If you were to type ‘hardwood’ into Google, chances are that first few pages of the results would be about hardwood flooring. Installation, repair, maintenance, pro and cons, and similar topics would crop up. There’s a good reason for this. Hardwood, as a material makes for an excellent flooring option. Sure, it has it’s drawbacks, but that’s true of anything.
What a lot of people don’t realize, is that because of its attributes (sturdiness, durability and appearance), hardwood is used in a lot of non-flooring projects. Something of thing are very impressive.
We’ve compiled three of our favourites. Not because we encourage you to try them (some would be impossible without millions of dollars and a team of engineers), but so you can appreciate the versatility of the material.
- Historic Buildings
Several old buildings were constructed (and continue to be constructed) out of hardwood. However, New Zealand’s Government Buildings Historic Reserve deserves a special mention. For nearly 150 years, this building has stood tall, and was at one time the second largest wooden structure ever built. While it no longer has that honour, it is unique in that it can never be reconstructed. You see, it was built using kauri wood. As Kauri forests are now protected under New Zealand law, it’s likely this building will remain unique for the foreseeable future.
- Noah’s Ark (sort of)
The tale of Noah’s Ark holds a special place for many across the world. Despite this, it’s a bit of a surprise that a creation museum in Kentucky, US, took it upon themselves to build a replica of the famous ship. It’s not that there isn’t people who would be interesting in carrying out such a task. It’s the resources that went into it that make it impressive. The replica ark stands 90 feet high, 510 feet wide and was built using more than 600 miles of wood planks. Whatever your faith, you still must admit that it’s impressive.
You wouldn’t believe it, but there’s actually several large buildings built out of mostly hardwood, or entirely out of hardwood. While the material can’t really compete with concrete in terms of large building construction, it’s still a popular choice for architects trying to make a statement.
Our favourite is a bit of a cheat because technically, it hasn’t been built yet. The C.F Møller proposal does look promising however. Although it has a concrete core, the 34-storey tower is set to become one of the largest wooden structures in the region when its finished in 2023.
Hardwood is an amazing building material. It’s beautiful, its sturdy and its long-lasting. No wonder it’s being used in so many different building projects. However, despite the amazing thing that can be done with it, flooring is still our number one favourite. While it doesn’t have the ambition of some of the other projects we’ve mentioned, it’s practically and universal appeal is what continues to win us over.