Timber Works
Continually changing with light & shade
18th June 2018


Continually changing with light & shade

The Diamond Hall at the University of Ulster takes as its reference point the ‘diamond’ meeting places often found in the centre of Ulster towns.

The exterior cladding of the original 1972 building was replaced with Western Red Cedar, procured and machined to a number of different profiles by Timber Trade Federation member Brooks Brothers. Preferred joint positions, section sizes and profiles were all discussed by Brooks Brothers with the project team.

Sample panels were constructed before details were finalised, fully utilising Brooks Brothers’ timber species and machining knowledge. The sections were sized to suit the existing structural grid and were detailed to accommodate movement.

Heavily-profiled timber was repeated on a 6ft grid, providing depth and shadowing which continually changes with the light, adding visual texture. The project won the 2011 Wood Awards Conservation & Restoration category for GEDA Construction.

The PEFC-certified untreated, graded Canadian Western Red Cedar was chosen for its natural weathering to silver-grey, its durability, and its dimensional stability. It offers a low maintenance choice for projects on a limited budget, such as the Diamond Hall.

The Cedar specified was Grade A Class 1 Nr2 Clear and better. Its relatively light weight, compared to other durable species, made it suitable for fixing to the existing structure. Careful choice of material in conjunction with timber suppliers such as Brooks Brothers can help with challenging budgets.



Timber sourcing

Brooks Brothers are a Timber Trade Federation Responsible Purchaser, procuring legally-harvested, sustainably-grown hardwoods and softwoods from across the globe.

Processes are monitored through the TTF’s Responsible Purchasing Policy (RPP) due diligence system, to which all Federation members adhere. Brooks Brothers also have a five-year environmental strategy, regularly reviewed and renewed, and publicly publish their certified sourcing performance data.


Project Info

Location: Ulster University at Coleraine, Northern Ireland
Builder / Main contractor: GEDA Construction
Wood Supplier: Brooks Brothers
Main Wood Species: Western Red Cedar
Notes: Wood Awards 2011 Conservation/Restoration Winner


[Download this project as .pdf here]