We caught up with Virant Design, Tom and Yumiko, yesterday as they had recently completed some remodeling work on a ranch home we have a contract on for some buyers. It wasn’t too long into the conversation he mentioned “Shou Sugi Ban” in relationship to a project they completed. I nearly jumped out of skin with excitement that someone was using this process in WNC. I’ve been imagining a small, modern home for myself using this cool and ancient technique for siding.
Shou Sugi Ban is a Japanese exterior siding process that preserves wood by charring it. The process involves burning the wood, cooling it, cleaning it and finishing it with a natural oil. Although time-consuming, the final product is not only gorgeous with its rich finish; the charred wood resists fire, rot and insects and can last up to 80 years. So cool!
The home they designed and constructed is for an artisan near Penland. Of course the material can be purchased, but no craftsman residing in our mountains within radius of Penland would allow someone else to do when they could be doing themselves. Above are a few shots of the team in action. Word has it they may be using it on another home soon in east Asheville. We can’t wait. Cheers to Virant Design!