Architects give SterlingOSB the aesthetic thumbs-up!

SterlingOSB is valued by builders and contractors for its structural qualities, sustainability and excellent value; and more and more customers are choosing SterlingOSB for its visual appeal.

One such is Edinburgh-based architects ISA. The practice, which has a diverse workload embracing residential, commercial, hotel and leisure projects, has put its money where its mouth is and chosen SterlingOSB for all the joinery and partitioning in its new head office in Blenheim Place.

This in itself is nothing new; SterlingOSB is a very popular material for carcassing, wall sheathing and other interior joinery. But, whereas in most projects, the OSB is subsequently concealed beneath other finishes, such as plasterboard or painted MDF, ISA has deliberately chosen to leave the board’s distinctive texture exposed.

“The appearance of the OSB was very important in this design,” explains ISA’s Head of Interior Design, Emma Franks. “We wanted the textured, raw effect of the wood flakes.”

The building itself is a Georgian structure which previously housed a pet shop. “There are virtually no original features inside except for the building structure itself; we have 4m high ceilings at the front,” explains Emma.

“So our design contrasts the traditional Georgian exterior with a modern look inside. Everything inside is either painted plain white or is natural OSB,” she adds. SterlingOSB was used for wall panelling (including the stairwell) as well as for partitions, shelving and storage units. 

While Emma admits that SterlingOSB’s affordability was a “big factor” in its selection, the principal reason was its appearance. “All we’ve done is seal the surface – it still looks very, very raw.  It has resulted in beautiful clean lines and surfaces. I like the rawness and the honesty of the product; we’re very happy with the end result,” she says.

For the contractor, this unconventional application took some getting used to, says Emma. “They didn’t initially understand what our thinking was,” she says. “They were used to OSB being just a basic utilitarian material rather than a surface finish. We had to keep asking them not to put tools on the surface or lean anything against the partitions.”