The Spirit of the Place

Find out how Accoya is helping architects to shape ‘The Spirit of the Place.’

‘Genius Loci’ is an architectural phenomenology referring to a place’s distinctive atmosphere, or in other words, ‘The Spirit of the Place’. We are passionate about giving architects and specifiers the design freedom to specify materials they need to preserve the spirit of the place. Whether it’s materials that can integrate seamlessly with a place’s history and heritage, work in harmony with nature or provide a sense of warmth and belonging in our busy urban spaces.

Scroll down below to see why Accoya is a material of choice for modernists and traditionalists alike when it comes to creating the spirit of the place.

‘The Spirit of the Place,’ video series

In this three-part series, we’ll be exploring how architects have been inspired by the places that mean the most to them and how their learnings can, in turn, help to keep the spirit of our towns and cities alive.


In episode one, Huddersfield-born Tomasz Romaniewicz, Associate Director at renowned architecture firm, Bond Bryan, visits his hometown to uncover how the town’s heritage continues to inspire his design and material selection as an architect today.

“The preservation of the Genius Loci, otherwise referred to as the ‘The Spirit of the Place,’ has been a great passion of mine since I entered the architect profession. An awareness and understanding of a place’s environment, its community, its culture and its history is the only we can design and construct buildings that will not just look beautiful, but will be embraced by communities and stand the test of time.
Considerate material selection is critical not only to meet sustainability and performance criteria, but to create places that celebrate our character and, thereafter, shape us.”

Associate Director at Bond Bryan, Tomasz Romaniewicz

In this episode, Funmbi Adeagbo project architect at Morris+Company visits the city she made her home, Brighton, to discuss how architecture helps to tell a story through generations and the crucial role materials can play in ensuring that buildings are both sustainable and stand this test of time.

The lifecycle of our buildings

The lifecycle of our buildings

From the early stages of a project, the lifecycle of a building should be at the forefront of everyone’s minds. We must consider a building’s longevity, environmental impact, and how the space will be used by those who will live, work and enjoy it.

Providing durable timber products with the highest sustainability credentials is in our DNA and supporting our partners to design buildings that consider whole life costs – both in terms of carbon and communities – is at the heart of everything we do.

We’ve been working with our architect partners at renowned UK firms to explore how we can protect the ‘The Spirit of the Place’, whilst also innovating to improve sustainability and performance.

See how Accoya is helping to preserve ‘The Spirit of the Place.’

Preserving the rich history of Caernarfon Castle

Preserving the rich history of Caernarfon Castle

As part of a £5 million conservation and development project at Wales’ first UNESCO World Heritage Site, Accoya wood was specified by Buttress Architects for the new viewing deck and seating areas.

Shining a light on the castle’s rich history, the wood has similar tones to the original masonry while adding a contemporary layer to the story and seamlessly tying in with the castle’s aesthetics.

Contemporary meets traditional at Somerset new build

Contemporary meets traditional at Somerset new build

With a backdrop of Somerset’s rolling green landscape, Accoya was used for the windows and doors of a new build project in the village of Butleigh.

To further enhance the beauty of the wood, Redwood Joinery spray finished the windows and doors to compliment the village’s quaint appearance while the Accoya itself provided a 50 year warranty for a timeless solution.

Creating a community hub at Greyfriars Charteris Centre

Creating a community hub at Greyfriars Charteris Centre

As part of Edinburgh city centre’s £1.7m refurbishment project, Konishi Gaffney Architects, remodelled the internal space of the church to encourage more community engagement. A part of this, they specified Accoya wood on the new main entrance to the centre, known as the “Link”.

The “Link” is clad externally with a series of slender Accoya timber fins, which sit sympathetically against the architecture of the original building whilst also allowing a contemporary aesthetic.

Book a CPD today

If you would like to book an Accoya RIBA approved CPD with a member of our team, please get in touch.

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