The Japanese Art Of Shou Sugi Ban

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Using fire as a tool for construction seems counterintuitive. But burning lumber being used in a project (just a little bit) can boost the end result structurally, as well as aesthetically

The process is fairly simple. Burn the planks on both sides to the desired amount of char. The carbon exterior will release the moisture inside the board as gas and steam. (Think of it as turning the wood’s surface into a chemical compound similar to the pure carbon a diamond.) After cooling the boards, brush and wash them to your aesthetic liking—the amount of char cleaned off changes the look of the wood. Finally, you can seal the board with a natural oil of your choice, or leave it unvarnished.

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Shou Sugi Ban by BYTR Architecten

This method of burning the surface of wood building materials began in Japan during the 1700s. Since Japanese builders traditionally used cedar, as well as cypress, the process is called shou sugi ban, or “burnt cedar.” In more recent years, Japanese have opted for plastic and other materials for their buildings, causing the shou sugi ban to wane.

Read the complete article on Architizer here.

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Sands Point Renovation by CDR Studio Architects, PC

The Honest Beauty of Shibui

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House EVTM by OYO

In August of 1960, House Beautiful published one of its most popular issues of all time, with a front page that read “Discover Shibui: The word for the highest level in beauty.” Elizabeth Gordon, the editor the magazine, wrote about shibui, saying it “describes a profound, unassuming, quiet feeling. It is unobtrusive and unostentatious. It may have hidden attainments but they are not paraded or displayed. The form is simple and must have been arrived at with an economy of means. Shibui is never complicated or contrived.” The Smithsonian Archive calls the issue “one of the most influential ever by a design magazine.”“Shibui” is a Japanese word used to describe a design aesthetic that values simple, unadorned minimalism. It is related to the concept of wabi-sabi, which is the celebration of the imperfect and transitory nature of objects in the world. The seven key components of shibui design are simplicity, implicitness, modesty, silence, naturalness, everydayness, and imperfection.

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La Muna by Oppenheim Architecture + Design

In August of 1960, House Beautiful published one of its most popular issues of all time, with a front page that read “Discover Shibui: The word for the highest level in beauty.” Elizabeth Gordon, the editor the magazine, wrote about shibui, saying it “describes a profound, unassuming, quiet feeling. It is unobtrusive and unostentatious. It may have hidden attainments but they are not paraded or displayed. The form is simple and must have been arrived at with an economy of means. Shibui is never complicated or contrived.” The Smithsonian Archive calls the issue “one of the most influential ever by a design magazine.”

Read the full article on Architizer here.

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House S by Grosfeld van der Velde architecten