Niki de Saint Phalle School, France
Designed by Paul Le Quernec, the facade of this nursery and primary school features a timber cladding system with battens that change in size, colour, and texture as you walk around the building. The oblique orientation of the painted battens creates an optical illusion that makes the structure appear green or orange, depending on your line of sight.
Dandenong Mental Health Facility, Australia
Both the exterior cladding and the vertical battens of this facade are made of Blackbutt, a straight-grained hardwood species of timber. Bates Smart/Group GSA utilized this multi-depth cladding system to add depth and create an interplay of light and shadow, deftly avoiding the generic look of conventional health-facility architecture.
Saltwater Coast Lifestyle Centre, Australia
NH Architecture, briefed by the client to “design a lifestyle centre to act as a meeting place for residents,” conceived a building that has won no less than three separate awards for excellence in timber design. The architects softened the angular, almost monolithic, structure by using Spotted Gum external cladding.
Timber Fin House, UK
This North London home extension is clad in unfinished larch, long recognized as a resilient species of timber. The unassuming facade comes to life during certain times of the day as the sun’s rays fall on the protruding timber battens, casting shadows over the door frames made out of oak.
DEY House, Switzerland
Cagna + Wenger Architectes also decided on larch, but this time to evoke the look of carefully stacked timber beams. The rough-hewn texture of the cladding and battens appeals to our idyllic perception of country life while the precise geometry of the horizontal and vertical panels tells us this is nevertheless an entirely modern home.