Blackened timber is trending in exterior cladding design and is achieved in different ways. However, the trend has its origins in Shou-sugi-ban, the age-old Japanese practice of burning Japanese cypress.

An important influence in modern exterior timber cladding design, the blackened effect is achieved through a process involving the use of an open fire to leave timber with a charred, blackish finish. Modern designers use industrial blowtorches to replicate this effect. Even the application of black timber stain can provide the desired charred look.

According to Woodform Architectural, blackened timber, when used for multi-depth cladding, has the ability to simultaneously convey rustic charm while accentuating the contemporary lines of a structure.

House D, Italy

Designed by PAUHOF Architekten, this private house features flamed oak cladding on the facade as well as the atrium-level walls. The charred vertical cladding adds even more drama to an already strikingly sculptural silhouette.

House at Walk Barn Farm, UK

Designed by Charles Barclay Architects, this weekend prairie house features an exterior with pine ‘board on board’ vertical cladding. Stained black, the timber facade allows the vacation home to form a discrete bond with the landscape.

Wire-brushed timber

When performed professionally, aggressive wire brushing will abrade the lighter portions of the timber grain and render its patina darker, achieving blackened timber outcomes with a more characteristic appearance of outdoor weathering.

Image: House D, Italy