written by:
October 30, 2015
Charring is a simple and time-honored way to toughen the exterior of any wooden design. Called shou sugi ban in Japanese (when specifically referring to cedar) the process hardens the surface, protecting it against rain, rot, and insects. Too much burn weakens the wood but just enough leaves a beautiful, textured, coal-black sheen.
Charred cedar siding koi pond modern porch

This unique Southern California home features extensive charred cedar cladding, both within and without.

Originally appeared in Facade Focus: Charred Cedar
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Modernist charred cedar cabin in Alaska

In the shadow of Denali, amid Alaska’s meadows and icy streams, a former teacher and a four-time Iditarod winner built a modernist cabin as expansive as the Last Frontier. Its charred cedar exterior gently basks in the Alaskan sun.

 

Photo by 
Originally appeared in This Modern Cabin Is the Ideal HQ For a Family in Alaska
2 / 6
Modern tatami style dining area

Made of hardy Scottish materials and holding a Japanese heart, this Edinburgh house shows that two architects from disparate cultures can design a home that bridges the gap. In the kitchen, a charred post stands next to a sunken table.

 

Photo by 
Originally appeared in A Piece of Home
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charred cedar front door scotland

In the same home, the front door is also charred wood.

Originally appeared in Facade Focus: Charred Cedar
4 / 6
Amsterdam modern house facade charred wood

With this House 2.0, architect Pieter Weijnen demonstrated the exponential rate at which green design is advancing. Its striking black facade is the result of the Japanese practice of charring wood. Weijnen, an architect at the Amsterdam firm Faro, first discovered charred wood through the work of Terunobu Fujimori and later traveled to the Japanese island of Naoshima to observe the traditional technique.

 

Originally appeared in Facade Focus: Charred Cedar
5 / 6
The Observatory and The Study Project by Feilden Clegg Bradley

This pair of mobile studios in the U.K. connect artists, audience, and landscape. Sculptor and painter Edward Crumpton, a childhood friend of Charlotte Knight, of British firm Feilden Clegg Bradley, helped the architects identify features and constraints that would make for a more creative workspace. Crumpton's own work, including The Mariner's Way, a weaving project inspired by the knot-tying of past generations of sailors, was incorporated into the final design. The charred exterior was inspired by his charcoal sketches.

Since nobody in the U.K. was currently offering charred wood, Knight and her team worked with the contractor to char 500 pieces of wood themselves during construction.

Courtesy of 
Matt Dunkinson
Originally appeared in 80-Square-Foot Cabins in the Countryside Form an Idyllic Art Studio
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Charred cedar siding koi pond modern porch

This unique Southern California home features extensive charred cedar cladding, both within and without.

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