Drawing to a Close, Dogtooth Clipsham Limestone Cladding - AJ Specification

July 2013

Text Architects' Journal
Images Niall McLaughlin Architects

This delightful Clipsham limestone cladding detail adds texture to a chapel for Ripon College and the Community of StJohn the Baptist. On a plinth of ashlar blocks – its depth emphasised by dark vertical slots – sits a drum of 90mm high stone blocks, like a lychee’s skin, its dogtooth configuration contrasting with the smoothness below.

Each block in this upper section has two visible faces: one smooth rubbed, one pitched. On alternate courses, the radial centre lines of the blocks’ arises rotate slightly, with the configuration of pitched and smooth rubbed faces reversed. This orientation, its articulation emphasised by dark recessed joints, suggests movement. Ranks of colonettes crown the wall, forming an elongated clerestory.

Fixings, restraints and supports were contractor-designed, but the drawing shows design intent refinements, with weep holes in perpends and a delicate bronze angle, its horizontal leg slightly projecting from the internal lime plaster.

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