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Project of the Week – The Annex

western red cedar siding

NATURAL SELECTION Since sustainability was a primary tenet of this project, Western Red Cedar was a natural choice for architect Martin Fenlon.

Location: Los Angeles, California, USA
Architect: Martin Fenlon Architecture

Photos:  John Linden

Architect Martin Fenlon is no stranger to the power of Western Red Cedar. He used nature’s most versatile building material to transform a dilapidated LA bungalow into a bright, beautiful home for his family back in 2015. So, when it came time to build an addition to accommodate his growing family, he once again turned to Western Red Cedar.

MIXED GRADES – To maintain consistency with the original bungalow, a combination of knotty and clear cedar was used throughout the addition.

“The primary focus for the design became the creation of more usable space and a new yard for the children to play in,” explains Fenlon. “The cedar-clad addition delivered perfectly on these needs.” With a big, cedar-trimmed retractable window wall system that opens up to the newly formed yard, “The Annex” blurs the lines between inside and out beautifully. “The warmth and beauty of the new yard and the new family room is indebted to the WRC throughout,” says Fenlon. “The unanimous reaction to the finished product is that it’s warm, beautiful and simply stunning.” Also new to this addition is a large picture window facing the street, a dramatic feature that has become the project’s biggest attention grabber.

“Western Red Cedar was chosen because it is beautiful, sustainable and durable.” – Martin Fenlon, AIA

“It’s wrapped in a clear cedar surround that passes from interior to exterior,” explains the award-winning architect. “From the exterior it forms a striking contrast with the shou sugi ban wood that reminds people of a picture frame. From the inside, the cedar surround seems to project the exterior into the interior space.” As well as beautiful, the project is green, which was really important to the eco-conscious father of two. “Sustainability was a primary tenet of the work,” he says. “An open space has been carved out of an area of old buildings and impermeable paving. The new trees and plantings provide natural air conditioning, help clean the air and are now home to various birds, butterflies, bees and bugs. And since wood is the only renewable building material, I wanted it showcased throughout as a bold, distinctive sustainable material.”

GRADE: KD Select Knotty & KD ‘A’ & better

SIZE: 1×4 & 1×6

FASTENING: Stainless steel

APPLIED FINISH: Shou sugi ban, clear stain

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