Diving deep into vast, centuries-old underwater forests of rare first-growth tropical timbers may sound like the stuff of architectural dreams, and it is; but for Canadian/Panamanian company, CoastEcoTimber, it’s also just another day on the job. This unique product will be making its UK debut during Clerkenwell Design Week (20-22 May).
The Reclaimed Flooring Company will offer architects and designers the chance to learn about and be the first in the UK to specify this rare tropical timber, sourced by CoastEcoTimber from the bottom of Panama’s largest lakes, which were created a century ago during construction of the Panama Canal.
On Tuesday 20 and Wednesday 21 May, the Reclaimed Flooring Company’s Clerkenwell Road showroom will set the stage for Alana Husby, CoastEcoTimber’s dynamic president, to tell her company’s incredible story. Husby will chair a question and answer session, showing a fascinating and entertaining video presentation that explains the one-of-a-kind underwater logging operations.
The unique reclamation process reduces the need for logging onshore and allows unusual, well-preserved hardwood (which include stunning species such as , Amargo Amargo, Cedro Espino, Zapatero, White Mahogany and Dragonwood) to be brought to the marketplace. Barges, made from recycled propane tanks and other materials, hold teams of Panamanian divers who operate eco-friendly submersible chainsaws to fell the trees underwater. The salvaged timber is then processed into raw slabs and manageable-sized pieces for clients from around the world.
The area of underwater woodland is 15,000 hectares, and includes some extremely rare species, which are protected from land-based extraction today. Access to such a vast amount of timber is an exciting new, environmentally sustainable resource for international architects and designers.
The wood can be used for a range of architectural products including structural beams, decking, flooring, countertops, tables, chairs and more. The Reclaimed Flooring Company, in conjunction with its partners, is also able to custom cut measurements of wood for a particular architectural or design scheme.
Other events at the Reclaimed Flooring Company’s London base during Clerkenwell Design Week include the creation of a site-specific installation by South London design studio Hendzel and Hunt using four different reclaimed oaks and a project by award winning conceptual artist Daniel Wallis who will be manipulating found materials and ready-made objects into amazing sculptural work.
The Reclaimed Flooring Company, 64 Clerkenwell Road, EC1M 5PX
20-21 May 2014, Q&A sessions by Alana Husby 10:00-13:00
(Showroom open throughout Clerkenwell Design Week, 20-22 May 10:00-18:00)
About the Reclaimed Flooring Company
Owner and creator Robert J Henry began his journey into wood by restoring Victorian pine floorboards for bespoke projects in London. Soon after, he began reclaiming beams from the historic cotton mills of Manchester, which proved to be as much about fascination as it was preservation. From these small beginnings came an eco epiphany and the idea of RFC took root. Collectively with his brother Thomas M Henry RFC was founded in 2006 and a new curiosity emerged. The natural progression from reclaimed timbers to tailor-made floorboards expanded the RFC brand to include both authentic reclaimed, replica reclaimed, specialized new wood and now, rediscovered tropical hardwoods. An innovative range of patinas incorporates both antique and contemporary design concepts blending rich history, new technology and an unrestricted approach to creativity and craft.