It’s the most wonderful time of the year at The Building Centre, Fitzrovia, London.

Just for Christmas, a circular Tin Chapel and a social seating bench have been created by Roz Barr Architects, using SMARTPLY OSB in the courtyard in front of The Building Centre.

Cornelius Braam, Architect at Roz Barr Architects, explained: “We wanted to create a social space which also had an element of the spirit of Christmas.

“The Tin Chapel was initially created as a temporary oratory at St. Augustine’s Church in Hammersmith, London, whilst the church building was under construction. After three months in Hammersmith, it has travelled across London to form part of this Christmas installation at The Building Centre.

“The chapel is an intriguing and unobtrusive component to an installation that reminds everyone who takes a seat on the accompanying bench, of the true meaning of Christmas. The bench is thirteen metres long, encouraging people to sit contemplatively, side by side, as members of a congregation would,” Cornelius explained.

The bench was cut by CNC router and assembled by hand at the Building Centre’s on-site workshop. This was one of the reasons why SMARTPLY OSB3 was the material chosen, explained Cornelius: “We needed something that was strong, able to withstand the outdoors for the Christmas period and cost effective for a temporary installation. It also needed to be relatively light, so we could transport it by hand from the workshop across the courtyard. SMARTPLY OSB3 offered us all this, and an interesting texture and aesthetic.”

SMARTPLY OSB3 is a sturdy, versatile board suitable for structural use in humid conditions, making it perfect for temporary outdoor installations. Its typical uses in more permanent applications span structural building across roofing and flooring, as well as wall sheathing and more.

Like all SMARTPLY OSB products, it is manufactured with zero-added formaldehyde.

The bench is stained red using wood stain to achieve a festive look. Cornelius commented: “The appearance of the OSB adds to the overall look and feel of the installation by bringing texture and interest. The surface is smooth, nonetheless, and finishes very well with the red wood-stain.”

The installation is completed with three star-topped Christmas trees, adding the finishing touches to a tranquil, festive, social space, illuminated by soft lighting.


Roz Barr Architects are a design-led practice based at The Building Centre. An in-house workshop allows them to create hand crafted models and other three-dimensional material throughout the design process, to explore design ambition and demonstrate innovative thinking. Keep up with them here: www.rozbarr.com/

The Building Centre is London hub for the built environment, providing a platform for the exchange and development of knowledge. Find out more here: www.buildingcentre.co.uk/

Posted Friday 21st December 2018