The latest trend in wood siding? Burned, charred siding.
Via the blog Pursuing Wabi, one family's account of building a house in Southern California with Mexico City–born, San Diego–based architect Sebastian Mariscal. "Traditional Japanese homes commonly used shou-sugi-ban as external siding," the owner writes. "The sugi was burned to resist rot and fire (it's harder for something already charcoaled to catch fire again). The result is a board that has a dynamic appearance. From different angles it can look black, silver, or dark brown."
Above: The wood boards are burned, brushed, washed, and oiled. For more, see A Teahouse, Charred and Blackened (On Purpose).
N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on July 6, 2009.