Who needs those rigid and limiting stone and concrete facades when wood, the new contender in the construction town, is rising up the popularity charts every passing minute? With the versatility of aesthetic and function that exterior wooden facades bring into play, it’s no wonder that not only residential but commercial buildings are leaning towards wood as well. The latest trends floating around include a wide range of colour and composite materials, not to mention highly innovative and smooth finishes like the raw look of charred wood, popularly known as SHou Sugi ban, after an ancient Japanese practice. Those guys certainly know a thing or two about wood!
With such an artistic, creative, and interesting spin on facades to give modern construction an aesthetic edge, we set out to explore some of the best and most unique facades that are nothing short of architectural marvels.
Aspen Museum of Art
Aspen’s East Hyman Avenue boasts the setting of Shigeru Ban’s first permanent U.S. museum and every bit of it is a work of art. The building’s beautiful exterior, created by immaculately designed and placed wooden facades, strikes up an interaction with its surroundings, inviting the outsiders in.
Shigeru Ban’s transparent and open visualisation for the building sets the tone of this architectural beauty, giving those inside ample opportunity to look around and see the exterior and vice versa.
The woven facade claddings on the exterior of the building are built using the composite material Prodema, a blend of paper and resin placed carefully within a dual sided wood veneer. The three-level passageway built between the external and internal structure of the building is another one of AAM’s distinctive and most applauded features. Called The Grand Stair, the intersection so elegantly created by a glass wall dividing the passage allows for a masterful blending of the two spaces and creates beautiful pedestals for the exhibition.
CG Square Mall, Ahmedabad
There is no doubt that it is a grand and majestic building, located in one of the best quarters of Ahmedabad, known for its high-end stores and restaurants. Weathertex has improved its aesthetic appeal to a great extent, which is a testament to the durability and quality of its products.
CG Square mall proudly sports the first backlit mural facade in India by Weathertex covering a large portion of the area in front of the mall. There are laser cuts made in precise patterns that give the building a quiet elegance without taking away from its sheer enormity and grandeur.
The Sleevehouse, New York
While avoiding a literal replication of the barn building, the institution sought to develop an architectural language that appealed to the notion of a farmer. According to Chris Wingate, LEED AP and associate at MSR Design, using updated wood was preferred from a sustainability perspective.
Being one of the few building materials to have achieved Cradle to Cradle SM Certification at the rare C2C Gold Level and a C2C Platinum Level accreditation for the most crucial C2C green area, Material Health, it was the perfect choice. The entire facade is covered with burned and stained wood paneling. The Austin, Texas-based Delta Millworks produced the burned wood.
Modi Yoga Retreat, Rishikesh
Sitting by the banks of Ganga, Modi Yoga Retreat is one of the most beautiful sights in Rishikesh. Featuring India’s First Parametric Timber Facade, it’s built using Glued Laminated (Glulam) Beams to hold its enormous structure tall and sturdy while Wooden Claddings were used to beautify its exterior and enhance its aesthetic appeal.
Moreover, all the timber products used to drive this project to completion were picked out specifically to withstand the sudden temperature drops and weather changes. Needless to say, this Rishikesh project ranks at the top in BeautexWood’s favourites list.
Oregon Bach Festival Building
For the first time ever, the University of Oregon assigned the Oregon Bach Festival its building. The Berwick Hall structure, which is next to the School of Music and Dance, is crammed with lecture, concert, and practice spaces. Wood was selected as the cladding because it matched in with the other elements in the building and the area, and because it needs a lot less upkeep than other cladding materials.
A new Health & Wellbeing Centre for the Thistle Foundation has been completed by 3DReid. The project provides visitors, many of whom suffer from anxiety-related health disorders, with a warm and welcoming environment through extensive use of timber panelling, both inside and out.
The timber cladding will retain its current colour for the duration of its lifespan, ensuring consistency at the material’s transitions between internal and external use and providing a colour palette that tonally complements the building’s surroundings. The first-floor office areas benefit from extended fins on the east and west facades that help reduce solar gain and glare. The “Thistle” emblem is also included into the cladding.
Precast concrete and brickwork, chosen to match the Chapel’s masonry and the rendered facades of the nearby homes, respectively, round out the palette of materials on the exterior.
Famous science school, Langley, focuses on the environment. Its brand-new structure encourages sustainability, and one aspect of that is collecting rainwater in a central tank for use in toilet flushing. The school has the lowest carbon emissions ratings of any building constructed under the City Academies initiative as a result of the design.
The external wood cladding is made from sustainable wood, and the new design was expertly chosen to complement the school’s progressive curriculum
Modern Home Using Charred Wood by Resawn, New York
Wood from the MATSU Shou sugi ban scorched series was produced using timber to clad a project in Bellport, New York. The wood used in the Studio DB design was charred on the tongue and groove joint’s outer facing side due to its extreme durability, exterior weathering potential, and exterior warranty.
MATSU is finished without brushing off the soft charcoal layer after being charred using the traditional Japanese technique of Shou sugi ban. This surface wear coat of charcoal will eventually flake off (as is expected for any natural construction material) to show a blackened look beneath with a change in hue from grey to brown tones, which is ideal for this densely forested environment.