Architects and designers have long turned to industrial materials like steel and plywood to create long-lasting projects on tight budgets—and lately we’ve seen a rising trend toward oriented strand board (OSB) interiors.
Like its cousins plywood and particleboard, OSB is an engineered wood that was born in postwar America, when many new construction materials were developed. OSB consists of compressed layers of large wood strands, or flakes, that are held together with adhesives, wax, and resin in specific orientations to create stability and strength. Due to these qualities, OSB is usually used as sheathing in walls, flooring, and roof decking—where it’s concealed by other finish materials—however adventurous architects and designers are also showcasing it front and center.
OSB’s irregular wood flakes give it a rough, variegated surface, which can be played up for a lively, unexpected texture. The material offers a unique combination of an industrial, almost unfinished aesthetic with earthy wood undertones. We’ve rounded up a few of our favorite spaces that shine new light on this material that’s usually hidden in plain sight.
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