Shou-sugi-ban is a centuries-old Japanese wood preservation technique achieved through the charring of timber boards. Dating back to the 1700s, the process can vary, but typically involves applying fire to the wood’s surface, cooling it, brushing away excess soot, washing, and finally sealing with an optional coat of oil. The practice provides an aesthetically striking result and an environmentally sensitive way to preserve and protect timber – rendering it resistant to sun, wind, water, fire, rot, insects, and even pests.

used in Japan as a treatment for exterior wood siding and decks, Shou-sugi-ban remained obscure in the west until about a decade ago when designers and architects began to incorporate it into their work