Imagine the scene. You’ve gathered your closest friends for a leisurely lunch, and it’s now time for the obligatory post-prandial coffee. You slide open the glass door, step out onto your terrace…and watch Max Verstappen drive past at over 150mph.
This is Escapade Silverstone: a completely new experiential venue launching in spring 2024.
Designed by Twelve Architects for Escapade Living and built by HG Construction, this luxury hospitality offering gives motorsport enthusiasts access to 60 private residences – many with unique trackside views – and a clubhouse. There are also plans for car storage.
Luxury cladding for a luxury development
Making buildings that get noticed is what Twelve Architects does best. Their brief for Escapade Silverstone was to create a striking piece of architecture that would provide a unique hospitality experience at the iconic Silverstone race track. When it came to choosing the external finish, Twelve Architects worked closely with the client and landscape specialists to find a material that would both tie the structures together and blend with the open fields and protected ancient woodland that border the circuit. Our Lunawood Collection was the perfect solution.
Over 150,000 linear metres of cladding
We supplied all 60 Escapade Silverstone residences, as well as the clubhouse and carports, with Lunawood. Lunawood is a premium cladding collection made from thermally modified heartwood of Nordic pine and spruce. For Escapade’s founder, Will Tindall, the choice of external finish was all-important. “The external finish has perhaps the single largest impact on your first impression of a building,” he explains. While each set of residences – Trackside, Dual-Aspect and Countryside – differs in form, our Lunawood cladding was used across all to create a harmonious effect.
Russwood Director, Michael Russell, thinks Escapade is a fantastic example of how timber cladding can be used on a mass scale, estimating it to be one of the biggest cladding projects currently under construction in the UK, if not Europe. For the client, one of the appeals of using Russwood was that our expertise and manufacturing capabilities meant we could handle the entire order in-house – from the very first phone call, right through the sales process, to manufacturing and delivery.
A sustainable choice of finish, even at mass scale
All Lunawood timber is grown in Finland and comes from 100% PEFC™ certified forests. This was a big part of its appeal for the development, as choosing a sustainable timber product was high on the agenda for Will and his team. Finland has some of the oldest forestry laws on the planet. The country purposefully grows more trees each year than are felled, to ensure forest cover is growing rather than shrinking.
Enhancing Lunawood’s longevity and sustainability with SiOO:X
Will’s team of architects, landscape specialists and environmental experts decided on a Microtex® finish for the Lunawood cladding, coated with SiOO:X Mid Grey. SiOO:X is a Swedish wood protection product made with natural, non-toxic ingredients. Choosing a tinted coating was appealing to the developers as it provides a predictable and consistent appearance within a matter of weeks, eliminating differential weathering regardless of the timber’s orientation. SiOO:X also supports Escapade Silverstone’s sustainability objectives by helping the cladding last longer.
Our architectural liaison team supported the final cladding decision by providing samples, on-site testing and timber expertise. Will is emphatic about the benefits of using SiOO:X. “We wanted a coating that would provide a uniform finish,” he says. “We searched for quite some time and tested several products before selecting SiOO:X to coat our Lunawood. SiOO:X maintains the highest eco-credentials throughout, from production to end of life.”
Escapade Silverstone’s focus on sustainability wasn’t limited to the cladding. The resulting environmental impact is impressively low for such a large-scale project, as evidenced by its ‘Very Good’ BREEAM measure. BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) is the world’s leading science-based suite of validation and certification systems for the built environment, assessing projects against various criteria including carbon emissions, low-impact design and biodiversity protection.
Ensuring legendary quality
Silverstone is a high-profile location, and Will admits there is pressure for Escapade Silverstone to exceed expectations. When we speak to him several months before the official opening, the buildings are already taking shape and Will is pleased with how our Lunawood cladding adds to the development’s luxury rhetoric. “The structures are already looking slick: it’s a great statement of intent,” says Will. “Having a consistent finish on crisply detailed timber is a key part of the luxurious feel of our architecture and sets the tone for the quality expected of our interiors.”
Specifier Tip: Lunawood Collection products, with or without SiOO:X coatings, can be 100% recycled at the end of their life.
Building solid client relationships
Michael Russell expects the supply of Lunawood to Escapade Silverstone to continue until the end of the year. With the finishing line in sight, he’s able to reflect on what has helped this project – Russwood’s largest ever – to run smoothly. “I think planning is number one, plus clear communication between us and the contractor,” says Michael. “It’s been a really nice process because we have built trust and problem solved together. They see us as a partner who’s there to support them: we’re all on the same page. As well as this openness, I think it helps that we have a ‘can do’ attitude, much like Lunawood, who has been an amazing supply partner. Their enthusiasm for this project has been incredible, and we’re so grateful to everyone who’s had a hand in making it a success.”
When asked what’s in the pipeline when Escapade Silverstone is complete, it’s clear that Michael has enjoyed the process of working on an ambitious construction project. “Hopefully we’re just seeing the start of large-scale cladding projects like this,” he smiles. “I definitely want to do more.”