A long time ago, Japanese carpenters would comb the beaches for wreckage that they could use to build their houses. They soon discovered that salty winds and seas had hardened the wood they found so that it survived the climate well without rotting. Out of this knowledge came the technique of “shou-sugi-ban”, which involves burning, brushing or sealing the wood to give it natural protection against moisture. The method also produces a surface that is both beautiful and robust.
Bunq Architectes have now employed this same technique on the new home that they have created on a residential plot in Corsier, Switzerland. Using the same material and finish for the house façade and the fencing causes the two features to coalesce into one whole. Thanks to the unique façade, the new home also has its own identity, without giving a sense of another house being squeezed onto the plot. This is an example for our times, as we debate not only where to build new housing developments, but also how we can sympathetically densify existing built environments.