Durable, low maintenance, and always beautiful, Western Red Cedar is showing up in exciting ways, proving it can enhance the sleek design of modern structures.

Mention Western Red Cedar wood as a building material, and many people may conjure up images of rustic cabins tucked into the woods. But while the material is certainly at home in nature—literally and figuratively—it’s becoming increasingly popular as a versatile option for modern design. The material is extremely adaptable due to its warmth, durability, and affordability. Beyond that, the wood’s aesthetic suits a variety of projects. In some cases it sets a dramatic stage for the entire structure; in others, it acts as a statement piece. Below, we look at five structures that were featured in Cedar Book X and Cedar XI, the annual architectural publication produced by the Western Red Cedar Lumber Association (WRCLA)

The Karuna House

In order to complement the Karuna House’s clean, modern lines, the homeowners opted for a building material that would add depth and texture to the home’s other building materials, largely glass and concrete. Western Red Cedar’s texture reflects the projects natural surroundings.

In order to complement the Karuna House’s clean, modern lines, the homeowners opted for a building material that would add depth and texture to the home’s other building materials, largely glass and concrete. Western Red Cedar’s texture reflects the projects natural surroundings.

Jeremy Bitterman & Jeff Amram



Strike any thought of a rustic cabin from your mind, Western Red Cedar compliments even the most modern design. When building his family residence in Newberg, Oregon, Eric Lemelson had high standards for his contemporary structure. In order to complement the home’s clean, modern lines, the family opted for a building material that would add depth and texture to the home’s other building materials, largely glass and concrete. “Western Red Cedar’s texture reflects the project’s natural surroundings,” says Cory Hawbecker, a sustainability expert from Holst Architecture, the group that designed the home. The Lemelsons were pleased with the finished product: a contemporary, wood and glass home—one that stands out yet nestles right in to the hillside of Newberg, Oregon. 

The contemporary, wood and glass home stands out yet nestles right in to the hillside of Newberg, Oregon.

The contemporary, wood and glass home stands out yet nestles right in to the hillside of Newberg, Oregon. 

Jeremy Bitterman & Jeff Amram

Homeowner Eric Lemelson had high standards for his contemporary structure. Western Red Cedar is at home with this modern, glass and concrete home.

Homeowner Eric Lemelson had high standards for his contemporary structure. Western Red Cedar is at home with this modern, glass and concrete home.  

Jeremy Bitterman & Jeff Amram

See the full story on Dwell.com: 5 Stunning Uses of Western Red Cedar

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