img(height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=2939831959404383&ev=PageView&noscript=1")

Specifying selections with colour, texture and durability

Tristan Wigfall, director at London practice alma-nac, reveals three specification favourites

Kerto LVL
Kerto LVL is a laminated veneer lumber made of 3mm layers of softwood that are bonded together and produced by Metsä Wood. We recently used Kerto timbers on a residential project where we wanted to expose the roof rafters. The spans were too large to use standard softwood rafters without inserting regular noggins. Kerto beams offer increased strength and are dimensionally stable. The material is relatively raw in appearance but the overall appearance was unified by applying a stained oil finish. We are interested in further exploring how the structural properties of timber can be expanded through such engineering. 

Cork Roll
Cork is becoming increasingly popular with architects for offering something that is a highly sustainable and thermally efficient natural material. Our first exploration with the material was perhaps in one of the most obvious of applications – as a pin board for an exhibition. The 7mm thick rolls of cork were easily applied to a sweeping curved substructure and offered a great warmth and texture as a material. More recently we are looking at utilising cork for a community café where it will be inserted within a timber frame to provide both insulation and a backdrop for art displays.

Valchromat
Our competition winning ‘Upside-down House’ design for a playhouse stemmed from a keen interest in exploring the use of colour within our projects. As we develop the detailed designs we are interested in using a material such as Valchromat which is a through-coloured wood fibre panel board. It comes in a broad range of colours and is naturally moisture resistant, suitable for external use when correctly finished. We are excited by the potential of machining the product to form a colourful shingled cladding with additional texture layered into the material that may imbue further details of the narrative of the project.


 

Latest

Want to pitch for a four-year BBC framework, design a Cardiff mixed-used development or collaborate on a London pop-up? These are the latest architectural contracts and competitions from across the industry

Latest: BBC framework

Writing a fantasy novel is making Will Wiles rethink how to depict architecture - so he can leave readers to build places in their imagination

Less description and more atmosphere builds the places in your mind

The reworking of a 1930s hotel in Tynemouth and a heritage centre built from shipping containers are  among the latest schemes to win planning permission

The reworking of a 1930s hotel in Tynemouth and a heritage centre built from shipping containers win planning

Today's eyesore could become tomorrow's architectural classic. Sadly the Marble Arch Mound never got the chance to redeem itself, writes RIBAJ Rising Star Hiba Alobaydi

MVRDV's Marble Arch Mound never got the chance to redeem itself, writes RIBAJ Rising Star Hiba Alobaydi

This latest selection ranges from tile-free waterproof wall panels to ceramic slabs and classy WCs

This latest selection ranges from tile-free waterproof wall panels and ceramic slabs to classy WCs