A complex charred timber and copper addition to an Edwardian three-storey house close to Dublin’s Docklands.

Charred timber used on Victorian 3 tory extension

The bathroom is a delicate rear-facing tower that clings to the building and clad in Shou Sugi Ban® charred larch and with a roof clad in copper.

Unlike many properties where simple timber cladding is the main focus, this more than differs. This project has an intricate series of timber frames with panels presented in between.

Karl said “The projected frames give a vertical lift to the facard, a complicated arrangement of cladding in multiple dimensions”

The key to this project is an emphasis on the imperfections of Wabi Sabi, where the natural simplicity of these biophilic materials meets a flawed beauty. Nature will, of course, control the aesthetics of these in time, weathered by rain and the sun. The timber will eventually fade and the copper will oxidise into beautiful verdigris.

The key to many projects when working with materials that change colour, fade or weather is to perhaps consider the colour after a few years. The true colour or patina will be apparent after the weather has had a chance to get involved, disrupt and reveal the materials true colours… just as nature intended… Wabi-Sabi

For projects that require a shortcut where the copper is required to be a vibrant green/blue and verdigris is required sooner rather than later, the additions of chemicals such as salt, ammonia or bleach can be used. This rapidly speeds up the oxidisation process and the colour change is fast. For example, The Columbus Museum of Art designed by Design Group.

I would suggest that the use of copper nails in any timber cladding should be avoided. They do look striking on installation but soon oxidise. This process can wash off and show as unsightly streaks on the face of the cladding. Hundreds of brown streaks aren’t worth the trade-off.

Credits and Further Information

Project               Grand Canal Street

Cladding            Shou Sugi Ban® Charred Larch, Takage

Location             Dublin

Architect            Scullion Architects

Photographer     Ste Murray