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Paul's Front Door Features in the RIBA RSAW Building of the Year 2023 (Finn Beals House).

A few months ago Paul's old friend Finn commissioned him to make his front door.

Last night the RSAW RIBA Jury awarded their house Building of the Year for 2023, The RSAW Small Project of the Year, and The RSAW Conservation Award for 2023. The award is very well deserved, Finn & Clare's house is beautiful, understated, sophisticated and in such a calm and peaceful setting just outside Hay-on-Wye.

Here’s what Finn said about the door:

'Paul made the front door on the old part of our house over a decade ago (which we love), so it felt only natural to ask him to make the new one. Our front door faces East, and I liked the idea of the sun lighting up the hallway in the mornings. I commissioned a talented pal (Paul Gent) to make our front door based on a glazed panel design by another great friend: James Lynch at Fforest.

Paul added his own twist by suggesting we use the ancient Japanese architectural technique called Shou Sugi Ban to preserve the wood by charring the surface with a hot flame. While it might seem counterintuitive, the act of charring wood makes it structurally stronger. Burning the surface fortifies and protects the wood against future damage, making it an excellent preservation technique.

We sealed the wood with linseed oil giving it a subtle sheen and a glorious smell. It looks fantastic, and the bronze door handle from Corston complements it perfectly".

You can read the full details of this amazing build on Finn's website here.

Occasionally (if he has time) Paul does commission projects like this, so do get in touch if it's something of interest. His website is here

(All Photographs are by Finn Beals).

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