Project Profile

Location: Westonbirt Arboretum

Frame: Scissor Brace Truss

Timber: Larch

Architect: Roderick James Architects


Westonbirt Arboretum restaurant
Westonbirt Arboretum restaurant

Westonbirt Arboretum restaurant 

Westonbirt Arboretum restaurant, Maples, combines traditional framing techniques with modern materials to creates a building that is contemporary yet sympathetic to its location.


The National Arboretum at Westonbirt in Gloucestershire is home to some of the rarest and most beautiful trees in the world. When Westonbirt arboretum came to us to provide the frame for their new restaurant we were delighted. The National arboretum had a very clear brief for their new restaurant – they wanted the it to be light and welcoming and most importantly to blend into the surrounding environment – and what better way to do that than use their very own trees to create the frame.

About the frame

The frame at Westonbirt Arboretum restaurant is actually made from larch which helps to create a light and relaxing space for the visitors to dig in to some delicious cakes after a long walk through the walk through the woodland. The Westonbirt Arboretum restaurant frame has been made using a combination of a traditionally jointed larch brace truss, steel bracing and lots of glass, including a glazed lantern helps to create that spacious, contemporary feel. The unusual overhang on the eaves provides a really pleasant covered area for eating alfresco with great views across the valley and arboretum. The building also incorporates a sedum room to help the restaurant blend seamlessly into the environment.

Today the Westonbirt Arboretum restaurant provides for thousands of visitors all year round, particularly during the peak seasons during spring and autumn.

Since our first project at Westonbirt we have gone on to working with them on a number of projects including The Great Oak Hall (which is used as a meeting room and for events, such as weddings) and the Tree Management Centre (which is used to house all the machinery used at Westonbirt), both of which were created with the aid of volunteers as well as our own carpenters.