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Three Trends to Watch From Cedar Book X

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Ebony-stained siding, knotty cedar and sustainable building practices – these are just some of the Western Red Cedar building and design trends featured in Cedar Book X.

The tenth annual publication showcasing the best of Western Red Cedar architecture includes commercial and residential projects built with beautiful Western Red Cedar.

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Courtyard House on a River by Robert Hutchison Architecture; photo by Mark Woods

  1. Ebony-stained siding

Architect Robert Hutchison’s Courtyard House on a River in Greenwater, Washington, beautifully exemplifies the trend toward dark stains. Modern yet warm, this trend delivers the earthy quality of Real Cedar with a contemporary finish.

“Clients are sometimes concerned that using a black stain will make their building stand out, but the opposite tends to happen,” says Hutchison, who convinced his clients on the Courtyard House to go for it. “As soon as the first façade was completed, they immediately called me and left me a message saying, ‘Oh my gosh, the building almost disappears into the forest!’”

Even when it blends into the scenery, black-stained Western Red Cedar siding still grabs the eye.

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Hilltop House by Atelier Kastelic Buffey; photo by Shai Gil

  1. Knotty cedar

Economical, sustainable and modern, knotty cedar is the darling of savvy architects. The Hilltop House in Ontario, Canada by Kelly Buffey and Robert Kastelic at Atelier Kastelic Buffey (AKB) showcases the natural beauty of knotty cedar. In keeping with the family’s desire for a sustainable, modern home, AKB opted for a naturally charming knotty grade of Western Red Cedar for the home’s siding, decking and ceiling.

“In this project, it is the harmoniousness of the design and its seemingly effortless integration with the landscape that is most powerful,” Buffey explains in Cedar Book X.

The textured look of knotty cedar cladding and interiors enhances the symbiotic dynamic between the home’s interior and the exterior.

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Pines Pavilion by Hollwich Kushner; photo by Michael Moran

  1. Sustainable building

Architects at Hollwich Kushner chose Western Red Cedar to create a new, sustainability focused event space for a Fire Island community. The Pines Pavilion is a hub in the beach neighbourhood, rebuilt after the original epicenter of social activity burned down in 2011.

In addition to celebrating island life and beach culture, sustainability was key to this design.

“By eliminating walls from 30% of the building and turning these areas into open-air terraces, the building re-engaged people with nature and reduced the need for heated or cooled enclosed space,” explains Hollwich Kushner principal Matthias Hollwich. “The building is almost exclusively constructed using Western Red Cedar, which is a potent CO2 container and is recyclable.”

The architect intentionally left the cedar untreated to integrate Pines Pavilion into the aesthetic of the beach community and to maintain the commitment to green building practices.

For those who value enduring quality, natural and durable beauty and sustainability, there is no better option than Western Red Cedar.