Burn It To Preserve It

Yes, that’s right…burn it.  An 18th Century Japanese technique of wood preservation called Shou Sugi Ban, or burned cedar, is a technique in which the top layer of wood is burned. The burnt layer forms a protective layer against moisture and insects. JEMA’s design for the Nature Conservancy’s new offices and housing employs Shou Sugi Ban on all the exterior wood cladding. The burning is also a symbolic reference to the Nature Conservancy’s sustainable practice of controlled burning. JEMA’s design is comprised of a series of small buildings that are integrated into the surrounding forested hill. The small buildings blend into the surrounding nature and have minimal disruption to the local ecology. Using renewable energy, regional materials, and vernacular design, the new complex is accessible and resilient.