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February 26, 2020updated 30 Jul 2020 3:12pm

Cover stories

Cladding manufacturers have been involved in many eye-catching projects recently – some more avantgarde than others. Sally Spencer reports

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Accoya was chosen for the cladding on the spiralling six-storey R7 tower, part of the Barangaroo reserve in Sydney’s Darling Square district. Designed by architect Kengo Kuma, the building contains a library, childcare centre and market hall as well as a rooftop bar and restaurant with views over Tumbalong Park, the Chinese Gardens and Cockle Bay.

Britton Timbers supplied 20km of Accoya to contractors Lend Lease for the manufacture and installation of the screen that wraps dynamically around the exterior of the building. The timber was treated with Flame Fix from Netherlands-based Fire Resistant BV.

Meanwhile, in Baltimore, the first Guinness brewery in the US since 1954 has been clad with reSAWN Timber’s ‘Nigiri’ – shou sugi ban charred Accoya.

The shiplap cladding on the Guinness Open Gate Brewery and Barrel House in Relay, Maryland, is charred on the face only, sealed on all four sides and is finished with a grey topcoat.

Fellow modified timber producer Kebony has also had a busy year for charred cladding – architect Thomas Nesheim chose the product for his new coastal home in Tønsberg, southern Norway, for example.

Charred timber has been in use in Norway for centuries but the architect opted for Kebony over timber species such as larch because of its “heightened physical property” and the fact that it requires very minimal maintenance.

Back in the UK, Kebony cladding was integral to an extension of a house in Dorking, Surrey. Here, Lees Munday Architects designed a “reworking” of the kitchen, dining and seating area to provide an open plan living space looking out onto the garden.

The architect selected natural materials throughout, choosing Kebony for the roof and exterior cladding. Flat black photovoltaic panels were combined with the Kebony as a rainscreen system positioned over a mechanically fixed uPVC roof membrane to supply all the hot water for the property.

BSW Timber’s heat-enhanced IRO cladding has also found favour. The product is available in exterior and interior ranges and it’s the latter that is on display at Kiln, a Mediterranean street food café/contemporary ceramic studio combo in Newcastle.

Café owner Geffen Yoeli-Rimmer opted for the chestnut coloured IRO cladding.

“I like the fact that it’s an organic product and the finished look is smooth and neat but not too polished,” she said. “It is both contemporary and timeless.” 

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