The design of Black Ridge house is based around the biophilic attributes of organic materials. Furthermore, charred cladding, natural oak work surfaces, cupboard doors and reclaimed timber doors are the main drivers in the material selection.

The exterior had to contrast, Neil Dusheiko’s insistence on symbiotic materials for the wall cladding lent itself to Shou Sugi Ban® at the epicentre of his biophilic design; of course, from the heart of Wabi Sabi. For that reason, the sheer black façade was made from Charred Kebony by Shou Sugi Ban® and was a perfect match with the exposed black painted steel structure.

Charred Kebony cladding

The Black Ridge house by Neil Dusheiko is an extension to an existing 3-bedroom Victorian terraced house. As a result, forming part of the Warner Estate in Walthamstow. In addition, this project creates a light-filled spacious extension with an open plan kitchen, dining, living area at ground floor.


Charred Kebony cladding

The rich patina of the Charred Kebony cladding called Minami no – 南の was balanced with an equally black finish. This finish is called Kebony cladding Enhanced Grain Hijō ni mirikiteki na – 非常に魅力的な; thus creating a delightful combination.

Kebony wood shows a high level of durability instilled by Kebony’s environmentally friendly patented technology which modifies sustain-ably sourced softwoods. By polymerising the wood’s cell walls, as a result, the wood gains greatly improved durability and dimensional stability. Thus giving it characteristics similar to those of the hardest tropical hardwood. To conclude, Kebony Clear timber’s a great choice for this fire applied process as it develops a deep black colour and interesting structure.

Charred Kebony cladding

Furthermore, Wabi Sabi is known for being “imperfect, impermanent and incomplete”. Thus Wabi Sabi appreciates the ingenuous integrity of natural objects and processes. This clever design simultaneously exploits the flexibility of timber and that the ability to use different dimensions. The sizes were carefully chosen to minimise waste. Most importantly they still deliver the timber in a language that separates the different elevations of the building.

Karl Harrison said. “As always it’s a delight working with Neil. Certainly, the variation of dimensions and finishes really made this project stand out for me”.

Credits and further information

Project                  Black Ridge House

Location               Walthamstow

Architect              Neil Dusheiko Architects

Materials             Minami No  南の

Hijō ni mirikiteki na – 非常に魅力的な         by Kebony

Awards                Shortlisted – NLA Awards Don’t Move Improve 2018

Photography: ©Tim Crocker /