Project Profile

Location: Kent

Frame: Queen post truss

Timber: Douglas fir

Architect: Squire and Partners

Contractor: STP Solutions Ltd

st james school
st james school

St. James School

We were able to provide St. James school a design and technology timber framed school building that provides inspiration to the students’ woodwork projects.


With architects, Squire and Partners, we created a timber frame school building with a farm and rural building appearance which compliments the regional vernacular of south-east England. The aim of the building, which is used by design and technology students, was to help the students of St James School to understand the value of traditional timber framing and craftsmanship.

Giles Heather, architect, Squire and Partners described the Design and Technology building as “The approach was driven by the idea that educational space dedicated to design and technology should itself be a showcase for craftsmanship.”

The frame of this stunning timber frame school building was made from Douglas Fir, a wood that is both durable and cost effective. The Douglas Fir frame was partially exposed with hips coming down to dragon beams to the corners. The walls of this Douglas Fir timber building were finished with birch plywood, an excellent bracing material as well as aesthetically in-keeping as well as giving the room a contemporary edge. The frame itself was put up in under a week which shows how rapid traditional timber framing can be to erect – the speed of frame erection was a key requirement in a busy school environment.

Interestingly this Douglas Fir timber building at St James School has no windows and was lit via a glazed lantern.

St James Design Technology Block was shortlisted for a 2015 FX international Design Award in the Public Sector.