The architecture of KENK > Wood
"By and large, people love wood. One feels a strong bond with it and likes to touch it, it feels pleasant and is a feast for the eyes." These are the words of Frank Lloyd Wright. His appreciation for the oldest building materials of mankind is even now shared by most (interior) architects, structural engineers and home builders. Wood is an organic and warm material that is perfect for the living environment of human beings. It can also measure with the most modern materials: it is light yet strong, has good acoustic and insulating properties and it is durable, as long as it is well processed and maintained. Wooden buildings meet the strict environmental standards, they can be built climate-neutral and environmentally friendly recycled.
KENK architects have applied these natural and versatile features since our first project ‘Singelstraat’ in Arnhem. The assignment was a residential building with relatively small social housing apartments, partly accessed via a gallery. Inspired by the wooden porches in the area we applied oiled Western Red Cedar for both the windows and the siding of the gallery façade. This pure material combined with a clear rhythm and a spectacular 'floating' roof to keep the residents and the wood dry, creates a very special atmosphere. A totally different approach to what was common for the often anonymous galleries.
The special appearance and the enthusiastic reactions of the residents has subsequently inspired us in several projects to apply wood in many different ways. As a (temporary?) highlight the residential building 'Nightshade' in the district Malburgen in Arnhem. In this project not only the façade is of wood but also the entire gallery combined with the private outdoor areas including the construction. We hoped that the special atmosphere would inspire the residents to create a relaxed living environment here. The results exceeded our wildest expectations. When we visited the project six months after completion it appeared that the residents had transformed the whole outdoor area into an exuberant green space.