Santo CLT office pushes the limits of how CLT cross laminated timber is traditionally used in Asia. The architects Junichi Kato and Associates, were asked to showcase CLT as structural cross sections, as a finishing material and as a curved structure.
Drawing inspiration from nearby ancient kilns, the building’s facade it made up of a curved frame and vaulted expanses of CLT to create a welcoming all-timber interior. Wall linings, flooring and structural elements were all made from CLT. The differing colours within the timber and the natural knots and grains provide visual interest and character, removing the need to use any other materials.
Natural light floods the interior via a perimeter of glazed windows and doors which lead out to a deep verandah which provides shading, and connects the internal spaces to the landscaped courtyard. Large skylights have also been used to draw light deep into the centre of the building and help to create a light and air workplace.
The Santo office is located in Shiga Prefecture, Japan and certified Biwako timber from the area was used to produce the CLT and the project is part of a drive to invigorate the local forestry industry by increasing the demand for the product.
Related project: If you like CLT buildings, check out CLT House by FMD Architects
– CLT cross laminated timber used extensively throughout
– Certified Biwako timber was used to produce the CLT
– Skylights and large expanses of glazing provide ample light within the space
– Constructed in just two days
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.
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.
Nadine is the founder and editor of Eco Edition and founder of the Eco Edition Design School. She’s an experienced interior designer, sustainable materials consultant, speaker and serial home renovator.