The Architects from Footprint chose to do both, charred and plain Larch timber cladding. Their project? To provide additional space to a leisure centre in Bournemouth for BH Live.

The extension is clad in charred timber cladding. Thus providing a varied palette of natural textures and tones in response to the surrounding pines trees, whilst concealed glazing minimises overlooking.

The private courtyard terrace had a mixture of materials. This includes plain cladding for the main walls, charred Larch for the parapet and the decking was a composite by Millboard decking in Enhanced Grain Golden Oak.

Setting out on a project like this required a real experts eye from the main contractor. For instance, the structural cross members at 45 degrees fixed to a minimal steel frame with the cladding face fixed with stainless screws.

Karl Harrison said. “I do prefer to see stainless fixings on all exterior cladding. I want the fixings to last forever, there are no shortcuts here”

The changes in exterior cladding materials provide a stark contrast from the natural timber to the charred timber. This over time, will weather and offer a more subtle blend of colours and textures, it’s Wabi-Sabi and under natures control. Wabi-Sabi originates from Japan where they understand that nature will take its course and ultimately decide the weathering of wood. Thus in Wabi-Sabi, nothing is perfect.

Furthermore, in a modern understanding of the word Wabi, it means “Rustic simplicity”. It has various connotations, “Wisdom in natural simplicity” or “Flawed beauty”. Sabi can mean “Beauty that comes with age”, “to rust”. It’s also interpreted as the aspect of imperfect mortality… It is only two words but rather complicated to understand. Unless you fully understand Japanese and the contact which it is portrayed in.

This intricate design was implemented by Lifetime Construction Ltd. On this project, we supplied the contractor with some 750 sqm of cladding products on this project. We supply commercial cladding projects across the UK in many finishes and timber species.

The project started in September 2016 and reached practical completion in June 2017.

Credits and Further Information

Project             Stokewood Leisure Centre

Architect         Footprint Architects

Contractor      Lifetime Construction Ltd

Product            Larch Charred  “Takage”トカゲ

Larch Charred Heavy Brush     “Shiberiatora” シベリアトラ

Larch in a plain format with mixed widths