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Charring is a traditional Japanese method for preserving exterior timber

English Woodlands’ burnt offering
Published:  09 July, 2010

English Woodlands Timber (EWT) has supplied chestnut logs for an unusual exhibit at the Victoria & Albert museum in London – a charred timber teahouse designed by Japanese architect Teronobu Fujimori.

The teahouse forms part of the museum’s “Architects Build Small Spaces” exhibition.

Charring, particularly of cladding, is a  traditional preservative method in Japanese timber construction.

According to EWT’s Sarah Farmer the company became involved in the project thanks to a recommendation from the  Greenoak Carpentry Company, which it had worked for previously.

“We were asked to supply the chestnut for the legs of the building, which, like the cedar cladding and roof, was also charred,” she said. “And we  also supplied more timber for some of the internal elements.”

The teahouse was put together at the workshop of MDM Props by the architect himself, assisted by students from the Royal College of Art.

Visitors can browse around the three-storey Finnish softwood book tower Picture: Rintala Eggertsson Architects, 2010, commissioned by the V&A

The exhibition also includes a free-standing book tower in Finnish whitewood and laminated panels supplied by UPM.

The three-storey all-timber structure, called Ark was designed by Norway-based Rintala Eggertsson Architects and sits next to the staircase leading to  the V&A's National Art Library. Visitors are welcome to browse through the books on the hundreds of shelves and sit in the reading chambers on each of the floors which are accessed by the tower's own spiral staircase.