News Ticker

Wood awards 2019 shortlist announced

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

Location: Cambridge

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

Location: London

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

Location: London

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

Location: Buckinghamshire

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

Client: Mitie

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.


Wildernesse restaurant

Location: Sevenoaks

Architect: Morris+Company

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

Location: Manchester

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’

Location: London

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

Location: London

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.


Maggie’s cardiff

Location: Cardiff

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

Location: Cambridge

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.


Cork house

Location: Eton

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

Location: Dungeness

Architect: MS-DA

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.


Pocket house

Location: London

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.


Velvet mill

Location: Bradford

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.


Hannington farm

Location: Northampton

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

Manufacturer: Brilliant

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.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.


Subscribe To Our Newsletter
Subscribe to our email newsletter today to receive updates on the latest news, projects and product news!
No Thanks
Thanks for signing up. You must confirm your email address before we can send you. Please check your email and follow the instructions.
We respect your privacy. Your information is safe and will never be shared.
Don't miss out. Subscribe today.
WordPress Popup