Tingrith Lakes

Oak Portal Frame

Location: Bedfordshire

Features: Timber engineering. Large flitch plates. Split roof design.

Constraints: Poor positioning of existing property. Temporary bracing needed for frame raising.

Replacement of existing uninhabitable and derelict property

The oak portal frame allows unobstructed views from the entrance to the lakes. Clean lines, simplicity and a feeling of space are combined in this green-roofed home.

A simple looking design that involved pushing the boundaries.

Melanie and Clive were was looking for clean lines, simplicity and a feeling of space whilst incorporating an oak frame. In essence, the timber frame they wanted, replicated the kind of open framework usually associated with a steel portal frame.

A timber portal frame was designed to allow for unobstructed views from the entrance to the lake. Using oak instead of steel presented some technical challenges.

The solution came in the form of large flitch plates, slotted into the cross frame junctions, to act as bracing. A hidden steel universal beam in the roof, spanning the length of the building, helped deal with thrust at the top plates. Alongside plywood sheathing, in the wall and roof, the frame is able to function without traditional braces and ties. The resulting structure provides an uncluttered open space.

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