Steinmetz De Meyer Office
Architects Steinmetz De Meyer’s own office building was designed by the practice in conjunction with engineers Au Carré. The façade features charred timber cladding; made from local larch, the cladding’s surface is burned with a blowtorch using a traditional Japanese technique known as yakisugi. Inside, the concrete structure has been left exposed, showing off all the marks and flaws from its casting. This roughness contrasts with the high-spec finish of the solid oak floor, which also adds a feeling of warmth to the scheme. Insulation, triple glazing, external shading and automated windows make the building highly sustainable; it is entirely naturally ventilated, with no need for an air-conditioning system.