Bilgoa and Beyond
Adam Goodrum’s range for NAU is reimagined for outdoor living in thermally-modified American red oak.
A beautiful climate and the quintessentially Australian penchant for good design calls for stunning outdoor furniture. Designer Adam Goodrum’s ambition for his Bilgola range for NAU, first launched in New York in May last year in American ash and then again in June in a limited edition American cherry and tulipwood range, was to develop an outdoor addition to the family.
In collaboration with Evostyle, who manufacture Bilgola, he entered in to a phase of experimentation with a number of new timbers which would be light to maneuver, withstand the elements, be environmentally-sound and, of course, look fabulous. Initial testing with a number of indigenous Australian hardwoods and modified softwood from Europe yielded some interesting results. Whilst each timber had clear benefits, each also failed to deliver on critical elements, be that splitting or cracking with outdoor exposure, extreme colour variance or just being too heavy to be practical.
Having had some experience with thermally-modified timbers (TMT), Adam and Evostyle’s Luke Ommundson decided to trial TM American red oak. Thermal modification is a process that heats timber to close to the point of combustion. This increases the durability of the wood by altering its molecular structure, making it both impervious to water and, by eliminating any potential food source, pest resistant. It also causes a darkening of the timber to a deep and consistent chocolate brown tone which needs little to no maintenance when left outside.
TMT does come with some manufacturing challenges. Evostyle were aware that such timbers can be brittle and tricky to work with. “I’ve always been a fan of the machining qualities of red oak over white oak” says Ommundson. “ It seems a lot less brittle and machines much better so I was confident that, although the TM process does dry out the timber, the red oak used in the process would work”. Goodrum considered how to adapt his design to take into account the challenges posed by the material, which included increasing the section sizes of some components and adding strength using concealed mechanical joiners. Evostyle also used a different adhesive to that used for the indoor range.
The new addition to Bilgola launched in Australia in November at The Design Files Open House and at the Arts House Singapore in January for NAU Design Asia. “We are really delighted at how the new range has turned out and well it has been received” says Goodrum of the outdoor range.
Bilgola outdoor in thermally-modified American red oak is available from Cult in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.
For more information please contact Anna Meadows: anna [at] sycamore.com.au
For details regarding NAU: http://www.naudesign.com.au
For designer Adam Goodrum: http://adamgoodrum.com
For manufacturer Evostyle: http://evostyle.com.au