Cinque Ports Street is a redevelopment project that incorporates a group of derelict buildings on a historic infill site in the coastal town of Rye in East Sussex, England. The project, which includes residential and retail units, also features the remains of a medieval town wall that is protected as an ancient monument, so the architects had to choose materials carefully.
To blend the project with its maritime heritage, London-based JD Architects used architectural elements inspired by nearby shipyard warehouses and the traditional coastal architecture of East Sussex. One of the firm’s most important moves was the angular wooden façade made from Kebony.
“Kebony cladding proved to be a fantastic solution, providing a contemporary look that draws on elements of local history and is a great asset for the town of Rye,” lead architect Jonathan Dunn says.
Developed in Norway, Kebony is fast-growing softwood (usually pine) that has undergone treatment with a bio-based, environmentally friendly furfuryl alcohol, giving the wood the performance of a tropical hardwood. By impregnating the wood with the liquid, the wood’s cell wall is polymerized, resulting in improved durability and dimensional stability, the manufacturer explains. “The process permanently modifies the wood cell walls, giving Kebony premium hardwood characteristics and a rich brown color,” the company adds.
Available in clear and character grade, Kebony can be used for a variety of applications, but the company says it’s ideal for siding. After exposure to the sun, it develops a natural silver-gray patina, though the structure remains the same, according to the company.
“The architects at JDA have done a fantastic job, taking a derelict site and transforming it with a beautiful contemporary design in keeping with the area’s history,” says Adrian Pye, international sales director at Kebony. “From the Kebony-clad frontage to the carefully considered window placement, a great amount of time and thought has gone into the design details, and we are delighted with the end result.”