The recently announced winners of this year's Wood Awards demonstrate exceptional design and craftsmanship. The wide plethora of projects, from Niall McLaughlin Architects' fishing hut to a zigzagging bar, tiny renovated flat and Arup's solid timber office and training facility, exemplifies the innovative and diverse ways contemporary architects use timber.
The top prize went to a charming fishing hut designed by London-based Niall McLaughlin Architects, which is meant to function as a meeting space and a place to store boats and fishing tackle. The winner in the Commercial and Leisure category is the Constellations Bar by Howard Miller Design. Its zigzagging waffle-like canopy made from green oak runs along and shelters a cast-concrete bar and wooden stools which frame a large space for parties and events. The Arcadia Nursery in Edinburgh, by Malcolm Fraser Architects was recognized for its use of Cross Laminated Timber (CLT). The lightweight structure creates a warm interior while its timber cladding and wood fiber insulation help maintain stable indoor temperatures.
Bradley Van Der Straeten Architects renovated a tiny studio apartment in London using their own experience of traveling together in the confined environment of a Volkswagen camper. The renovated flat, located in a building nicknamed “The Tardis,” is space-efficient and practical. Hopkins Architects‘ music school in Dorset features Spruce glulam timber posts and ceiling beams, in-filled with timber panels, which dominate the interiors of the large rehearsal hall, the percussion room and multi-functional spaces. Timber framing and panels are used in the classrooms and office spaces.
The mobile artist’s studio, dubbed The Observatory, is clad in a variety of different timber species, including shou sugi ban– UV resistant, weather resistant, rot resistant, and bug resistant Japanese charred wood siding material. Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios designed the project as two telescope-like rotating wooden structures that can face different views.
Foster + Partners‘ Canary Wharf station in London is partly built out of wood. This choice of material references the nautical and architectural history of the Wharf. A special award was given to Arup for their BSkyB building, which makes solid timber and timber cassettes a low-energy solution that can be quickly built. This educational facility in London took the form of a glulam frame with visible grade cross laminated timber panels, manufactured using BIM technology and CNC machines.