Model Making: the Process

For the final project, my group worked to construct 3 1′ = 1′ (1:1)  detail models, a topographic site model, and two building models.  This was by far my favorite project of the semester.  This is a quick look at parts of our process.


Shou Sugi Ban (charred cedar)

Our group was determined to be as authentic as possible in the construction of our detail models.  To accomplish this, we borrowed a torch from a fellow architecture student, (thanks James!)  borrowed a propane tank from a group member’s grill (thanks Chris!), and set off to a remote location to char Cedar planks and produce Shou Sugi Ban!

Shou Sugi Ban is something Will is familiar with.  For myself and many of my classmates, Will is the one who first introduced us to Shou Sugi Ban.  Will has experience with this material and currently uses it as an exterior cladding on some of the buildings at the center.  He has expressed continued interest in using this product on the new dining hall.

The charred wood creates a seal that is stronger than paint or a stain.  It’s a great exterior cladding because it is well protected against water and bugs, and is fire resistant.  Based on the research I’ve done, Tung oil seems to be the best option for sealing the wood.  By oiling the wood every 10- 15 years, Shou Sugi Ban can last 80 – 100 years!

Below: group member Nick killing it with the torch!

We burned the wood twice because we felt we needed the wood to be more charred.  We charred the Cedar thoroughly, creating the crocodile pattern on the wood.

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Once we apply Tung Oil (we have not), the char will be much less messy and give the wood a smoother appearance.


Material Testing

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