Hardwood has been used since the beginning of time to create homes and artifacts. The evolution of mankind is deeply connected to the invention of techniques and traditions to tame raw materials. At the very root of our existence is fire. The Shou-Sugi-Ban is a traditional technique of burning hardwood to make it resistant to time and climate.
La maison Oscar Ono always pays attention into preserving a precious link with nature and traditional craftsmanship. We had to investigate this ancient Japanese technique. All of our “Rocher” hardwood flooring is obtained by using it, from the darker “Classic Rocher Charbon” to the lighter “Classic Rocher Blanc”. We also do everything to help interior architects give shape to their projects. We did it in our collaboration with Raphael Navot at the Hotel National des Arts et Métiers with a bar made of charred wood, one fine piece of unique design.
When wood meets fire it usually doesn’t end that well. Except when this encounter is used to the benefice of design, art, and architecture by the intervention of craftmanship. Here’s another story of wood meeting fire. The origins of the Shou-Sugi-Ban, also known as “Yakisugi”, are estimated between 1603 and 1867, during the Edo period. Around the 1750s the exceptional increase of the Japanese population made the city of Edo probably the most populous in the world. Most of the traditional “machiya” houses were built in wood and needed to be fire and water-resistant. And so a specific technique was enabled: the Shou-Sugi-Ban. Traditionally, three planks of cedar wood are tied into a triangular chimney and then charred by high flames.
Nowadays, mutiple essences of wood are used. The Shou-Sugi-Ban is back into modern projects for its strongness but also for its aestetic. The blackened hardwook has a very unique presence as flames draw original patterns on the wood. The color range goes from the deepest black to a lighter zebra that reveals the wood’s lines. Therefor, it is also sought out for its artistic dimension. Japanese architects such as Yoshi-fumi Nakamura or Terunobu Fujimori are now internationally known for using charred wood, combining ancient traditions and modern architecture.
The history of Shou-Sugi-Ban deeply inspired la maison Oscar Ono because we are always on the search for new savoir-faires to create refined products that give pleasure to the senses Our craftmen adapted the Japanese technique of charred wood to our series “Forêt” and “Opus”. For the beauty of design no technical challenge should ever be a limit. With burntblack wood flooring, la maison Oscar Ono broadens its offering and honores its comitment to meet up to every architect’s desire of using materials with distinct texture and light effects.