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Success for American Hardwood projects in the Wood Awards 2019 Shortlist

Seven of the shortlisted Wood Awards projects for 2019 used American hardwoods.

The American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) is delighted to announce that seven of the shortlisted Wood Awards projects for 2019 used American hardwoods. The winners will be revealed in 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 most naturally sustainable material. The Awards are free to enter and aim to encourage and promote outstanding design, craftsmanship and installation using wood. The judging panels visit all the shortlisted projects in person, making this a uniquely rigorous competition.

“The fact that every year some of the UK’s most influential architects and designers enter projects into the Wood Awards is testament to the status this competition has within the design community. It also reflects the fact that wood is now regarded by many practices and studios as an essential element for innovative and sustainable design. As this years’ shortlist shows American hardwoods continue to provide exciting, sustainable and versatile solutions.” – David Venables, AHEC’s European Director.

MULTIPLY Shortlisted in the Buildings category
Architect: Waugh Thistleton Architects
Client: American Hardwood Export Council
Structural engineer:
Main contractor: Stage One
CLT panel manufacturer: Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC)
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.

Shortlisted in the Buildings category
Location: London
Architect: Hopkins Architects
Client: King’s College School Wimbledon
Structural engineer: Cundall
Timber contractor: Hess Timber
Main contractor: Interserve
Joinery: Input Joinery, Decor
Wood supplier: Brooks Brothers, Triesse Ltd
Wood species: American white oak, Douglas fir
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.

Shortlisted in the Buildings category
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: American, Canadian and British white oak, Swiss fir, European spruce
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.

Shortlisted in the Buildings category
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
Construction manager: Rise
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.

Shortlisted in the Buildings category
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: American white oak,  American/Canadian western red cedar, Portuguese cork oak, New Zealand pine, Estonian spruce and Austrian spruce
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.

Shortlisted in the Production category
Designer: Ian McChesney
Manufacturer: Benchmark
Wood supplier: PB Hardwoods and English Woodlands Timber
Wood species: American Black Walnut or European oak
These highly crafted benches are made in two sizes. The gallery bench is designed to sit in the middle of a room and is 900mm deep to allow for sitting on both sides. The foyer bench is designed to sit at the edge of the room and is 600mm deep to allow for sitting on one side only. The gently pillowed top and bottom give the benches a very natural feel. They are carved initially on a 5 axis CNC machine and then assembled and finished by hand to create the elegant edge profile. They are finished with hand applied natural hard wax oils to keep the timber looking and feeling as natural as possible.

LITTORAL CHANCES 1&2 Shortlisted in the Bespoke category
Designer/maker: David Gates
Vitreous enamel on steel panels: Helen Carnac
Wood supplier: Adamson & Low, English Woodland Timber and Timberline
Wood species: American bird’s eye maple, European oak, Cedar of Lebanon and Douglas fir, bog oak and ripple sycamore
This unmatched pair of collecting cabinets is based on the beauty of chance composition. Gates is drawn to industrial and agricultural architecture, including jetties and pylons, and the paraphernalia that populates these sites, such as containers and crates. Gates is often struck by the balance and beauty of chance compositions; how stacked and piled objects present themselves sculpturally. The timber has been sawn, scraped, planed, and cleft to emphasise the woods’ varying surfaces. The cabinets appear chaotic and improvised but are carefully made using adaptations of traditional construction techniques. The hand-shaped elliptical section of the legs echoes that of yacht masts, further extending the link to the estuary landscape.

Wood Awards
The Wood Awards is the UK’s premier competition for excellence in architecture and product design in wood. The competition began in 1971 as the Carpenters’ Award and was rebranded in 2003 as the Wood Awards. The Awards’ elite independent judging panel of professional experts and specialists not only judges the submitted entries but visits the shortlisted projects in person, making the Wood Awards as meaningful and rigorous a competition as possible.

Multiply: Shortlisted in the Buildings category
Multiply: Shortlisted in the Buildings category
Music School, King's College School, Wimbledon: Shortlisted in the Buildings category
Music School, King's College School, Wimbledon: Shortlisted in the Buildings category
The Decca Radar Station: Shortlisted in the Buildings category
The Decca Radar Station: Shortlisted in the Buildings category
Royal Opera House 'Open Up': Shortlisted in the Buildings category
Royal Opera House 'Open Up': Shortlisted in the Buildings category
Cork House: Shortlisted in the Buildings category
Cork House: Shortlisted in the Buildings category