Charred Timber Cladding

 I sit by the stove feeding it with the scraps of wood and chopped up pallets that Krzysztof periodically leaves outside the front door for me, and I watch the fire devour the timber, I think about the charred wood cladding technique I have learned of.

Shou Sugi Ban (or Yakisugi) is an ancient Japanese exterior cladding technique that preserves wood by charring it. Traditionally, Sugi (Japanese Cyprus) was used. The process involves charring the wood, cooling it, cleaning it, and finishing it with a natural oil. This act of charring and coating the wood is said to protect the cedar or cypress cladding from weather, pests and rot for up to 80 years

The finish is beautiful as well as functional.It is blackened and wonderfully crackled. It is deeply meaningful, evoking the elemental nature of wood and that which can transform it- fire

Ever since I learned about this technique I have wondered about using it as a cladding option on our 5000€ extension. Could we use alternative wood? Not expensive cedar, Maybe reclaimed timber? Or scrapped pallet wood? Could we use modern tools like a blow torch to make the process more efficient?

shelter clad in polycarbonate plastic and shou sugi ban charred timber. this project by thoughtbarn has been one of the inspirational precedents for the 5k extension

This structure,clad in charred timber and polycarbonate plastic by Thoughtbarn has been one of the inspirational precedents for our project

The project pictured here is the Coal House by Terunobu Fujimori, a Japanese architect and historian who is largely responsible for raising awareness of this ancient technique within the contemporary global architectural community

The project pictured here is the Charred cedar House by Terunobu Fujimori, a Japanese architect and historian who is largely responsible for raising awareness of this ancient technique.

 Playful, whimsical Guest House

Playful, whimsical Guest House by Terunobu Fujimori, photos Adam Friedberg  for Dwell

I found this video with a contemporary take on Shou Sugi Ban, made by Postgreenhomes– they are worth checking out

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2 thoughts on “Charred Timber Cladding

  1. Rachel

    I stumbled across your page when looking for tips on charred cladding for my pallet building. I’m wondering if you did it with reclaimed pallets in the dnd and how it went?
    Ill keep exploring your site!
    Thanks!

    Reply
    1. natasha5kextension Post author

      Thanks Rachel, we are hoping to experiment with a number of materials later on in the year including different applications with pallet wood.Check out the post on our blog http://bit.ly/1ktFqkO to see the conservatory our carpenter made using pallet wood and rescued ends of perspex!
      Stay posted and please let us know how you get on with your project. Best of luck

      Reply

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