Sculptform Showroom in Melbourne Shows Off Innovative Timber Cladding System

Wood is one of humanity’s oldest building materials, with a reputation for making our built environments feel more connected to nature. But it’s also the material of the future, especially in the face of advancing climate change. New technologies and innovations are transforming this age-old traditional material for exciting new forms and purposes while keeping it sustainable, renewable and biodegradable. That means the warmth, richness and environmental friendliness of wood can shape-shift into the most unexpected things. Mass timber is enabling the construction of wooden skyscrapers of unprecedented heights, and wood is even being used as the basis for clothing fibers and car parts.

A new showroom for Sculptform shows off one of the best contemporary combos that currently exist: modular wood components and computer-aided design. Sculptform makes curved timber battens that integrate into a click-on system for incredibly fast installation, moulded in their Australian factory and shaped with either kerfing or steam bending. Steam-bending is a traditional technique using heat and moisture to form wood to a desired shape without resistance, which holds in place as it cools. Kerfing makes small cuts in the back of the timber batten so it fan flex around a substructure to create forms or curves.

Both processes enable the design of spectacularly complex interior spaces where wood seems to flex, pool and undulate in shapes that were once unachievable. Perhaps a master sculptor could carve raw wood into these amazing configurations, but it would certainly take a lot longer than Sculptform’s system, which uses patented clip connections and mounting tracks to complete large commercial installations.

All of this is on display at Sculptform’s Melbourne showroom, designed by architecture studio Woods Bagot. Doubling as workspace, meeting space and collaboration space for staff, the facility applies the company’s bent timbers to virtually every surface in sight, including walls, ceilings, banisters, railings, bulkheads and tunnel-like pathways.

“Sculptform’s name inspired the design team to explore a concept for sequencing these spaces that was both immersive and sculptural,” explained Woods Bagot. “What visitors experience in the showroom is a physical and tactile connection to Sculptform’s products, processes and their makers – something that can’t be found online.”

Low Cost Pine Details Liven Up a Victorian Terrace Addition in Sydney

Low cost pine home renovation

When architecture firm Alexander & Co. was commissioned to freshen up a Victorian semi-detached terrace house in a suburb of Sydney, Australia, they envisioned a structure that could be “a scaffold for growth and change.” Though it was in poor condition with a layout that didn’t make sense, the house still had good bones and a lot of promise. The clients, a family with young children, wanted the result to feel humanized and imperfect. Rather than “a collection of set gyprock and flush surfaces,” as the architects put it, the home should feature natural materials, and retain the sense that it’s a work in progress that will be continuously altered in the years to come to meet new needs and preferences.

Low cost pine home renovation kitchen
Low cost pine home renovation living room

The project also came with a tight budget, requiring the architects to get creative. Instead of featuring an open plan, they decided to densely divide the space into a greater number of rooms, offering plenty of opportunities to sit down, rest and take in views of an old gum tree in the center of the rear garden. An ongoing project including three renovations over a period of seven years, the home has a new pine plywood loft as a “rumpus room” for the children and beautiful pale pine details throughout, accenting the white walls and stone flooring.

Low cost pine home renovation wood ceiling

“For the young children, the home was to explain how it was built; to show its structural rhythms, to demonstrate how materials could be added to one another and result in spaces which are honest and often surprising. Inspired by the works of Alvar Aalto and Louis Kahn, the home has a loosely modernist philosophy, whilst its exploration of locally available and low cost pine structure and Carrara stone gives it an almost Scandinavian sensibility.”

Low cost pine home renovation hallway
Low cost pine home renovation dining room

“The home is representative of the non-static state of ‘completion’. In effect, each gyration of the project represents another ‘incomplete’ end point, the home is a scaffold for ongoing change and the family has relished this fact. The interiors reflect this also, with various finishes, materials and furniture continuing to evolve, as do the tastes and needs of its occupants. The palette is a contemporary interpretation of a Scandinavian style. Low cost pine structures and exposed pine ply sheeting makes up the majority of internal finishes, with various uses and formats of Carrara tile to bathrooms, kitchen splash backs and floor surfaces. The home is quirky, infused with the unique spirit of the family and its progressive domestic evolutions. Not surprisingly, it is the integrity of imperfect, inert and low cost materials which gives the home so much of its spirit.”

The Perfect Compact Studio: A Pine Room Within a Room

Pine Studio 4

Finding creative ways to make the most of small spaces is a perpetual architectural puzzle, one that must adapt along with the times as our needs and expectations change. One clever contemporary solution is the room-within-a-room, in which a compact multipurpose volume is placed within a larger space. Not only does it eliminate the need to modify the existing space with interior walls, which can make it feel smaller and darker, it offers a variety of functions and more privacy than the average open-plan studio apartment.

Pine Studio 3

Corine Keus Architect demonstrates how that can be done with a series of handcrafted studios designed for traveling directors, actors and artists-in-residence at the Netherlands National Theater. Made almost entirely of pine, the volumes have been inserted into six self-contained spaces within the historical building, which was built in 1916. Built in place and easy to deconstruct, these new studio volumes can be removed almost effortlessly when they’re no longer needed, barely leaving at trace in their wake.

Pine Studio 2

The beautiful simplicity of the pine plywood, with its clean lines and unadorned planes, contrasts with the historic architecture and adds warmth, texture and pattern to each of the white rooms. The studio volumes contain all necessary amenities, including kitchenettes, a sleeping platform, closets and lots of additional storage. The only other furniture required is a table and chairs for dining and working, and clutter is easily contained within all those cabinets.

Pine Studio

This project is packed with inspiration for small space design, and also shows how a material as humble and simple as plywood can make a big impact. It’s easy to see how cold and impersonal these rooms might have felt with just a bit of furniture and a built-in kitchenette. Instead, the result is cozy and one of a kind.

Eastern White Pine Staircase Brings Scandinavian Style to a Minnesota Retreat

Meteek North Shore Stairway

“The divine is in the detail,” says Minnesota-based builder Meteek & Co. of the stunning staircase standing at the center of the North Shore Retreat. Hand-crafted of locally grown and sustainably harvested Eastern White Pine by Minnesota Timber and Millwork (MTM), the staircase was custom-made for the space and features a delicate stencil pattern drawing inspiration from Scandinavian scroll work design, a motif that is echoed throughout the home.

Meteek North Shore 2

“Each of these giant white pine treads measures 4 inches thick and 12 inches deep,” says Meteek. “We used Rubio Monocoat in clear to preserve the golden hue of the pine.”

Meteek North Shore TImber Frame

The wood was harvested from Northern Minnesota forests and sawn in the historic Rajala Bigfork sawmill before being dried slowly in the plant’s own kilns. Rajala Companies is the longest continually running sawmill in the state. We previously wrote about Jack Rajala, the “legendary lumberman” who planted 3.5 million Eastern White Pine trees in Minnesota, and the wonderful legacy he left behind.

Meteek North Shore Hearth

Meteek North Shore Hearth 2

Meteek gives us a peek at the rest of the home, too, which is cozy as can be. They used a mix of modern and classic Scandinavian design to fit out the interiors with warm woods and hand-finished metal accents. The stunning hearth is framed by a stone mural created by stone artisan Larry Beaumont of Beaumont Stoneworks in Duluth.

The Simple Beauty of Shiplap: Inspiration, Tips & DIY Tutorials

Shiplap Wall via Travis Heights Burnish and Plumb

Shiplap is definitely still enjoying its time in the sun, but the easygoing beauty of this traditional wooden board will never go out of style. So what is shiplap, anyway? You’ve probably heard this term all over HGTV, and you’ve almost certainly seen it, even if you couldn’t quite identify it by name at the time.

Shiplap Wall via Forest Products Supply
Shiplap Wall via Forest Products Supply

https://www.instagram.com/p/BpHxgTKAz7K/?tagged=shiplap

Occasionally, plain wooden planks nailed to a wall get misidentified as shiplap, but that’s not quite what it is. Real shiplap boards have a rabbet cut into their edges to provide just the perfect spacing when they’re installed, giving them a consistent appearance and a desirable watertight effect. Eastern White Pine just happens to be an ideal material for shiplap, creating smooth horizontal lines and an even surface that’s a heck of a lot nicer looking than plain old drywall.

Shiplap Wall via Stonewood Products
Shiplap Wall via Stonewood Products

It may be most popular for use on walls, but shiplap can be used on ceilings, too, and it looks beautiful in every room of the home, including bathrooms. Pine shiplap boards are easy for beginners and DIYers to install, too. You can buy Eastern White Pine shiplap straight from NELMA suppliers like Stonewood Products and Hancock Lumber, or ask your builder to source it in your area.

Shiplap Wall via Studio McGee
Shiplap Wall via Studio McGee

Looking for tips and tutorials? Check out Home Depot’s guide to installing a shiplap wall, and get some ideas for decorating with shiplap from Fixer Upper on HGTV. Lowe’s has some tips for creating a shiplap accent wall, too. Check out the shiplap gallery below, full of posts tagged #shiplap on Instagram. Got a project you want to feature? Let us know on Facebook!

https://www.instagram.com/p/BpHmRW4lc01/?tagged=shiplap

https://www.instagram.com/p/BpCa_sKlhXT/?tagged=shiplap

https://www.instagram.com/p/BpC21_ml6_z/?tagged=shiplap

https://www.instagram.com/p/BpIC4ZgDbSd/?tagged=shiplap

https://www.instagram.com/p/BpH68Bhl2cG/?tagged=shiplap

https://www.instagram.com/p/BpH3Cx-H2c4/?tagged=shiplap

https://www.instagram.com/p/BpH2sJLl9lc/?tagged=shiplap

https://www.instagram.com/p/BpHRpQ5FyYW/?tagged=shiplap

https://www.instagram.com/p/BpHHeobAuwe/?tagged=shiplap

Top image: Travis Heights Burnish & Plumb Austin

The Simple Beauty of Shiplap: Inspiration, Tips & DIY Tutorials

Shiplap Wall via Travis Heights Burnish and Plumb

Shiplap is definitely still enjoying its time in the sun, but the easygoing beauty of this traditional wooden board will never go out of style. So what is shiplap, anyway? You’ve probably heard this term all over HGTV, and you’ve almost certainly seen it, even if you couldn’t quite identify it by name at the time.

Shiplap Wall via Forest Products Supply
Shiplap Wall via Forest Products Supply

https://www.instagram.com/p/BpHxgTKAz7K/?tagged=shiplap

Occasionally, plain wooden planks nailed to a wall get misidentified as shiplap, but that’s not quite what it is. Real shiplap boards have a rabbet cut into their edges to provide just the perfect spacing when they’re installed, giving them a consistent appearance and a desirable watertight effect. Eastern White Pine just happens to be an ideal material for shiplap, creating smooth horizontal lines and an even surface that’s a heck of a lot nicer looking than plain old drywall.

Shiplap Wall via Stonewood Products
Shiplap Wall via Stonewood Products

It may be most popular for use on walls, but shiplap can be used on ceilings, too, and it looks beautiful in every room of the home, including bathrooms. Pine shiplap boards are easy for beginners and DIYers to install, too. You can buy Eastern White Pine shiplap straight from NELMA suppliers like Stonewood Products and Hancock Lumber, or ask your builder to source it in your area.

Shiplap Wall via Studio McGee
Shiplap Wall via Studio McGee

Looking for tips and tutorials? Check out Home Depot’s guide to installing a shiplap wall, and get some ideas for decorating with shiplap from Fixer Upper on HGTV. Lowe’s has some tips for creating a shiplap accent wall, too. Check out the shiplap gallery below, full of posts tagged #shiplap on Instagram. Got a project you want to feature? Let us know on Facebook!

https://www.instagram.com/p/BpHmRW4lc01/?tagged=shiplap

https://www.instagram.com/p/BpCa_sKlhXT/?tagged=shiplap

https://www.instagram.com/p/BpC21_ml6_z/?tagged=shiplap

https://www.instagram.com/p/BpIC4ZgDbSd/?tagged=shiplap

https://www.instagram.com/p/BpH68Bhl2cG/?tagged=shiplap

https://www.instagram.com/p/BpH3Cx-H2c4/?tagged=shiplap

https://www.instagram.com/p/BpH2sJLl9lc/?tagged=shiplap

https://www.instagram.com/p/BpHRpQ5FyYW/?tagged=shiplap

https://www.instagram.com/p/BpHHeobAuwe/?tagged=shiplap

Top image: Travis Heights Burnish & Plumb Austin