The good wood gets a home run
Cedar cladding is becoming increasingly popular in Perth homes, as it becomes a favourite material for architects and designers.
No longer relegated to the lining of alfresco ceilings — although there is no slowing in this market — cedar is now taking the main stage in facade and feature-wall design.
“More and more, architects are looking at incorporating western red cedar in external applications that have their own distinct language, ” Jocasta Bronwasser of family-run showroom Cedarclad said.
“Strong timber elements are being used to break up white space and provide texture and depth to many simple ‘box’ constructions.”
Ms Bronwasser said architects were referencing Harry Seidler and Iwan Iwanoff’s lauded 1960s style and Scandinavian design techniques with internal timber-clad walls that were at once current and organic.
“Items such as feature facades using the Cedarclad Decor Series, Sculpture Wall Series or Rugged Wall Series can soften concrete or rendered facades,” she said.
“With a surge in Hamptons-inspired architecture, cedar weatherboards and internal lining boards are also being painted white to achieve a beach-side look that is particularly suited to the West Australian lifestyle and architecture, ” Ms Bronwasser said.
“That, along with local stone, has long been dominated by the flexibility and light nature of timber construction.”
Cedar cladding. Picture: cedarclad.com.au
Western red cedar has always been popular in exterior and interior applications because of its hard-wearing and low-maintenance qualities in harsh coastal conditions such as those in WA.
“It is also being used as screening in residential and commercial designs and allows the structure to be read as one strong architectural form whilst providing a layer of semi-transparent privacy and shading and a physical connection to the surrounding environment” she said.
“The use of a timber preservative, such as the Cutek CD-50 Penetrating Oil, allows for the weathering process to occur while maintaining the integrity and lifespan of the wood.”
Cedarclad can provide raw or pre-coated finishes in Grey Mist, Cedartone, Burnt Red, Walnut or Black Ash, the last of which is popular in external applications. A range of design options are provided by one, two and three-groove variations across two widths and thicknesses.
This, along with the new Sculpture Wall Series and Impressions Series have been embraced by designers, architects and builders who are seeing a trend back to western red cedar in contemporary home design.
The Rugged Wall Series comes in 10 different sizes and the Sculpture Wall Series is a simple variation of the traditional shiplap profile with added interest derived from random-width selection.
“The latest architectural profiles from Cedarclad offer a unique opportunity to reinterpret the traditional use of timber in West Australian architecture, ” Ms Bronwasser said. “Architects and designers can now unleash their creativity . . . to contribute tactility and warmth to a facade or internal feature wall.”
A renewable and sustainably harvested resource from British Columbia, Canada, western red cedar has very low embodied energy and superior insulation value compared to alternatives such as aluminium, steel, brick and concrete. Plus it has the benefit of being a carbon store.
“Aesthetically, western red cedar ages gracefully and adds warmth and tactility to any application, ” Ms Bronwasser said.
“Its hard-wearing properties have made it a popular choice for its naturally occurring defence against our harsh coastal climatic conditions and high decay resistance.”
Its low-wood density and low- shrinkage factor made it suitable for panelling and mouldings and other applications where dimensional stability and water repellency was important. “Not only does cedar have distinctive beauty, natural durability and centuries of proven performance, it produces fewer greenhouse gases, generates less water and air pollution, requires less energy to produce than alternatives, and comes from a renewable and sustainable source, ” Ms Bronwasser said.
CONTACT: The Cedarclad showroom is at 246 Fitzgerald Street, Perth. Phone 9328 5777 or go to cedarclad.com.au.
© The West Australian
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