Charley Brentnall obituary


My pal, Charley Brentnall, who has died aged 67, was an skilled within the constructing and restoration of timber-framed buildings.

Charley’s work included the re-creation of the roof at Windsor Fort and the conservation of the huts utilized by Scott and Shackleton in Antarctica. He additionally dismantled and reconstructed the Sotherington barn at Bedales faculty in Hampshire, with the assistance of the college’s pupils.

His new-build initiatives usually pushed the boundaries of the timber-frame construction whereas retaining using many conventional strategies, as within the photo voltaic cover he constructed on the Earth Centre in Doncaster to a design by FCB Studios, and his sequence of buildings at Westonbirt Arboretum – together with an modern free-form group shelter and an award-winning tree administration centre, each designed by Invisible Studio.

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Charley Brentnall, far left, throughout building for a Studio within the Woods undertaking

Charley was born in Harpenden, Hertfordshire, one of many seven kids of Maria (nee Higham), a nurse, and George, an obstetrician. After attending Mount St Mary’s faculty in Derbyshire he studied ceramics and three-dimensional design at Bathtub Academy of Artwork in Corsham, Wiltshire, from 1975 to 1978.

After his commencement he met Tom Webster, a Suffolk-based timber-frame and architectural salvage skilled who employed him as a labourer and apprentice over the subsequent few years. Having realized many abilities underneath Tom, in 1981 Charley set out on his personal after being approached by Bedales faculty to dismantle and rebuild the Sotherington barn.

In 1987, with two others, Charley arrange an organization, Carpenter Oak & Woodland, to tackle additional constructing and conservation work, and it grew to make use of 50 individuals. When the executive burden of operating such a enterprise started to take him away from the artistic work he beloved a lot, he took a break for a number of years in order that he might get again to hands-on exercise. Throughout this era he led the development of a eating corridor at Colerne faculty in north Wiltshire, along with its pupils, and was concerned within the pioneering meeting workshop for the Architectural Affiliation.

In 2018 he co-founded one other enterprise, Xylotek, which took on commissions for extra experimental timber-framed constructions equivalent to these within the Guangzhou Backyard (with Grant Associates) that gained gold on the Chelsea flower present in 2021.

Charley’s creativeness, focus and beneficiant temperament made him particularly expert at downside fixing and he was properly suited to collaborative work and instructing, shining in workshop-like environments such because the Architectural Affiliation’s Hooke Park Design & Make programme, Studio within the Woods and the Dartmoor Arts summer time faculty.

His affect on a number of generations of timber-framers and makers can’t be overstated. Earlier this yr a e book, Charley Brentnall: Wanting Again, was privately revealed as a celebration of his work.

A quick marriage to Felicity Aylieff resulted in 1986. Charley is survived by his second spouse, Sue (nee Cowen), whom he married in 2002, and their kids, Rosa and Beau, and by two kids, Holly and Tom, from his relationship with Anita Andrews.


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