More Interest in Wood
Posted by Jim Ivanoff
May 25th, 2009
I was sorting through some photos that I had taken recently and found a couple that I thought were worth sharing.
Over the last decade most lower cost homes in Japan have moved away from using wood especially on the exterior due to maintenance concerns. Built-to-sell, or spec homes, in urban areas in particular are rarely decorated with wood, which is why I was surprised to find one while walking around my neighbourhood. In these pictures you can see three spec houses with the exact same design except for one that sports wooden fences on the balconies (probably the buyer of this house chose wood as an option while it was still under construction). It is amazing how much more elegant this home looks than the other two just by having added the wood fencing. While it wasn't WRC, I want to show these pictures to architects so they can see the difference wood can make.
This picture is of new picnic tables at the Ueno Zoo in Tokyo. To the left you can see the unattractive aluminum ones these are replacing. While these tables are made in Japan (Nakamura MFG http://www.nakamura-mfg.com
) out of jarrah, they demonstrate that people are moving back to the natural beauty of wood. Jarrah is an expensive wood and there were a lot of tables still to be replaced at this zoo. Therefore, I think there is good opportunity for WRC. A GBM visit is definitely in order!
The last picture doesn't have anything to do with wood, but I included it as it shows an interesting glimpse of life in Tokyo. While we are all used to taking our cars up to drive-thrus at McDonald's, have you ever seen a drive-thru for pedestrian traffic only? This one is in Tokyo's hip youth fashion district of Harajuku. Usually people would be lined up at it, but I took this picture at 8am on a Sunday morning. Tokyo is the city that never sleeps, but on Sunday mornings a lot of people have hang-overs!