Zwarthout | Shou Sugi Ban, is produced by Pieter Weijnen and the Zwarthout Team. The beauty and durability of the charred wood greatly appealed to Pieter and he familiarised himself with the technique. He then developed his own efficient production process in order to ensure the quality of the charred wood. This resulted in the founding of our company Zwarthout | Shou Sugi Ban in mid 2012. By now we have developed a number of beautifully charred wood types with different textures and finishes which makes us very proud.
The Zwarthout Team
Our team is made up of specialists in various disciplines and ranges from builder-architects to product developers and artists. We all have a great liking for honest and natural materials and we thoroughly enjoy designing and realising beautiful and unique creations. We also accept the responsibility of keeping our footprint as small as we can which is why we work in a CO2 neutral manner as far as possible. You will find our attention to detail, our passion for wood and sustainability in all our projects, each with their own very unique look.
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The Zwarthout | Shou Sugi Ban Team
Captain, architect, visionary, inventor, concierge
After 20 years of experience in architecture, a major accident propelled Pieterto make a career switch from sustainable architect to craftsmanship. Pieter is the founder of Zwarthout | Shou Sugi Ban, bringing black wood from Japan to the Netherlands and Europe. He first utilized the black wood in his own sustainable home. Developping a deep interest in the practice, Pieter strated burning the wood himself. He became acquainted with the traditional Japanese technique and added modern technology. "I think it's burning the wood in the furnace of our oven, still the most beautiful thing."
Navigator, industrial designer, connector
Our operational management director is, of origin, an industrial designer whose passion is to convert an idea into a business. "My focus is on sustainability, responsible entrepreneurship and consumption. Quality is number one for me and the basis for satisfied customers. I am proud of the artistic beauty of our black wood. My ambition is for Zwarthout to grow internationally, respectful of mankind, society and the environment."
Stoker, architect, dragon-boat helmsman, amateur chef
Background: HTS Architecture and Academy of Architecture. More than 20 years experience as an engineer, project leader and technical expert at various architectural firms. “I want to deliver high-quality work, based on traditional methods, as if it were for myself. I combine technology with traditional methods enabling me to 'read' a design and think about the suitable finishing of the end product. I like to use my hands in creating a special product.”
Stoker, artist, designer and building expert, positivo
Over 45 years experience as an artist, designer and building expert. “Working at Zwarthout does something to me. I want to produce something beautiful, a statement of love and craftsmanship.”
Diederik van Haaften
Organiser, wood professor, guitarist
My interest in wood began when I, as a guitarist, developed an interest in guitar building. This was one of the reasons for studying Forest and Nature Management, aimed particularly at the international wood trade. It was during my studies that I first became aware of this ancient Japanese preservation method. I found the singed wood incredibly beautiful and started using it in guitar building. During and after my studies I further increased my knowledge of the use of wood and its technical properties through experience. Once I found out that a company in the Netherlands had introduced the Shou Sugi Ban technique into Europe, I started following them. And now I have the great pleasure of working for them
Fire master, strategist, know-it-all, chef
After a study in Political Science, he soon realised that inactivity did nothing for him. As a chef he learned that fire does more than just destruct, it also helps create things of beauty. Zwarthout was the logical step towards something new. “I find it very exciting to be part of a growing and ambitious company. I would like to be part of the Zwarthout journey.” Ruben likes to take on anything and doesn't mind getting his hands dirty.
Advisor in France and abroad, colour expert and fascinated by Zwarthout
After working as a technical graphic artist for many years, I wanted to achieve greater harmony with the environment and mankind. I came into contact with the Japanese technique Yakisugi by chance and I became fascinated by the charred wood, both in terms of its quality and beauty. These days I am a nomad for Zwarthout, as I travel through France to meet passionate, like-minded people who want to know more about this special wood. This is then used to clad the most beautiful buildings. At Zwarthout you don't just feel the warmth of the fire, but also within the team.