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Project of the Week – TAKENO Nursery School

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Architect: Tadashi Suga
Location: Kobe City, Japan
Photography: Yoshiharu Matsumura

Due to updated fire regulations in Kobe City, the days of cramming randomly designed wooden houses right next to each other are long gone. Consequently, the 2,000-year old town has lost some of its original character. But Tadashi Suga is trying to change all that with his beautiful TAKENO Nursery School.

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Though much more innovative and spacious than the architecture of yesteryear, his design does bring back a little of that old-world charm with the help of natural building materials.

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“I’m hoping that this humble attempt of ours will help remind the people in this community of the beauty of wood and more will follow us,” says the award-winning architect.

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Of course, he couldn’t apply just any ole species of wood to this project. In order to keep his design up to code, he needed a top-performing wood with a low flame spread rating. And in order to keep his design aesthetically pleasing, he needed a versatile wood that could honor his desire to revive the area’s historical vibe as well as his client’s desire to build an inspired modern space.

He chose Western Red Cedar siding, and it wasn’t decision he took lightly.

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“I was very careful in selecting the material, as the external wall is an important part of the building that determines people’s first impression of the building,” he explains. “It turned out that cedar’s texture was ideal for the neighbourhood landscape. The owner, as well as the neighbors, is very happy with the outcome.”

WRC Specifications
Grade: Select knotty
Size: 18mm thick T&G
Fastening: Stainless steel fasteners
Applied Finish: Natural wood protection painting