Global Brands Group

Project Name:
Global Brand Group 

Empire State Building 

Gensler – New York

Interior Wall Cladding:

KUJAKU – shou sugi ban charred cypress
burnt and sealed on face only
# 2 Common grade
13/16” thick X 5-1/8″ wide X 6’ – 16’ random lengths
Tongue & Groove


Gensler selected reSAWN’s KUJAKU shou sugi ban charred cypress for the lobby & elevator bank of Global Brands Group in the Empire State Building.  

Global Brands Group Holding Limited (GBG) is one of the world’s leading branded fashion accessories, footwear and apparel companies.  They have a broad portfolio of great brands such as Calvin Klein, Under Armour, Juicy Couture, Frye, Cole Haan, Quiksilver, Spyder and many more.  Their focus is to bring these brands to new levels, expanding their category penetration and global reach.  Strategic and design-driven, GBG is a category leader in fashion accessories, footwear and apparel with the best design and sales teams in the industry.  It is their deep product expertise and global scope that sets them apart from other companies.

GBG has 50 offices and showrooms around the world with their global head office in Hong Kong. In the United States, their main office is located at the Empire State Building in New York City, where senior management, product design and development teams and a number of our main showrooms are based.  The Art Deco style of the Empire State Building is reflected in the elevator design.  

Construction of the 102-story building began on March 17, 1930, and took just a year and 45 days to build.  It officially opened on May 1, 1931, when President Herbert Hoover turned on its lights with the push of a button from Washington, D.C. The building was the tallest man-made structure in the world until it was topped in 1954 by the Griffin Television Tower Oklahoma in Oklahoma City.  One of the most iconic images of the Empire State Building is of a giant gorilla climbing it in 1933’s “King Kong,” just one of many movies that have been set at the building.  Tenants cover a variety of trades, and most of the major New York-area TV and FM stations broadcast from here.

Gensler is a global design firm that partners with clients to create more livable cities, smarter workplaces and more engaging leisure destinations. Their 4,500 professionals networked across 46 locations believe quality design can transform organizations and improve people’s lives. Since 1965, they have helped clients achieve measurable business and organizational goals, delivering projects as large as a city and as small as a task light for an individual desk.

See more work by Gensler + reSAWN:
Verdis Farm Table
Gensler Office – Philadelphia
1300 Island Drive – AMITY flooring 

View more KUJAKU installations here:
Greenwich Residence
Sushi Teria

KUJAKU by reSAWN TIMBER co. features cypress burnt in the Japanese style of shou sugi ban.  KUJAKU can be used for interior or exterior wall cladding and is available in select grade or #2 common grade cypress.  The higher the grade, the better it is felt the wood will perform, especially in exterior applications.  See our CHARRED Grading Guide for more info.

KUJAKU is carefully charred, misted with water, cooled, brushed and then stained/sealed.  The top coat sealer is applied prior to shipping (for exterior applications, we recommend sealing the back side as well as the face).  The burning process accentuates the wood grain and creates varying colors when viewed from different angles and in different light.

KUJAKU is made with cypress sourced from the Southern United States and can be used for interior wall cladding, ceiling cladding and exterior siding.  With its legendary beauty and natural durability, cypress has long been a staple as an exterior wood siding product.  Because cypress generates its own preservative oil, called cypressene, it’s an ideal wood for locations with constant heat, humidity, and torrential rains.

Our charring & sealing process makes for beautifully designed exterior wood siding.  Like any exterior wood siding prefinished or finished in place, these materials will weather naturally over time and will require maintenance.  For interior applications, expect little to no change.  We’ve created this CHARRED USAGE GUIDE to tell you more.

1300 Island Drive :: European White Oak
Seattle Fire Station :: SORA shou sugi ban charred cypress