On their marks9 July 2011
The Wood Awards shortlist has been announced and 30 very different projects around the country are preparing for a visit from the judges. TTJ takes a look at just a handful of the shortlisted entries
The Wood Awards organisers’ decision to waive the entry fee to ensure “every type and size of project in construction, furniture and joinery” was represented certainly paid off this year, resulting in a bumper crop of 348 entries, encompassing 283 different projects.
And this year’s competition has attracted quality, along with quantity. Chief judge Michael Morrison of Purcell Miller Tritton said the standard this year was “terrific” and that the shortlisting process had involved some “fairly fierce arguing” among the judges, before they arrived at a 30-strong list.
“The sheer number of projects entered is fantastic, but what really enthused us this year was that this quantity came with excellent quality,” said Mr Morrison.
Over the summer the judges will travel the length and breadth of the country to view each of the shortlisted projects.
Among these will be the Norwich Open Academy, designed by Sheppard Robson and featured in TTJ sister title Timber & Sustainable Building (Spring 2010). Comprising glulam beams and cross-laminated timber panels, it is claimed to be the biggest solid timber panel building in the UK and has been shortlisted in the Structural category.
London Olympics velodrome
The judges will also take in the Olympic Velodrome (Hopkins Architects), which is shortlisted in the Commercial and Public Access category. The velodrome is clad in western red cedar, the roof features birch-faced plywood, SmartPly OSB and solid Kerto and Leno panels, while the track is constructed from Siberian pine and softwood trusses.
The 16th century Nailsea Tithe Barn is a contender in the Conservation/Restoration category. Designed by Architecton, the refurbishment of the medieval roof is dominated by English oak.
In sharp contrast in the Private/Best Small Project category, the ultra-contemporary Emmanuel College Library (Kilburn Nightingale Architects) also features English oak, but in combination with English sweet chestnut and Medite FR MDF.
The Furniture category – which attracted more than 80 entries – included “Volumptuous” – a fumed oak and cedar of Lebanon cabinet.
David Venables, European director of The American Hardwood Export Council, a long-term supporter of the Wood Awards, said that 2011 had to be the best year yet for the competition.
“The Wood Awards has a unique ability to showcase the multiple benefits of using wood across a wide range of applications and this year the entrants have really responded to the energy and dynamism of the Awards,” he said.
Other sponsors include the Worshipful Company of Carpenters, The Forestry Commission, TRADA, Wood for Good, American Softwoods, the British Woodworking Federation; the Malaysian Timber Council, Canada Wood, Ontario Wood and the Québec Wood Export Bureau.
The winners will be announced at a ceremony on September 27 at the Timber Expo at the Ricoh Centre in Coventry.