The Use of Ipe in Iconic Structures, Art, and Ships: A Showcase of Excellence

The Use of Ipe in Iconic Structures, Art, and Ships: A Showcase of Excellence

Ipe, also known as Brazilian walnut, was once a highly sought-after hardwood species known for its exceptional durability, strength, and resistance to decay. This beautiful, dense wood has been used despite outcry from environmental advocates in various high-profile projects. While the projects showcase its remarkable qualities in some of the world's most iconic structures, art pieces, and ships, it is a wood that should never be used unless it is farmed without destruction. Ipe from old growth rainforests must be protected. In this blog, we'll explore the fascinating stories behind Ipe masterpieces of historical significance and discover why this hardwood has been so highly prized.
  1. The Atlantic City Boardwalk:

One of the most famous boardwalks in the world, the Atlantic City Boardwalk in New Jersey, has been a popular destination for tourists since the late 19th century. In 2007, the city decided to replace the old boardwalk with a new one built from Ipe. This durable wood was chosen due to its ability to withstand harsh coastal conditions, heavy foot traffic, and its low maintenance requirements.

  1. The High Line Park in New York City:

New York City's High Line Park is an elevated urban park that was built on a historic freight rail line above the streets of Manhattan. Completed in 2009, the High Line features walkways made of Ipe, chosen for its exceptional durability and longevity, but perhaps without enough consideration for its source. The hardwood has stood up to the test of time and continues to provide a durable walking surface for the park's millions of visitors each year.

  1. The Ipe Art Sculptures in London:

In 2011, London's Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew showcased a collection of stunning Ipe wood sculptures created by renowned Brazilian artist Hugo França. The sculptures, carved from reclaimed Ipe wood, highlighted the beauty and versatility of this hardwood while promoting the importance of sustainability and responsible forestry practices.

  1. Ipe in Shipbuilding:

Ipe's incredible strength and resistance to decay have also made it a popular choice in shipbuilding. Its dense wood provides excellent durability in marine environments, making it suitable for constructing ship decks, hulls, and other components that require a strong, long-lasting material. Some luxury yacht builders have even used Ipe for their high-end projects, further solidifying its reputation as a premium wood.

From iconic boardwalks and urban parks to awe-inspiring sculptures and luxury yachts, Ipe wood has left an indelible mark on some of the world's most famous projects. Its incredible strength, durability, and natural beauty have made it a material of choice for sustainably-minded architects, artists, and builders who demand excellence and are willing to work with responsibly sourced wood. Advocates remind us that the various certifications are largely marketing tactics and not enforced. For new construction built with Ipe, it is imperative to verify authentically responsible exporters and importers for Ipe, first hand. As we continue to appreciate the wonders of Ipe, we are reminded of the importance of responsible forestry practices and the need to protect this remarkable resource for future generations.

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