This year's winners include a London-based apartment complex, a restored mediaeval barn, the largest timber roof in Europe, and products designed for directors at The Royal Opera House and the Science Museum
The winners of the annual Wood Awards have been announced. The judges have selected six structures and three products that represent the best of British architecture and product design in wood. Established in 1971, the Wood Awards is the UK’s premier competition for excellence in wood design. The competition is free to enter and aims to encourage and promote outstanding timber design, craftsmanship and installation.
The Wood Awards is one of the few design competitions to go ahead despite COVID-19. The independent panel of judges always visits all the shortlisted projects in person, making this a uniquely rigorous competition. This year, the usual judging process had to be adapted, but the competition persevered, and the judges still managed to see each
The judges chose The Rye Apartments as this year’s Gold Award and Private category winner. The Gold Award is given to the winner of winners. Judge Jim Greaves comments, “Tikari Works have taken a gamble and done something very unusual and it’s paid off, the apartments are very popular."
Location: London; Architect: Tikari Works; Structural engineer: Webb Yates; Species: Austrian spruce
This development of 10 sustainable apartments sits on a prominent corner site. A mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom units are set in two blocks that respond independently to the changing scale across the site. The user's quality of life is at the heart of the design. The project was driven by two key considerations; how to resist standardised or default positions within housing design, and how to minimise the materials, embodied carbon and cost. CLT was used for the superstructure and all the internal walls and staircases. The CLT is exposed throughout, creating large, light-filled spaces and a comforting atmosphere. These volumes are detailed with white-washed ash floors. Delicate spruce strips form dropped ceilings in the hallways and bathrooms. Kitchens cabinets are made from CNC grooved three-layer spruce ply boards and the worktops are made from recycled paper. The limited palette of natural materials helps to minimise visual clutter.
The Commercial & Leisure winner is Frindsbury Manor Barn. The judges admired the attention to detail and scale of the conservation project.
Location: Rochester; Architect & client: The Heritage Design & Development Team Ltd; Species: British oak
Swimming Pool Hall at King’s College School, Wimbledon was selected as the Education & Public Sector winner. Judge Kirsten Haggart says: "The different timber elements all have the same white-washed tone and coordinate perfectly with the reinforced concrete columns, creating a beautiful place which has an intimacy that most pools lack."
Location: Wimbledon; Architect: David Morley Architects; Joinery: Suffolk and Essex Joinery Ltd; Species: spruce, pine, fir, larch (European)
The Interiors winner is Brockeridge Stair. Judge Ruth Slavid comments, “This is a very beautiful and impressive stair. In addition, there is a great story in that it was used to pioneer an approach to the use of BIM in joinery manufacture that is the recipient of ongoing government grants."
Location: Bristol; Staircase & joinery design: Future Joinery Systems Ltd; Joinery: Silverthorne Joinery & Carpentry; Species: ash, birch
This year's Small Project winner is Wooden Roof. The judges were impressed by the light and airy garden room and were particularly interested in the process of design through to construction.
Location: London; Architect: Tsuruta Architects; Joinery: Pracownia Wystroju Wnetrz Art Deco -R; Species: Accoya (New Zealand), ash (Canada)
This year’s Structural Award winner is the National Automotive Innovation Centre, chosen from all the shortlisted buildings. Structural judge Nathan Wheatley comments: "We are looking for a scheme that has challenged the engineer, where the concept has been delivered in spite of that challenge and where the resultant structure is in some way integral to the success (and architecture) of the building."
Location: Coventry; Architect: Cullinan Studio; Joinery: B&K Structures; Species: CLT, spruce glulam (European)
Designer: Studio Woodgate; Maker: Benchmark Furniture; Project facilitator: AHEC; Species: American red oak
The 'Beehave' by Marlene Huissoud was recognised for its unusualness and the attention to detail that went into the making of it. The judges also praised that it is a fully functioning behive and not just a sculptural piece.
Designer: Studio Marlene Huissoud; Maker: Benchmark Furniture; Species: American red oak
'Tenon Table' is the Production winner. The judges admired the design and were particularly impressed by how well balanced the tables are.
Designer: Daniel Schofield; Manufacturer: L.Ercolani; Wood species: ash, oak (Italy)
For more information on the Wood Awards, click here.
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