Twenty outstanding structures have been nominated for the Wood Awards 2019 shortlist. The independent judging panel will visit all the shortlisted projects in person, making this a uniquely rigorous competition. The shortlist will be showcased at 100% Design (Stand B16), 18th-21st September, at Olympia. Winners will be revealed at the annual Wood Awards ceremony at Carpenters’ Hall on 19th November.
Established in 1971, the Wood Awards is the UK’s premier competition for excellence in architecture and product design in the world’s only naturally sustainable material. The Awards are free to enter and aim to encourage and promote outstanding design, craftsmanship and installation using wood. The Awards are split into two main categories: Buildings and Furniture & Product.
Peter hall performing arts centre
Architect: Haworth Tompkins
Client: Perse School
Structural engineer: Price & Myers
Main contractor: RG Carter
Joinery: Constructional Timber
Wood supplier: Pollmeier
Theatre consultant & acoustic engineer: Charcoalblue
Services engineer: Skelly & Couch
Quantity surveyor: AECOM
Design & detailing: Arndt Design
Wood species: German beech
Peter Hall Performing Arts Centre includes a 400-seat auditorium, full back-of-house facilities and an adaptable foyer that encompasses new exhibition and rehearsal spaces. The warmth, stability, and acoustic benefits offered by timber have been exploited throughout. Pale timber was specified for the foyer space which accentuates the large amount of natural daylight which floods through the glazing. Timber is once again used throughout the auditorium but in contrast to the foyer it is a rich, dark timber-lined space providing an intimate room which wraps the audience around the performers. The triple-height glazed foyer space with its timber diagrid roof is a key element of the design. The roof uses BauBuche beams and central steel nodes to hide all connections.
Eleanor palmer science lab
Architect: AY Architects
Structural engineer: Price & Myers
Main contractor & joinery: IMS Building Solutions Ltd
Environmental / M+E consultant: Ritchie + Daffin
Wood supplier: TJ Brewer Timber Merchants
Wood species: European spruce, Finnish birch ply, Siberian larch
Eleanor Palmer Science Lab is a wooden ‘wonder room’, a cabinet of curiosities and a place for discovery and experimentation. The building can accommodate up to 31 pupils and responds to complex site and boundary conditions; a noisy road and a disjointed playground. The primary and secondary structure, internal linings, built-in furniture and external cladding are all timber. Two triangular volumes float above the learning space, offering generous daylight, ventilation and additional height for science experiments. The exterior is protected by a hard-wearing Siberian larch rain screen. The horizontal cladding is closely spaced at low level to endure playground impact and prevent small fingers from getting trapped, the spacing increases at high level and facilitates natural ventilation via concealed shutters positioned away from traffic.
Music school, king’s college school Wimbledon
Architect: Hopkins Architects
Client: King’s College School Wimbledon
Structural engineer: Cundall
Main contractor: Interserve
Joinery: Input Joinery, Decor
Wood supplier: Brooks Brothers, Triesse Ltd
This new state-of-the-art music school comprises a triple-height 200-seat auditorium, a double-height rehearsal space above classrooms, and a two-storey block housing practice and teaching rooms, offices, the Porters’ Lodge and the caretaker’s flat. The three carefully disposed buildings are linked by a single storey L-shaped foyer. The basement provides additional practice and ancillary space. The auditorium and rehearsal room roofs use an expressed high-tolerance diagrid structure, comprising a visible lamella of American white oak bonded to spruce glulam beams. Matching veneered solid/slotted triangular panels infill the diagrid and flitched oak ceiling structure. In the auditorium, a series of Douglas fir vertical bay windows provide lateral glimpses back to other buildings in the school. The main foyer features veneered ceiling panels and an oak boarded bar, doors and stairs. Elsewhere, timber framing abounds and rooms feature Douglas fir window reveals.
St John’s music pavilion
Architect: Clementine Blakemore
Structural Engineer: Webb Yates Engineers
Main contractor (phase two): Timber Workshop
Joinery: Design and Making
Wood supplier: Hooke Park
Wood species: European spruce, British green larch
St. John’s Music Pavilion is a new timber classroom. The building was completed incrementally in partnership with the local community and was funded entirely through in-kind donations of materials. The structural design was developed as a reciprocal timber frame, with each member resting on the adjacent one to create an interlocking lattice. The collaborative ‘live build’ project formed part of a larger research project and was constructed in two phases. Phase one saw the design, fabrication and erection of the main timber structure. The construction took place in two weeks and the resulting space was initially used as an open-air canopy. Stage two involved enclosing and insulating the space to form an additional classroom for the school. Bi-folding doors open to the grassy mounds of the school which double as an audience viewing area. The finished structure uses multiple timber species, creating an interesting pallet of colour and textures
Mitie headquarters, the shard
Designer: DaeWha Kang Design
Manufacturer: Aldworth James & Bond
Main contractor: Modus
Wood supplier: MOSO® Bamboo Surfaces
Wood species: Chinese bamboo
This biophilic workspace aims to increase employee productivity and wellness. Over two thousand bamboo plywood parts were digitally fabricated and finished by hand. The space features two areas: Living Lab and the Regeneration Pods. Living Lab features plywood ceiling ribs spanning the full width of the space, providing a greater sense of privacy to the worker. All the furniture was designed specifically for the space. The floor, desks and task lights are formed from different shades of textured bamboo giving a holistic organic feeling to the office space. Built to provide a tech free meditative moment within the workday, the Regeneration Pods are also constructed from bamboo plywood. Thin featherlike leaves slot into the structural ribs.
Architect: Waugh Thistleton
Client: American Hardwood Export Council
Structural engineer: Arup
Main contractor: Stage One Creative Services
CLT panel manufacturer: Construction Scotland Innovation Centre
Lighting design: SEAM
Wood supplier: Glenalmond Timber Company
Wood species: American tulipwood
MultiPly is a carbon neutral engineered timber pavilion, made from hardwood CLT. The vertical maze of stacked modules and staircases creates labyrinthine spaces which intertwine, inviting people to explore the use of wood in architecture and reflect on how we build our homes and cities. MultiPly demonstrates how engineered timber structures can be reconfigured, reused, repurposed and ultimately recycled. The pavilion has been shown in three locations, each iteration taking a different form. The unassuming assembly of modules belies the engineering challenges created by the thinness of panels, significant cantilevers, and the complexity of designing a structure that can be reduced to a set of parts. MultiPly provided an opportunity to push the boundaries of CLT construction. Like a piece of flat-packed furniture, it arrives as a kit of parts and can be quietly assembled in under a week. MultiPly is the first structure made from UK manufactured CLT.
Structural engineer: Peter Brett Associates
Main contractor: Shaylor Group
Joinery: Eurban Ltd, Carr Grange Joinery, CED
Wood supplier: Schilliger Holz
Wood species: spruce, fir and pine
Wildernesse Restaurant is a timber-vaulted, metal-skinned shared dining space for a new retirement community. The site is within the Wildernesse Conservation Area and adjacent to a grade II listed building. During the 19th century a conservatory sat to the north-east corner of the grade II listed mansion. The new restaurant aims to reinstate this pavilion typology, creating an exquisite dining space with the transparency of a traditional glasshouse. Internally, CLT arches sit atop a grid of glulam columns. The arches define large glazed openings and a central elevated lantern houses the open kitchen – creating a space filled with light and expansive views across the estate. The use of minimal repeated elements is a key concept for the construction of the restaurant. Internally, all the timber structure is left exposed.
The spinningfields pavilion
Architect: Sheppard Robson Architects
Structural & timber engineer: engenuiti
Main contractor: BAM Construction
Joinery & wood supplier: B&K Structures
CLT & glulam rib panel manufacturer: Stora Enso
Wood species: Austrian spruce and larch
The new pavilion forms the heart of the commercial Spinningfields development in Manchester. The four-level structure was prefabricated using CLT and glum. The building’s grid system allows the viewer to understand the location of the floor-plates and the columns simply from reading the external frame. A planter support system forms the final layer of the façade, appearing as bands of green running across the building and wrapping over the roof-terrace. The new building sits on ‘The Field’ which is a valuable green space. A key driver for the concept was to form a link between ‘The Field’ and the surrounding commercial buildings which include Manchester’s highest spec office building. The Pavilion’s strongly gridded form and expressed timber structure clad in living greenery does this by offering warmth and variety from the surrounding steel and aluminium context of the corporate workspace.
Royal opera house ‘open up’
Architect: Stanton Williams
Client: Royal Opera House
Structural engineers: Arup, Robert Bird Group
Main contractor: Swift Crafted Ltd
Joinery: Birmingham Veneers Ltd, TT Gillard, Thornell Veneers Ltd
Wood supplier: Missouri Walnut LLC
Veneer supplier: Reliance Veneer Co Ltd
Wood species: American black walnut
Striking the right balance between heritage and 21st century life, the transformation of the Royal Opera House reimagines the world-renowned home of ballet and opera. Improved access and transparency, a completely new Linbury Theatre and new foyers, terraces, cafes, bars, restaurant and retail facilities extend the building’s life outside of performance hours. At entrance level, subtle timber elements inlaid in the stone floor offer a warm welcome. Descending into the double-height Linbury Theatre foyer, the atmosphere becomes more intimate and theatrical as exquisitely book matched veneer surfaces are complemented by elegant linear grids of timber batons and solid wood parquet. The Linbury Theatre is entirely clad in black walnut, inspired by the rich cherry cladding in the main 1858 Opera House auditorium. Lights, acoustic insulation and sound equipment are integrated within the timber.
Battersea arts centre
Architect: Haworth Tompkins
Structural engineer: Heyne Tillett Steel
Main contractor: 8 Build
Joinery: Joinery Fixing and Finishing Ltd
Wood supplier: IBL
Wood species: European tulipwood and birch
Battersea Arts Centre is an 1890’s grade II* listed building. In March 2015, a fire broke out in the northern half of the building destroying the roof to the largest performance space. The original decorative plaster barrel vaulted ceiling was completely lost. Rather than replicating the lost ceiling, a contemporary plywood lattice ceiling was conceived. The new ceiling follows the curvature of the original and echoes the motifs in the plasterwork. It is much more porous and suitable for a modern theatre’s requirements. The new ceiling is constructed of three layers of 18mm thick birch-faced plywood. Many apertures provide multiple rigging and lighting positions from the technical walkway built into the roof space above. Hidden banners within the roof space provide a variety of acoustic options.
Architect: Dow Jones Architects
Structural engineer: Momentum
Main contractor: Knox & Wells Ltd
Joinery: Dilwyn Lear Ltd
Wood supplier: Lathams
Wood species: Austrian and American Douglas fir
Maggie’s provides free practical, emotional and social support to people with cancer and their family and friends. Maggie’s Cardiff takes you on a journey from the bleakness of the carpark, through an intimate courtyard garden, into a range of calm and contemplative spaces which focus on a stand of trees and a new landscape garden. The building’s form and materiality reflect the surrounding topography and provide a range of uplifting spaces that have a strong relationship to nature. The building’s silhouette echoes the shapes of the local mountains, while the rusty, wrinkly steel cladding is the colour of the bracken that adorns the hills. The building is an entirely timber structure. The interior spaces are formed between Douglas fir lined walls which have a warmth and softness, and contrast with the sleek polished concrete floor. At the heart of the building is the cwtch, a tall and intimate roof-lit space, inspired by the simnau fawr (big chimneys) of vernacular welsh architecture.
Cambridge central mosque
Architect: Marks Barfield Architects
Client: Cambridge Mosque Trust
Structural engineer: Price & Myers
Main contractor: Gilbert Ash
Joinery: The Deluxe Group
Wood supplier: Mayr-Melnhof Holz Reuthe GmbH
Timber frame engineer: Blumer Lehmann
Project manager: Bidwells
Building services & sustainability consultant: Skelly & Couch
Wood species: European spruce, oak and mahogany
The first purpose-built mosque in Cambridge is a calm oasis of contemplation within a grove of trees, inspired by an image of the garden of paradise – with its water fountain symbolising the source of all life. Timber was chosen for its natural, warm and calming qualities. The expressed vaulted structure is glulam, while the surrounding wall and roof structure is CLT. The guiding geometry of the building is The Breath of the Compassionate, a historic Islamic pattern which evokes breathing in and out. Repeating star octagons are converted into a continuous structural pattern and projected onto the three-dimensional fan vaulting form. Alternate octagons are converted to the structural columns or ‘trunks’. The 30 trees create an overall impression of stillness, quiet and focus. 2746 pieces form the vaulted structure. Wherever possible metal connectors have been replaced with half lap joints for continuity of timber grain.
Architect: Matthew Barnett Howland with Dido Milne and Oliver Wilton
Client: Matthew Barnett Howland and Dido Milne
Structural engineer: Arup
Main contractor: Matthew Barnett Howland with M&P London Contractors Ltd
Joinery: Whyte & Wood
CNC machining of cork blocks: Wup Doodle
Internal joinery: Nic Rhode Furniture
Furniture: Tom Graham Workshop
Wood supplier: NFP Europe Ltd
Wood species: Portuguese cork oak, New Zealand pine, Estonian spruce, American/Canadian western red cedar, Austrian spruce and American white oak
Cork House is built almost entirely from cork and timber. Monolithic walls and corbelled roof pyramids are built with load-bearing expanded cork made from the bark of the cork oak tree, a by-product from wine stoppers. Conceived as a prefabricated kit-of-parts, blocks of expanded cork were CNC-machined off-site and then assembled on-site by hand without mortar or glue. All 1,268 pure cork blocks will be available at end-of-building-life as either biological or technical nutrients. A CLT floor platform, finished with oak floor boards, rests on Accoya beams supported on steel screw piles. Accoya is also used for the bespoke doors, windows and external steps. Western red cedar weatherboarding is used on the roof and rear façade. All internal built-in joinery and loose furniture is made from spruce. Internally, the exposed cork and timber create a rich, evocative, sensory environment.
House in a garden
Architect: Gianni Botsford Architects
Structural engineer: Built Engineers
Main contractor: New Wave (London) Ltd
Joinery: ZÜBLIN Timber GmbH
Stair manufacturer: SteelOne srl
Wood supplier: Dinesen
Landscape architect: Todd Longstaffe-Gowan
Wood species: European spruce, birch and Douglas fir
Replacing a dilapidated bungalow built in the 1960’s in the garden of an 1840’s villa, the house is on ground and two basement floors surrounded by gardens, light wells and skylights. The ground-floor, pavilion-like structure floats, creating distant views through gaps in the city skyline. Wood it used throughout the project: structurally for the roof; as wall, floor and ceiling linings; and for the floating staircase. The glulam structure is unique in terms of the double curvature and the slender section sizes. The roof curves into an oculus. Shaped and informed by light and shadow, the roof’s tent like form creates a new place for life to occur. Wood-lined ‘internal’ spaces (living rooms and bedrooms) are juxtaposed with marble-lined ‘external’ spaces (wet areas, pools and courtyards).
The decca radar station
Client: Johnson Naylor
Main contractor: The Naylor Marlow Partnership
Joinery & interior fit-out: Shape London
Interior architecture: MS-DA and Johnson Naylor
Project management: Forma London, Andrew Bassant
Timber structure: Burkat AG Trilengo
Wood supplier: Schilliger Holz
Photography: Billy Bolton
Wood species: Canadian, American and British white oak, Swiss fir
Decca, a record label founded in 1949, used two sheds on the shingle beach of Dungeness to test new radar equipment. Several platforms and support structures were added over the years but eventually everything fell into disrepair. A holiday let for two, where visitors can enjoy the views of Dungeness’s desert like surroundings, now sits on the Decca site. The design responds to local architecture, such as fishermen’s huts and metal sheds, and finds the balance between rugged landscape and cosy shelter. The construction is a SIP panel externally lined with dense wood fibre board. The substructure is entirely fir. Internally, it is clad with white oak veneered panels and solid raw hemlock.
Architect/Client: Tikari Works
Structural engineer: Built Engineers
Wood supplier: Whittens Timber
M&E consultants: SGA Consulting
Kitchen manufacturer: Uncommon Projects
Wood species: Canadian western red cedar, North American Douglas fir, Finnish spruce
Pocket House’s limited footprint resulted in a design solution in which half the house is located underground. A large lightwell is cut into the corner of the plan to allow light into the basement. The bedrooms are placed below ground and orientated around a sunken courtyard. A timber pod, placed in the darkest corner of this floor, contains the family bathroom. The pod’s thick walls create spaces for desks and storage. The kitchen and dining areas are located at ground level and are separated from the house’s entrance by another timber pod containing a toilet, coat cupboard and kitchen storage. An open-plan living space sits on the first-floor, with street views concealed behind a timber screen. The screen also helps to harmonise the building’s façade. Oversized doors and folding walls play with your expectations and sense of space.
Architect: David Morley Architects
Client/main contractor: Urban Splash
Structural engineer: Price and Myers
Joinery: Commercial Systems International Limited
Wood supplier: Maarten Kleinhout
Wood species: European spruce
Commissioned by Samuel Lister in 1873, Lister Mills is a collection of Grade II* listed mills that dominate the Bradford skyline. Velvet Mill is the second phase in the development. The mill has been converted into 190 apartments, including a new two-storey roof top extension and 6,500 sqft of community and commercial space at ground floor level. The two-storey penthouses were conceived as a curvilinear metal fabric, wrapped into a plait to evoke the tradition of weaving. The metal-clad plait, which can be seen for miles around, was entirely dependent on the emerging technology of CNC cutting and OSB board.
Architect: James Gorst Architects
Client: Giles and Polly Wilson
Structural engineer: Heyne Tillet Steel
Main contractor: Kingerlee
Wood supplier: B&K Structures
External timber cladding supplier: Green Oak Carpentry Company Ltd
Wood species: European spruce
The aim for Hannington Farm was to transform the estate into a functioning organic deer farm, centred around a finely crafted contemporary family home. The attenuated cranked plan form of the house is derived from the contours of the site. The main rooms are focused towards two new lakes. The house is harmonious with the landscape. The sweeping and intersecting diagonals of the asymmetric roof pitches are countered by the vertical accents of the four detached stone chimneys. The glulam frames have been lime washed and left exposed in the main living spaces. Externally, the CLT walls are clad in locally sourced blocks of Cotswold limestone. Internal joinery, panelling and stairs are crafted from solid and veneered English oak finished in a clear satin oil.
Hanging dovetailed staircase
Architect: Michaelis Boyd
Main contractor: Gradica Building Contractors
Joinery: Fowler & Co
Lighting design: John Cullen
Wood supplier: English Woodlands Timber
Structural engineer: Campbell Reith
A staircase was commissioned as part of a residential basement extension and refurbishment to connect the three bottom levels. The new lightweight and contemporary stairs draw light into the lower levels. Crafted from delicate tapering oak spindles suspended from the floor above, each vertical spindle is dovetailed into cantilevering solid oak treads. 67 hand-routed shouldered dovetail joints culminate in the lowest flight floating above a ground bearing joinery unit. Moving away from a traditional staircase posed its own risks and uncertainties, particularly regarding excessive bounce and creaking. However, the dovetail joints mean that when the stair is loaded it becomes more rigid and resistant to movement.
Old house, spiral staircase
Architect: tonkin liu
Client: Clockwork Farms Ltd
Structural engineer: Rodrigues Associates
Main contractor: Suncomfort Ltd
Wood supplier: Altripan UK Ltd
Wood species: Russian birch ply
A new spiralling CNC-machined staircase provides access to the upper storeys of the 16th century Grade II* Listed Old House. The spiralling plane along the inside of the stair is formed of four layers of flexible plywood, a compression spiral supporting the stair over two storeys. The spiral also provides outward thrust which is transferred through the treads and risers into the vertical planes of the surrounding building. The walls are formed of vertical planks of birch plywood, aligning with the treads of the stair which rest on the top edge of the wall planks below. The entire kit was assembled from bottom-up. As the next wall plank was fixed in place, the treads were locked in position to provide a strong and stable connection, bracing the walls of this historic stair tower to the modern birch plywood spiral.
The buildings judging panel is led by three-time Gold Award winner Stephen Corbett of Green Oak Carpentry. The panel includes Andrew Lawrence, Arup; Adam Richards, Adam Richards Architects; Kirsten Haggart, Waugh Thistleton Architects; Nathan Wheatley, engenuiti; David Morley, David Morley Architects; Jim Greaves, Hopkins; and architectural journalist Ruth Slavid.
As a not-for-profit competition, the Wood Awards can only happen with collaborative industry sponsorship. Major Sponsors are American Hardwood Export Council and Carpenters’ Company. Other Sponsors include American Softwoods, Arnold Laver, Forestry Commission, Timber Trade Federation, TRADA and Wood for Good.