Joel’s Trip to Stanford University’s Bing Hall

What happens when you mix German beech , BC Yellow Cedar, Stanford university, a Russian woodworker (based in San Francisco) and West Wind Hardwood?  Last summer we manufactured 15,000 square feet of Beech and Yellow Cedar flooring.  The wood was destined for a concert hall on the Stanford campus in California.  This summer we had the opportunity to meet the contractor and see the installation first hand.

Alex Medvedev, owner of EH Floors Inc. was contracted to supply and install wood flooring inside the hall.  We met up at his office in San Francisco and from there headed south to see the project.

The Bing Concert Hall (where our wood was installed)  is a private performance space on the university campus in Palo Alto, California.  Steamed European beech was laid throughout the auditorium.   Alex mentioned most of the beech stair treads are unique shapes, which were fitted between two finished walls.  The wood stage is hallow like a drum (apparently for acoustics) and clad with 1 ¾” thick unfinished yellow cedar.  It was surprising to hear how loud and hollow footsteps sounded walking across it.  The semi-circular stage lifts are raised and lowered independently, from tiered (as seen in the pictures) to completely flat.

We are happy to have played a part in the construction of this unique building. Thanks Alex for taking the time from your schedule.  It was great to see all of your excellent work!

European Beech

Fagus sylvatica, the European beech or common beech, is a deciduous tree belonging to the beech family Fagacaea.  It has a natural range extending from southern Sweden though to central Italy, west to France, northern Portugal and central Spain.  Although oft regarded as a native in southern England, recent evidence suggests it did not reach here after until after the English Channel was formed in the ice ages.

It is a large tree, capable of reaching heights of up to 49 m and 3 m trunk diameter.  It has a typical lifespan of 150 to 200 years, though sometimes up to 300 years. The appearance varies according to its habitat and forest conditions; it tends to have a long, slender light-gray trunk with a narrow crown and erect branches; in isolation with good side light, the trunk is short with a large and widely spreading crown with very long branches.

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