Charred Accoya Wood finishes the extension of IBM’s new building in Lille, France.

At more than 6,500 square metres, “Euratechnologie” is the largest building in the world with a branded facade cladding. Completed 6 months ahead of schedule by developer Tereneo, a subsidiary of Nexity, a sustainable building specialist, this infrastructure marks a major turning point in the development strategy of IBM France.

An ancient technique for a modern building

The cladding of this building is inspired by the Japanese Shou-Sugi-Ban technique, which naturally protects the wood by charring a few millimetres into the surface.

Accoya wood was chosen for the project by Romain Brunet Manquat, which was produced under his brand name “les brûleurs de bois“. Accoya is an innovative, proven and well adapted material, so it was presented without hesitation to the architect, Charlotte Lartigue from the Lalou Lebec agency and the city of Lille. The carpenter is a specialist in the Shou-Sugi-Ban technique in the US, and has also been using Accoya for many years for cladding and interior trims.

More than 80 m3 of Accoya timber was delivered and profiled into panels and then charred in the workshops on the surface. The wooden planks were fired with the highest possible of intensity to obtain the most intense black colour. One of the key features of Accoya charred wood is that it has a very pronounced “crocodile skin” appearance and longevity. In this way, the facade does not discolour, soot is gradually and discreetly washed away, and the reflections of the coals in the light remain natural and alive.

Accoya, a solution of choice for architects

Accoya wood was selected by the architect and client for its exceptional performance in terms of durability and high dimensional stability.  The Bruzat carpentry near Limoges specialises in Shou-Sugi-Ban and has produced several reference products made from Accoya wood. Marketed under the brand name Les Brûleurs de Bois and designed by its Managing Director, Romain Brunet Manqua there is a large choice of black intensities and textures: GRIFFÉ-Accoya®, NETTOYÉ-Accoya®, LISSÉ-Accoya® and BROSSÉ-Accoya®. For more information, visit Photos: © Pierre Rogeaux