“They just don’t make them like they used to” applies more to big wooden beams more than almost any other home building material out there – gigantic old-growth trees are few and far between these days, and softwood like Douglas Fir (while not technically exotic) can be hard to come by.
Found for sale via various salvage operations, the core structure is composed of huge reclaimed beams that measure as much as a few feet wide – making traditional 2x4s and other dimensional lumber look a little small by comparison. Built-ins are also made of colorful recycled woods, while primary walls and floors were created of smooth concrete to create contrast.
Car decking and other lower-grade, solid-wood salvage fills in the various gaps, carefully sorted by length to fit the odd angles of the wall and roof lines. It may not be as pretty as its popular counterpart species – maple, pine, cedar or cherry – but it has a raw and rugged look that works well.
The net effect is a home that seems to grow right out of the ground, like roots of some ancient tree. The interior features a playful contrast between the rough and dark used wood and brand-new appliances, white-painted surfaces, modern amenities and contemporary furniture.
If you really boil this design by?Omer Arbel down to the basics, it is successful for one reason above all others: there is no attempt to pretend that the house itself is old – the aged wood is used to balance with new shapes and forms that are of a distinctly contemporary vintage.