Rye Hudak, Principal at Level Five Design, would like to thank Glen and Deb Bruels for the opportunity to contribute traditional Japanese plaster application to the interior design of their stunning Natural Balance House. Many thanks also to Peter Kilpatrick, Jonathan Hu, Jerry Price, and the Ravenhill Crew for facilitating exceptional jobsite choreography and morale.
A few words on materials:
Traditional Japanese plaster is often called Wara Juraku. Wara means straw, from rice stalks. Juraku refers to a kind of earth, which was traditionally collected from the Kyoto area that has favorable working qualities.
This earthen plaster is typically seen in Traditional Japanese architecture and tea houses, and has an organic yet sophisticated aesthetic featuring the distinctive “grassy” look of the rice fibers.
The materials used in the Natural Balance House project were sourced from Japanese Wall and are from the “Wabi” series. (www.japanesewall.com)
Japanese wall products are made up of natural sand, natural clay, diatomaceous earth and straw. Their materials are breathable, and the diatomaceous earth serves to clean indoor air of contaminants. The binders are no-voc and formaldehyde free. These materials serve to significantly improve indoor air quality (I.A.Q.), while bringing character, context, and design to the interior wall surfaces.