Totally tropical construction

Photo: Natrufied Architecture

Netherlands-based Natrufied Architects continues its striking use of tropical timber, not only for specific elements of projects, but for entire structures.

Among the company’s latest designs is Bosvilla, or ‘forest house’.

This imposing private home with its dramatic upward V-shaped roof is based on an iroko glulam structure. It features jatoba for its window frames, afrormosia for the ceiling and cumaru for exterior wall cladding. “It also uses afzelia as exterior decking and inside flooring,” said Natrufied founder Boris Zeisser. “And that’s to name just a few hardwoods in the house.”

The practice has also not long completed a 1500-pupil school in Breda which mixes jatoba and loura gamela in exterior cladding. “And projects underway include a beach pavilion in Bergen aan Zee in iroko and houses in Texel with cumaru cladding,” said Mr Zeisser.

Natrufied uses third party sustainably certified wood only, but insists that using the timber incentivises spread of sustainable forest management, while abandoning it for alternatives can help lead to conversion of tropical forest land to such uses as oil palm plantation and cattle ranching.

“That’s how I explain to clients and students why using sustainable tropical wood can be among the most environmentally positive ways of building,” he said. “It can help ensure we have tropical forests, rather than just fields of cows!”