A recent pilot CLT project in Japan by Junichi Kato showcases the benefits and appeal of CLT and hopes create demand for a sustainable and more sophisticated ecosystem for CLT production.
February 7th, 2018
CLT (Cross Laminated Timber) continues to gain momentum in the construction industry as an efficient building material. The Asia Pacific region lags behind Europe (and particularly Scandinavia) in terms of cross laminated timber take up and production (read more about engineered timber construction in Asia Pacific here).
The cost of labour, which could be significantly reduced by building with CLT, is already low in Asia. But the region can catch up by boosting its CLT production. Japan is poised to do that by encouraging architects to build projects using CLT to showcase the materials’ benefit to their peers and the general public.
One of these recent pilot CLT projects is the Santo CLT Office in pottery town Shigaraki, designed by architect Junichi Kato and Associates. The office is home to local construction company Santo, who commissioned the architect with a brief that asked for the use of CLT in three ways: in the building’s structural cross section, as a finishing material and as a curving structure.
Designed in five months and constructed in just two days, the 138.8-square-metre office has addressed the brief with structural CLT arched frames creating a vault-like working space that feels both gentle and warm. The arches are the architect’s tribute to Shigaraki’s ancient kilns – “So that the local residents will find the building appealing,” says Junichi Kato.
The CLT used in the project is made from Biwako timber, a certified Shiga Prefecture product, by Japan’s largest CLT producer Meiken Lamwood. The Santo CLT project is part of an effort to invigorate the prefecture’s forestry industry and bring prosperity to Shiga.
Explains Kato, “CLT panels in Japan are made using cedar wood pulp. Cedarwood is currently found in abundance in Japan but the infrastructure for cutting the wood in the mountains is not well developed and there is a shortage of forestry workers. The price of CLT panels is therefore still higher than that of other construction materials.”
It is hoped that by showcasing the benefits and appeal of CLT, public interest in the material will increase and eventually create demand for a sustainable and more sophisticated ecosystem for CLT production.
Pictured throughout is a view of the exhibition space at the Santo CLT Office. Photography by Kei Sugino (courtesy of Junichi Kato and Associates).
We think you would also like to read about engineered timber flooring.
Keep up to date with the latest and greatest from our industry BFF's!
Didier studio celebrates the harmony of democratic design and understated utility with the Gunzel seating and table collection.
The new terminal interiors at the Hamilton Kirikiriroa Airport celebrate the beauty to be found in transition and a connection to the local identity of New Zealand.
For Living Edge, B-Corp certification was the next appropriate step in a long journey focused on building a truly sustainable and socially responsible business. In 2023 they achieved certification at their first pass, giving customers a new level of environmental assurance and the company an important milestone to celebrate across two decades of staff-led, sector-leading sustainability practices.
Lizzy Stageman blends ancestral wisdom with artistry to reveal grand life stories in her contemporary Aboriginal designs. ‘Finding My Place’ transforms her original art into captivating commercial textiles, wall coverings & acoustic art.
Barry Jenkins has created the Venue Tables range based on principles of modularity, simplicity and sustainability – and they’re available exclusively through TCW in Australia.
With its inspiring in-showroom installations, The Project is one of Saturday Indesign’s major highlights. The 2023 People’s Choice winner is ‘f l u i d’ by Plus Architecture with AXOR.
In Australia alone, 6.4 per cent of all waste generated comes from furniture and furnishings. In this article, we review today’s most impactful Whole Of Lifecycle Furniture practices.
Specified in Salesforce Tower, a striking new building in Sydney’s commercial heart, Verosol blinds are ensuring panoramic harbour views, while helping to maintain impressive levels of thermal efficiency and sustainability.
The internet never sleeps! Here's the stuff you might have missed
Atmospheric and moody with a stage-like dune, Various Associates sets a pristine white stage for this epic SND retail store.
Designer Ross Gardam recently teamed up with Stylecraft to present a series of events that focused on select Ross Gardam designs and new releases, all available at Stylecraft.
Design that speaks many languages is to be treasured and enjoyed. Trent Jansen tells a story of design collaborations and connections through his work on Country with friends and artists who bring the perspective of First Nations people to the fore.