Profile

Xylotek was founded in 2018 by directors Charley Brentnall, Oscar Emanuel and Martin Self with the aim of bringing together our diverse experience and shared passion for wood, to serve projects seeking high ambition for the application of timber in architecture. We operate internationally with a remote design and management team, and a design and workshop hub in Bristol UK.

Our clients include cultural and academic institutions, commercial developers and private individuals. We are typically appointed as specialist consultants within design teams; as subcontractors to main contractors on large projects; or as design-build contractors in our own right. We are able to design, fabricate, assemble and install – in both conventional and unusual contexts.

Our specialism is in the delivery of non-standard timber structures that need innovative solutions. For every project we formulate the correct technologies, processes and supply chain for that job – working with industry partners to ensure the best offering of value and expertise in the market.  Some projects are prototyped or fabricated in our workshops; others – often at a larger scale – are procured through our fabricator partners. In all cases, we seek to bring overall control to delivery through our expertise.

In seeking a well-designed low-carbon future, our driving motive is to change the world with wood.

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Clients & Collaborators

Royal Exchange Theatre
Foster + Partners
Expedition
University of Reading
ARUP
Forestry England
Argent
Haworth Tompkins

Team

Oscar Emanuel

Oscar Emanuel

Managing Director

As Xylotek’s Managing Director, Oscar brings a deep knowledge of the international structural timber industry gained over the last twenty years of working in the UK, Canada, US and France.

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Oscar Emanuel

Oscar Emanuel

Managing Director

As Xylotek’s Managing Director, Oscar brings a deep knowledge of the international structural timber industry gained over the last twenty years of working in the UK, Canada, US and France. His passion for the role of wood in the future of sustainable construction has driven a career dedicated to advancing timber applications. Through a combination of hands-on experience – gained through major self-build ventures and on international projects – and project management, Oscar has a long track record of delivering design-build projects from start to finish.

He was a founding director of EmanuelHendry Ltd in 2008 which successful grew as a design-led timber construction firm delivering to the UK market, and has worked as a consultant to US and European architects and timber construction companies.

With this holistic understanding of design, delivery and management – and a strong material and market knowledge and commercial network – Oscar is leading Xylotek’s development as a company seeking to benefit society by contributing to the transition to a low-carbon future.

oscar@xylotek.co.uk
Charley Brentnall

Charley Brentnall

Director

Charley Brentnall is an internationally recognised leader in timber construction and conservation.

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Charley Brentnall

Charley Brentnall

Director

Charley Brentnall is an internationally recognised leader in timber construction and conservation. With work spanning four decades and four continents, he has established a unique professional approach which combines intimate understanding of material with the ability to lead the delivery of large and complex timber structures.

As the founder of Carpenter Oak and Woodland in 1987, Charley pioneered the renaissance of timber-framing in the UK and became the country’s leading expert in traditional construction.

Since 2000 his work has evolved to embrace new technologies and he seeks, as a founder of Xylotek, to marry depth of knowledge with wood with the opportunities of advanced fabrication.

Having led projects internationally and in a range of cultural and educational contexts, Charley has particular expertise in forming and enabling teams to deliver exceptional projects.

charley@xylotek.co.uk
Martin Self

Martin Self

Design Director

Martin Self is an engineer, geometer and educator who has specialised in innovative timber structures since 2005.

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Martin Self

Martin Self

Design Director

Martin Self is an engineer, geometer and educator who has specialised in innovative timber structures since 2005. Following a background in aerospace engineering, he was a founder member of Arup’s Advanced Geometry Unit (2000-2006) and Director of Hooke Park (2010-2018), the Architectural Association’s woodland campus for experimental timber architecture, where he continues to teach.


Key previous projects include the 2005 Serpentine Pavilion, for which he developed a pioneering application of geometric scripting for robotic fabrication; the form-finding for the Pompidou Metz timber roof at its concept design stage; and directing the design and construction of a series of timber buildings at Hooke Park that radically explore the use of locally grown wood.

He is a founding director of Xylotek and leads our design activities.

martin@xylotek.co.uk
Robin Aitken, FCA

Robin Aitken, FCA

Head of Finance

Robin has extensive experience of working as a Finance Director with entrepreneurs and growing businesses.

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Robin Aitken, FCA

Robin Aitken, FCA

Head of Finance

Robin has extensive experience of working as a Finance Director with entrepreneurs and growing businesses. Ex-BBC and Arthur Andersen with proven abilities in start-ups and private equity, including floating a dotcom on AIM and core team leadership of an MBO.

Visiting teaching fellow in entrepreneurial finance at the University of Bath.

robin.aitken@xylotek.co.uk
Richard Turner

Richard Turner

Chairman

Richard began his career as an economist working with the World Bank and IFAD, then became a partner at KPMG.

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Richard Turner

Richard Turner

Chairman

Richard began his career as an economist working with the World Bank and IFAD, then became a  partner at KPMG. In 2000 Richard formed Catalyst Venture Partners, a boutique  investment advisory company specialising in early-stage growth companies, and  in 2020 he founded Ruffena Venture Finance, a venture debt investor.  He has been a strategic advisor to Xylotek since its foundation, and became Chairman in 2021.

Yvette Culbert

Yvette Culbert

Practice Manager

Yvette Culbert has background in sports marketing and a passion for sustainable design and architecture.

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Yvette Culbert

Yvette Culbert

Practice Manager

Yvette Culbert has background in sports marketing and a passion for sustainable design and architecture. Originally from Cambridge she often has a project on the go from building the kitchen for her VW campervan to creating furniture from reclaimed wood and most recently installing a sculpture in Bristol city centre.

Yvette joined Xylotek in 2020 to run our Bristol Hub alongside Christof our workshop manager.

yvette.culbert@xylotek.co.uk
Tom Dawson

Tom Dawson

Design Manager

Tom Dawson is a designer, carpenter and timber construction expert.

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Tom Dawson

Tom Dawson

Design Manager

Tom Dawson is a designer, carpenter and timber construction expert. He had a traditional carpentry training in France and has varied experience in the world of wood construction and design, from timber framing to working as a teaching fellow at the Bartlett, UCL.

He joined Xylotek in 2019 after graduating from the Architectural Association's MSc in Timber Technologies.

tom.dawson@xylotek.co.uk
James Newcombe

James Newcombe

Operations Manager

James Newcombe has experience in project and operations management spanning careers both in the Royal Navy and construction industry combining 13+ years of experience.

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James Newcombe

James Newcombe

Operations Manager

James Newcombe has experience in  project and operations management spanning careers both in the Royal Navy and construction industry combining 13+ years of experience. Having managed large scale capital programmes for the Metropolitan and City of London Police as well as delivering multiple sensitive infrastructure projects for the MOD, his passion lies in all things process and delivering efficiencies throughout  a project / business.

james.newcombe@xylotek.co.uk
Jack Draper

Jack Draper

Sales Manager

Jack Draper has a diverse background of working with timber from designing furniture for international fashion houses to delivering timber buildings of a high complexity.

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Jack Draper

Jack Draper

Sales Manager

Jack Draper has a diverse background of working with timber from designing furniture for international fashion houses to delivering timber buildings of a high complexity.

From a background in making, Jack has developed a deep understanding of the possibilities of timber and is able to formulate creative pathways that enable project delivery. Jack is also the studio tutor at Hooke Park the Architectural Association’s woodland campus.

jack.draper@xylotek.co.uk
James Proctor

James Proctor

Carpenter

James joined Xylotek in July 2020 as a workshop and onsite carpenter.

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James Proctor

James Proctor

Carpenter

James joined Xylotek in July 2020 as a workshop and onsite carpenter. He originally trained as a research scientist and has commercial experience in IT and film production. He changed to working with wood because he wanted to turn his hobby into his career.

James’ passion for carpentry stems from an appreciation of the beauty of timber as a functional material, and its potential to contribute to the decarbonisation of construction.

james.proctor@xylotek.co.uk
Lindsey Kennedy

Lindsey Kennedy

Project Manager

Since graduating in engineering from Durham University, Lindsey's passion lies in green and sustainable building practises.

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Lindsey Kennedy

Lindsey Kennedy

Project Manager

Since graduating in engineering from Durham University, Lindsey's passion lies in green and sustainable building practises. She has worked in the technical design and delivery of timber frames and CLT modular construction, bringing a wide variety of experience to any project and enjoys pushing boundaries of timber and its design potential within the construction industry.

lindsey.kennedy@xylotek.co.uk
Christof Lemka

Christof Lemka

Workshop Manager

Christof Lemka is experienced in the processes and logistics of workshop production.

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Christof Lemka

Christof Lemka

Workshop Manager

Christof Lemka is experienced in the processes and logistics of workshop production. He joined Xylotek in 2020 to set up and run our Bristol workshop facility, before which he had led set-building and artwork fabrication and installation projects, including for a major scuplture at Tate Modern.

chris.lemka@xylotek.co.uk
Cristofer Barrios

Cristofer Barrios

Estimator - Designer

Cristofer Barrios is a designer and project manager with 6+ years of previous experience in retail fit outs.

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Cristofer Barrios

Cristofer Barrios

Estimator - Designer

Cristofer Barrios is a designer and project manager with 6+ years of previous experience in retail fit outs. His passion for sustainability and wood construction led him join Xylotek in 2021.

He studied Building Engineering in Spain where he learnt principles of timber construction.

cris.barrios@xylotek.co.uk
Rachel Wagner

Rachel Wagner

Design Technician

Rachel Wagner is an architecture graduate and has been working in timber design since 2016. Originally from São Paulo, she has a background in Glulam fabrication...

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Rachel Wagner

Rachel Wagner

Design Technician

Rachel Wagner is an architecture graduate and has been working in timber design since 2016. Originally from São Paulo, she has a background in Glulam  fabrication, construction and engineering, as well as a passion for digital  fabrication and design. Rachel joined Xylotek in 2021 while finishing her  master's in timber architecture and construction at ENSTIB in France.

rachel.wagner@xylotek..co.uk
Mike Audet

Mike Audet

Install Manager

Mike has over 30 years of experience in the construction industry, from framing timber houses, architectural concrete formwork, joinery of furniture and cabinetry.

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Mike Audet

Mike Audet

Install Manager

Mike has over 30 years of experience in the construction industry, from framing timber houses, architectural concrete formwork, joinery of furniture and cabinetry. He has been supervising and managing construction sites for the last 20 years and joined Xylotek in 2021. With his passion for pushing the envelope, Mike values the use of sustainable cutting-edge materials.

mike.audet@xylotek.co.uk
Wilf Handy

Wilf Handy

Carpenter

Wilf has ten years of practical experience in a range of projects including large-scale stage set productions for UK and European festivals, music videos, adverts and awards ceremonies, as well as traditional joinery.

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Wilf Handy

Wilf Handy

Carpenter

Wilf has ten years of practical experience in a range of projects including large-scale stage set productions for UK and European festivals, music videos, adverts and awards ceremonies, as well as traditional joinery. He holds qualifications in carpentry and joinery as well as a BA Hons in Fine Art from Brighton University. Wilf has previously worked on projects with Greenpeace, Timberland, The BBC and Glastonbury Festival.

wilf.handy@xylotek.co.uk
Nate Crosby

Nate Crosby

Design Technician

After graduating in Product Design Technology, Nate has spent several years building experience and developing his knowledge as a Technical Designer of high-end bespoke furniture.

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Nate Crosby

Nate Crosby

Design Technician

After graduating in Product Design Technology, Nate has spent several years building experience and developing his knowledge as a Technical Designer of high-end bespoke furniture.

Then, in the summer of 2020 Nate moved to London, taking on the role of a Senior Designer with a large-scale developer of compact city living studios. Xylotek’s previous and future projects, as well as their collaborative working environment, led Nate to join in August 2021.

nate.crosby@xylotek.co.uk
Phoebe Mitchell

Phoebe Mitchell

Project Manager

Phoebe graduated in Quantity Surveying from Heriot-Watt University and has a wide range of experience working in cost and project management in consultancy and contractor settings.

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Phoebe Mitchell

Phoebe Mitchell

Project Manager

Phoebe graduated in Quantity Surveying from Heriot-Watt University and has gained a wide range of experience working in cost and project management in both consultancy and contractor settings. Her passion for sustainability and innovative architecture led her to join Xylotek to work on pioneering timber projects.

pheobe.mitchell@xylotek.co.uk
James McLellan

James McLellan

Project Manager

James has a wealth of experience in timber construction, project management and building conservation. He has worked with community projects teaching carpentry skills and loves challenging the boundaries with timber.

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James McLellan

James McLellan

Project Manager

James has a wealth of experience in timber construction, project management and building conservation. He has worked with community projects teaching carpentry skills and loves challenging the boundaries with timber. James started with an apprenticeship in Carpentry and went on to work in primarily structural timber frames and complicated roofing carpentry. Joining Xylotek in 2021, he enjoys leading teams to deliver high quality timber projects.

james.mclellan@xylotek.co.uk
Ellen Oliver

Ellen Oliver

Practice Coordinator

Since graduating from The University of Sussex with BA Hons in English, Ellen has qualified with Level 3 RHS Horticulture and developed her interest in sustainability.

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Ellen Oliver

Ellen Oliver

Practice Coordinator

Since graduating from The University of Sussex with BA Hons in English, Ellen has qualified with Level 3 RHS Horticulture and developed her interest in sustainability. She has a background in healthcare administration and an interest in environmentally low-impact architecture.

She joined Xylotek in September 2021 to contribute to the practice management area of the company.

ellen.oliver@xylotek.co.uk
Steve Jenkinson

Steve Jenkinson

Workshop Supervisor

Steve studied Design at Brighton University, later working in antiques restoration, joinery, carpentry and prop fabrication.

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Steve Jenkinson

Steve Jenkinson

Workshop Supervisor

Steve studied Design at Brighton University, later working in antiques restoration, joinery, carpentry and prop fabrication. He has previously worked on art and architectural installations in Trafalgar Square, The V&A Museum and St Ann’s Hospital. Steve has a passion for detailed joinery and both modern and traditional methods of woodworking. He joined Xylotek in September 2021 to contribute to the running of our Bristol Hub workshop.

steve.jenkinson@xylotek.co.uk
Paul Wones

Paul Wones

Carpenter

Paul Wones trained in Fine Furniture Design and Making at The Building Crafts College in London.

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Paul Wones

Paul Wones

Carpenter

Paul Wones trained in Fine Furniture Design and Making at The Building Crafts College in London.

paul.wones@xylotek.co.uk
Luke Brown

Luke Brown

Finance Assistant

After graduating from University of Bristol with BSc Hons in Mathematics, Luke has gained experience in accounts payable and bookkeeping at Bristol-based companies.

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Luke Brown

Luke Brown

Finance Assistant

After graduating from University of Bristol with BSc Hons in Mathematics, Luke has gained experience in accounts payable and bookkeeping at Bristol-based companies. Xylotek’s enthusiastic and warm culture led him to join in March 2022 as part of the integrated finance team.

luke.brown@xylotek.co.uk
Erik Westendorf

Erik Westendorf

Project Manager

Erik started working with timber from age sixteen and has continued to hone his skills through 3.5 years of Project Management work building eco-friendly and healthy timber frame houses.

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Erik Westendorf

Erik Westendorf

Project Manager

Erik started working with timber from age sixteen and qualified in carpentry and joinery in Germany. Later, he gained experience as a  woodworker in New Zealand. Erik then graduated with a Bachelors in International Civil Engineering from Technical University of Mainz, Germany alongside International Studies at UNITEN in Putrajaya, Malaysia. He has continued to hone his skills through 3.5 years of Project Management work building eco-friendly and healthy timber frame houses. This has allowed him to pursue his passion for sustainable architecture as well as using reclaimed materials to build furniture. He joined Xylotek in February 2022 as a Project Manager.

erik.westendorf@xylotek.co.uk