to achieve a sleeker look. Working so closely was engaging – it creates an enlivened atmosphere with a good group of people.
We developed a construction sequence as well to help the contractor understand how the tree trunk and transfer beam at first floor could be feasible. Sometimes these hand-drawn 3D sketches can really help members of the project team understand how the project will come together.
4. Any final thoughts?
The project overall is going to be an absolute jewel for the client. It also highlights the skill and detailing of the building from an architectural point of view – it’s really going to stand out.
It will be visible from the M74, a main artery between Scotland and England, which will draw a lot of attention as people pass it.
At Entuitive, we’re so pleased and proud to be associated with this project.
Andrew Forshaw can be reached to discuss this article or work within the Edinburgh office by clicking here.
Additionally, Andrew is the author of a recent piece called “Notes from Edinburgh: Transitioning Out of Lockdown”.