The project to boost the exterior use of American tulipwood secured more prestigious exposure this week, with a display of furniture in the timber featuring at the Hay Festival for literature.

The seating installation was designed by Philip Koomen and forms a focus of the canopied area in the Festival’s central square.

The American Hardwood Export Council has been working with treatment specialist Osmose to develop an exterior-use finishing system for tulipwood using the company’s natural Stabilising Oil. The first result of their collaboration was the tulipwood pavilion designed by architect David Adjaye at last year’s London Festival.

The ‘Wave and Splash’ bench and chair at the Hay Festival underlines the progress made since, with Osmose succeeding in applying the treatment and finish in one process using conventional facilities to “deliver the preservative into the wood to minimise dimensional change and provide a water-shedding function”.

AHEC European director David Venables said the research programme “opened a new world of opportunities” for the species.

“After several months of laboratory research to find the most effective approach to treating tulipwood, it’s very exciting to see this latest innovative outdoor application,” he said.