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Carbonized (that is, charred) siding is a powerful statement and, as such, is well suited to simple forms and details that allow the dramatic finish to take center stage. The charred siding of the Prescott Passive House above underscores the handsome restraint of the form.
The home is a product of an innovative not-for-profit design/build program, Studio 804, for graduate students at the University of Kansas School of Architecture. The students design and construct one project each year, with an emphasis on sustainable, affordable and inventive building solutions.
This former backyard shed, now an office, designed by THOUGHTBARN, effectively plays with materials and form, rooting the compact structure with charred siding. The dark siding is topped with light-diffusing polycarbonate sheets and a butterfly roof. Western red cedar was carbonized for both the building and the fence.
Finally the charred wood is washed and dried. It can be left without a finish, or an oil can be applied to bring out the gray, sliver, black or brown tones.
This handsome and powerful cladding has gained global appeal, with the treatment being applied to a wide variety of wood. While any species can be charred, the resulting appearance will vary. A softwood, like the Japanese sugi (cypress), has prominent growth rings that result in a highly textured surface, whereas charring hardwood leads to an evenly blackened surface.