Shou Sugi Ban, a UK based manufacturer of charred timber products, has selected Kebony, a beautiful wood recommended by leading architects, to create a distinctive modified timber cladding using the ancient Japanese techniques of burning, brushing or pre-weathering timber to provide a long-lasting and beautiful wood.
The process requires a fine attention to detail and can be dangerous, however the end-result is remarkable and a worthwhile feat of ingenuity. Both Kebony’s clear and character grade claddings are available in various different profiles, each varying in textured grain and tonal palette. Kebony Character is available in Kuril (charred) and Kyushu (brushed), while Kebony Clear is available in Minami No (charred), Kiiro (brushed), Tekusucha (soft brushed) and Hijo Ni Mirikiteki Na (pre-weathered).
Despite these variations, all Kebony products share the same high level of durability instilled by Kebony’s environmentally friendly patented technology which modifies sustainably sourced softwoods by heating the wood with furfuryl alcohol – an agricultural by-product. By polymerising the wood’s cell walls, the wood gains greatly improved durability and dimensional stability, giving it characteristics similar to those of the best tropical hardwood. Pre-weathered Kebony by Shou Sugi Ban was carefully selected by Claridge Architects for the external cladding of a single-storey family home located in Hampstead, North London for its level of durability.
The wooden house suitably named, Oak Hill, is set at the foot of an original Victorian mansion block which comprises an extensive use of glass panelling to provide a widescreen view of the natural surroundings to promote the property’s open-ended nature. Diagonally laid strips of Hijo Ni Mirikiteki Na Kebony were incorporated into the design; creating a neutral palette with simple grey tones which complement the suburban nature of the surrounding garden. Source and images, Courtesy of Shou Sugi Ban.