FIT-OUTS TMT white oak after a five- month test in Indonesian rain in Java TMT American red oak furniture by Jarrod Lim N otable exterior projects promoted by AHEC in recent years have included “Room on a Hill” at Chisenhale School in East London where the outdoor play and learning structure designed by renowned London-based architect Asif Khan is made from TMT tulipwood slats in a galvanised metal frame and a TMT ash deck. The “Bostanli footbridge” and “Bostanli sunset lounge” project in Izmir Turkey, designed by Studio Evren Basbug architects are made of TMT ash boards in a series of wooden platforms that recline on a wooded hillside all the way down towards the sea. The recently opened Maggie’s Centre for cancer care, by architect Alex de Rijke in UK unveiled the first commercial use of TMT tulipwood cladding. However TMT red and white oak, recently launched in Asia, is opening up a new perspective in that it offers a hardwood that looks like walnut – at a fraction of the cost and in specifications that walnut buyers can only dream of. Furthermore the treated lumber is available direct from the USA or locally in the region. AHEC’s pavilion at the International Furniture Fair Singapore demonstrated the point well. “The opportunities for decking, flooring, cladding, exterior patio furniture and other outdoor uses are very exciting,” says AHEC Regional Director John Chan as the response to the pavilion was so positive. In the case of red oak which represents about 30 per cent of the American sustainable hardwood forest resource, any new market is significant in AHEC’s efforts to balance demand with what is growing in the forest. In this edition of the annual American hardwood supplement we have sought out the views of both oak sawmillers and TMT processors to provide a real understanding on the material and its pros and cons. But the photos should provide inspiration to those looking for a new angle on oak – one of the world’s most popular of all hardwoods. | WIA Reproduced with permission.