Matching up to historic scrutiny for V&A Dundee
Last used as a tearoom in Glasgow in the 1950s, this Charles Rennie Mackintosh original interior design in Oak was in store for nearly 50 years in the Glasgow Museum before recently being meticulously re-erected and restored by Charles Taylor Woodwork in a project for the V&A Dundee museum.
Named ‘The Oak Room’, the 13.5m-long, double height room comprised 850 pieces to be fitted back together. Repairing areas with missing or severely damaged panels required choosing and preparing European Oak with great care to make the appearance match.
Timber supplier Gilmour & Aitken, who have built a trusted relationship with Charles Taylor Woodwork, used the expertise of one of its directors to hand-pick the highest quality European Oak, with a good and consistent grain, and a particular pattern of growth rings, fitting as closely as possible to the original from the early 20th century. Quarter- sawn Oak was chosen for the best match.
Getting the look and feel of the timber to match the original wood in an historic restoration or repair project is very difficult. Export markings were discovered on the original timbers, indicating that even back then imported European Oak was considered to be of outstanding quality. Charles Taylor Woodwork jointed some of the timbers to give an appropriate width to match individual panels, and pulled up the grain. Smith & Rogers provided the specialist finish; the project was managed by Smith & Grant.
With the high international demand for European Oak, the knowledge and connections of Timber Trade Federation member Gilmour & Aitken to source and process the required quality of material is an asset on any design or restoration project. A
TTF Responsible Purchaser, Gilmour & Aitken undertake rigorous due diligence on all their supplies, including their own additional, stringent checks on the all sustainable, legally-harvested hardwoods they import, from Oak to Greenheart and beyond.