Charred Cedar House by Terunobu Fujimori

Charred Cedar House or by Terunobu Fujimori

This house is called the Yakisugi or “charred cedar” house. Japanese architect Terunobu Fujimori is using a traditional Japanese technique of charring as a way to finish and preserve wood. See another charcoal house by Fujimori here. Fujimori’s buildings often use traditional materials in almost fantastical, quasi-folkloric ways. This house was built to resemble, at least in its interior, a cave dwelling found near Lascaux in France. All photos here are by Edmund Sumner accompanying an article by Yuki Sumner in the Telegraph:

“Fujimori wanted to wrap the exterior of his ‘cave’ with charred cedar boards, a traditional and highly durable Japanese cladding material. Normally, such boards come in lengths of less than 7ft – any longer and they tend to warp when heated. Undeterred, the architect persuaded his clients, plus eight friends, to spend a day with him in a field charring the timber using a technique that he had discovered. A day’s hard work produced 400 beautifully charred cedar boards, each more or less 25ft long, and, although they were slightly warped, the gaps were filled with thick plaster, which created the striking striped pattern of the exterior walls.”

Charred Cedar House by Terunobu Fujimori

Charred Cedar House or by Terunobu Fujimori

Charred Cedar House or by Terunobu Fujimori

Charred Cedar House or by Terunobu Fujimori

More architecture by Fujimori here and here.

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4 Responses to “Charred Cedar House by Terunobu Fujimori”

  1. Eva Says:


  2. ii-ne-kore Says:

    as always you have such great background and information on all you post! so great. and i see the correct english version is charred cedar house! that shows how i should read things more – i named it as ‘too burned’ as yaki is basically ‘burned/charred etc and ‘sugi’ is a verb suffix that means ‘overly’, too much’ – so i blithely assumed that was the translation, regardless that sugi is also the noun cedar:) i wonder if it is a play on words at all as well, with takasugi-an the name for the teahouse, and in that case i think it can be translated as ‘too tall teahouse’…interesting!

    fujimori is coming to do an installation at a gallery in melbourne very soon – HIGHLY exciting. i will be sure to go along and will try and share anything i can.

  3. LB Says:

    ii-ne-kore, I should have checked your blog first before I posted this! I just went and checked your post now, and it contains great photos I hadn’t seen before. It was only thanks to the Telegraph article that I understood that Yakisugi meant Charred Cedar (if in fact that is correct). I wonder if there could be a deliberate dual meaning or at least an echo of the other meaning there. Just so people can see your post, here’s the link:

  4. ii-ne-kore Says:

    thanks for the link lindsay, i am glad that post helps out! there may be varied versions of the translations i am thinking, which is always the way it seems, and which i like, it gets me thinking! and of course is entirely a side issue to the wonderful, wonderful world of fujimori!

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