23 Sep 2019

Coastal cladding solutions

A centuries old technique has been combined with a modern design to create an architect’s Norwegian self-build home.


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Located in Tønsberg, Southern Norway, architect Thomas Nesheim’s ambitious new coastal home is the product of unique design and the use of innovative materials. Blending seamlessly into the rugged landscape, the self-build home is characterised by the extensive use of charred Kebony cladding, which creates a striking finish to the rural project.

Kebony, a global leader in the production of sustainable modified woods, also allows the home to evolve throughout the day, changing colour in different lights and weather conditions and reflecting the stunning Norwegian sky at night.

The architect prioritised creating a home in Norway which would have a very special atmosphere and a close bond to the surrounding landscape. The distinctive charred finish of the Kebony timber provides the home with a rare aesthetic quality which perfectly chimed with Thomas Nesheim’s vision.

The design also allows for large amounts of natural light to spill into the home through the large glass windows and doors, whilst fostering the open-plan interior which fulfilled the architect’s brief.

Though charred timber has been used in Norway for centuries, the charred Kebony cladding was chosen above other materials such as larch due to its heightened physical property and the fact the material requires very minimal maintenance. The charred aesthetic also complements the natural, rugged appearance of the home’s coastal surroundings.

Located in rural Norway and close-by to surrounding forests and the coastline, sustainability and an awareness for the environment was a key concern for Thomas Nesheim and his young family, therefore selecting materials like Kebony were crucial to achieving his vision and upholding his criteria.

Developed in Norway, Kebony’s revolutionary technology is an environmentally-friendly process which modifies sustainably sourced softwoods by heating the wood with furfuryl alcohol – an agricultural by-product.

By polymerising the wood’s cell wall, the softwoods permanently take on the attributes of tropical hardwood including high durability, hardness and dimensional stability. Kebony’s ability to withstand all weather conditions made it the ideal material for the exterior cladding of this Norwegian home.

Thomas Nesheim, Architect commented: “There are numerous factors that come into play when choosing cladding, but we wanted an exterior that would blend seamlessly into the terrain while also looking unique. Charred Kebony cladding was the perfect material for my home, and we are delighted with the result.”

Arnt Kristian Barsten, Product Manager at Kebony added: “It is a great source of pride to hear that architects are choosing Kebony for use in their own homes. When choosing cladding, it is essential to consider a number of factors especially with regards to durability and maintenance.

“Timber is a living material and will change over time. This is why it’s important to make sure that the cladding you choose today is one that you will still be happy with for years to come. The style and character of Thomas’ new house is really something special, and we’re delighted that Kebony was able to play a key role in achieving this.”

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