COS Store by Office AO Architecture & G Architecture, Toronto – Canada

November 5th, 2015 by retail design blog

COS, an upscale European retailer under the H&M (Hennes and Mauritz) brand, recently expanded into the Canadian retail market. G architects collaborated with New York-based Office AO to bring to life the brand’s 3-story, 6,700 sf flagship location in Toronto’s fashionable Yorkville neighborhood. The modern facade is clad in reSAWN’s MONOGATARI shou sugi ban charred wood. Inside the store is light and airy, reflecting the same sparse Scandinavian aesthetic found in the menswear, womenswear and kidswear sold at the store.


Office AO Architecture is an architecture and design firm located in New York City with extensive experience in commercial and retail architecture across the United States. OAO bring an intensive eye for detail to every project and provides creative solutions for the unique design problems posed by any project.


G is an architecture practice based in downtown Toronto offering high-quality professional services in a lean and efficient environment. G believes the primary role of an architect is to represent the clients’ best interests throughout their design and construction project. They work to ensure that their clients’ priorities and goals are always at the forefront of all design decisions.


The ancient technique of shou sugi ban is gaining new life as a unique and modern interior and exterior wall cladding. The wood is carefully charred, doused in water, cooled, brushed to remove dust and loose debris, and then stained/sealed to create the unique designs you will find in the CHARRED collection.

Design: Office AO Architecture // G Architecture
Photography: reSAWN TIMBER co.


MORE on reSAWN’s CHARRED collection
reSAWN’s CHARRED collection features cypress, black walnut, red oak, and reclaimed hemlock that is burnt in the Japanese tradition of shou sugi ban. Translated as “the burning of Japanese cypress (sugi)” or yakisugi, and traditionally used in Japan as exterior siding, this ancient technique is gaining new life as a unique and modern interior and exterior wall cladding. The charcoal barrier created through this process preserves the wood, and is fire, rot and insect resistant. The burning process accentuates the wood grain and creates varying colors when viewed from different angles and in different light.

With its legendary beauty and natural durability, cypress has long been a staple as an exterior wood siding product. Because cypress generates its own preservative oil, called cypressene, it’s an ideal wood for locations with constant heat, humidity, and torrential rains. The charcoal barrier created in the shou sugi ban process adds durability and longevity to this naturally durable wood species.

Our cypress shou sugi ban products are offered in select grade or #2 common grade and milled to either S4S, Tongue & Groove or Shiplap profiles. The higher the grade, the better it is felt the wood will perform, especially in exterior applications. Select grade allows for small pin knots and checks, but expect a generally clean appearance. #2 common grade allows for large knots and checks – this can create visual interest as the grain wraps around these different character marks.

When evaluating resiliency with CHARRED materials it is a trade off – the heavier the char the more weather/rot resistant as is the intention of burning the wood, however, charcoal is soft, especially on a soft wood. From an impact perspective the 18 new COLOR designs and similar designs will be slightly more impact resistant then our fully charred materials such as MOYASU or HAI. HAI is the least impact resistant of the CHARRED materials due the deep charring (approx 1/16 – 1/8”). There is also a trade-off in maintenance — HAI and MOYASU will be less maintenance long term as there is no wood grain exposed under the top coat due to the full char.

Depending on personal preference, the finish can be allowed to weather over time or if you wish to maintain the original aesthetic of the oil finished COLORS, a top coat can be reapplied as needed depending on environment, exposure to the elements and geographical location. As with most exterior finishes, reapplication is recommended approximately every 5 years to maintain the protective properties of the finish. Wood siding products such as teak and soft woods such as cedar, cypress, hemlock and pine all require some form of maintenance.


ABOUT reSAWN TIMBER co.
reSAWN TIMBER co. provides new and reclaimed wood products for architectural specifications for flooring, interior wall cladding, ceilings, exterior siding, furniture and custom millwork.
Our carefully curated offering includes shou sugi ban charred woods, reclaimed woods, newly harvested american wood species and european oak. We provide only the highest quality materials milled to exacting standards and finished in a way that enhance the natural beauty of the wood. Our extensive offering includes wide plank flooring, FSC-certified woods, and custom furniture with traditional joinery.

We specialize in meeting the needs of architects, designers and contractors, and providing superior service and guidance in developing your specifications. Our products can assist you in achieving your project goals in aesthetic, performance and sustainability.

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