Black is back! Charred timber is all the rage amongst architects and designers

Due to numerous beautiful realisations around the world, Shou sugi ban® is enjoying an increase in popularity. In the last two years this ancient Japanese technique has been rediscovered and is now reinventing the way modern constructions are using materials today, but what is Shou sugi ban?

Shou sugi ban is the traditional Japanese art of charring cedar, originally a way of preserving the wood, essentially making it more durable. Typically suited for cladding or siding options nowadays architects and designers from North America to Europe as well as Japan are specifying charred timber for a variety of applications, using different types of timber, with unique benefits.

Accoya Facade. Barangaroo House in Sydney, Australia forms part of a new development, incorporating natural Accoya wood. Here it has been charred.

Charred Accoya has now been added to the range of traditional timbers giving architects even more choice. Accoya a modified timber manufactured using Accsys’ proprietary acetylation process, delivers remarkable levels of stability, sustainability and durability. Exceeding the high quality and aesthetic attributes of tropical hardwoods, Accoya wood withstands the most extreme external environments.

Why Charred Accoya?

For some manufacturers Accoya is the preferred timber of choice. Due to Accoya’s outstanding stability, the charring process works well. Boards don’t twist, distort or warp when subjected to the charring, making it ideal for ease of installation on a building site.

Durability is not only enhanced when using Accoya but the charring prolongs any finish making it long lasting even with the additional stability of Accoya once in situ.

An additional feature of Accoya, a solid wood, is that the grain is emphasised much more than any other timber due to how well the process chars Accoya. The process makes it an attractive timber for cladding, siding and even internal feature walls.

Charred Accoya has been used in several projects already. Take a look for yourself.

Accoya wood Cladding. Charred Accoya has been used for the facade of this unique home called 'The sleeve House' in New York, USA.

Accoya siding for a truly unique, all-season weekend home in New York. Using the Japanese finishing technique called “shou sugi ban”.

accoya zwarthout

Charred Accoya adds something special to a terrace in Paris.

Accoya wood cladding. The facade of a restaurant has used charred Accoya, in France.

Shou -Sugi-Ban Charred Accoya siding chosen for Mistral restaurant.

Accoya Cladding. Beautiful charred Shou Sugi Ban effect using at residential property on Lakeside Road, Enfield, London, UK.Three shades of charring for an extension in Enfield, London.

Accoya Cladding. Charred Shou Sugi Ban technique for internal walls of the Cigar Lounge, MalaysiaCharred cladding used for internal walls at the Cigar Lounge, Malaysia.

Traditionally charring timber until it turns to charcoal black was the only option but now manufacturers using this technology have broaden their range with added treatments/colours to achieve long lasting features. New techniques to enhance the timber’s aesthetics, offering traditional, highly charred, heavily textured looking timber in sleek and contemporary finishes is offering architects and designers the freedom to design whilst achieving the look and finish they desire.

See more charred Accoya projects here.

And have a look at where you could buy Accoya wood from today!


Shou Sugi Ban® is a registered Trade Mark in UK & EU owned by Exterior Solutions Ltd




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