The award-winning Larick Centre is a milestone project for the Fife town of Tayport, created by the town’s active Community Trust as a multi-purpose meeting place for all. The community centre’s design, by Collective Architecture, nods to the site’s industrial past and agricultural context. The importance of its external finish – predominantly our Scotlarch® cladding complemented by red-oxide corrugated aluminium – is reflected in its name: Larick is an old Scots word for larch.
A building by the community for the community
Tayport Community Trust’s mission was to create a community centre focused on sports and activities that would be open and accessible, serving people of all ages and abilities. Their three-acre site was in a unique setting at the southern edge of Tayport, next to three Sites of Special Scientific Interest.
As a firm founded to pursue themes of participation and sustainability in architecture, Collective Architecture was the ideal choice of partner. They responded to the brief by going into deep consultation with the Tayport community, running workshops to communicate design ideas, ask questions and build their understanding of what was needed.
Reducing the Larick Centre’s carbon footprint
The resulting building houses a large sports hall plus several smaller halls with moveable walls, meeting spaces and a café. On the outside, inspired by local industrial and farming structures, Collective Architecture specified our Scotlarch® cladding with a sawn finish in a vertical board-on-board arrangement. The aim was to give the building uniformity while providing tactile texture and variance along the façade.
James York, architect and Passivhaus designer from Collective Architecture, told us that Russwood was their top choice thanks to our Scottish larch’s sustainability credentials. “We chose Scotlarch® because it is local, reducing the cradle-to-gate miles of transporting materials and so reducing emissions,” explains James.
Protected from the elements
With 360-degree timber and recesses in the façade, the team at Collective Architecture worked closely with Russwood’s architectural liaison team to ensure differential weathering wouldn’t detract from the building’s considered design. On our recommendation, they opted to have the cladding factory coated in SiOO:X Original wood protection, which has given the timber a uniform weathered appearance without the wait, despite differing exposures and sheltered spots.
We were able to further enhance the building’s longevity and visual impact by supporting the contractor, Hadden Group, in understanding the specific installation requirements of board-on-board cladding, keeping the heartwood – the strongest, most durable part of the timber – facing out.
A success by all measures
The Larick Centre has quickly become an important place for the vibrant Tayport community, giving groups a space in which to gather and providing an inviting environment for various sports and activities. The café anchors the building in the community as it has become a popular spot for sociable eating and drinking. From a visual perspective, James York is delighted with how our Scotlarch® cladding has performed since installation. “The coated larch has proved to be particularly successful, resulting in a consistent appearance across all elevations,” he confirms.
Specifier Tip: Our Scottish larch is sourced from well-managed forests within 100 miles of our sawmill in the Scottish Highlands.