Susan and Robert Downey Jr. Residence – East Hampton, NY

East Hampton, NY

Fox-Nahem Associates

Peter Murdock Photography

Featured in Architectural Digest: AD Visits Robert Downey Jr.’s Playful Hamptons Home

Exterior Wall Cladding:

AO shou sugi ban charred cypress
Burnt face only, sealed face and back
13/16″ thick X 5’1/8″ wide X All 14′ lengths

Featured in Architectural Digest, Susan and Robert Downey Jr.’s Hamptons hideaway was expertly designed by Fox-Nahem to accurately reflect the personalities of the Downey family. In an interview with Architectural Digest, Robert stated that “We wanted something we haven’t seen a million times. We didn’t set out to do something conspicuously wacky. We just enjoy a bit of whimsy and fun. And we definitely don’t like boring.”

A major component of the renovation involved rethinking the pool area to suit the Downeys’ vision of easy, breezy outdoor leisure.  Fox-Nahem designed a freestanding poolside pavilion, in collaboration with Alveary Architecture, complete with a dining setup and an outdoor living room and bar. Fox-Nahem added reSAWN’s AO shou sugi ban charred cypress as cladding on the outdoor countertop and behind the seating area facing the pool. AO’s bright blue color and unique texture incorporated the whimsical aesthetic that is carried throughout the rest of the property. “We now spend the whole day out there, hanging out with the kids and our friends,” Susan states.

Fox-Nahem Associates is a personal, client oriented, hands-on firm. After three decades of experience, the firm has loyal vendors who help bring to life his original designs, specific to each and every project.  Changing accordingly with the times, without falling victim to fads, he curates rare vintage pieces, as well as works with artists, craftspeople and artisans from all over the world.

AO features burnt cypress in the Japanese style of shou sugi ban.  AO can be used for interior or exterior wall cladding. For exterior cladding, we offer Select Grade.  For interior applications, we offer #2 common and Select Grade.  The higher the grade, the better it is felt the wood will perform, especially in exterior applications.

AO 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.

AO 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.  

reSAWN’s CHARRED offering features cypress, western red cedar, Accoya, Kebony, black walnut, red oak, white oak and reclaimed hemlock that is burnt in the Japanese tradition of shou sugi ban.  Our award-winning CHARRED products pay homage to the traditional Japanese technique of “shou-sugi-ban” aka “yakisugi” without being literal.

Historically very specific in their definition, “shou-sugi-ban” and “yakisugi” have become common nomenclature for modern charred wood designs in general.  All of reSAWN’s CHARRED products are made in the USA, in our facility in Telford, PA.

Bellport Residence :: MATSU shou sugi ban Accoya®
COS :: MONOGATARI shou sugi ban