The Wood Awards is a flagship for wood in the best of British architecture, furniture and design and the 30-strong shortlist for 2012 shows that excellence in design and craftsmanship using wood is thriving. This year’s shortlist features unique private houses and stunning small projects, outstanding restorations, splendid public buildings and unique furniture ranging from the traditional to the cutting edge, all of which are strong candidates for Awards’ main categories.

These have been updated for the 2012 competition. ‘Small Project’ has been introduced as a main category; the ‘Conservation/Restoration’ category is repositioned as ‘Repair & Adaptive Reuse’, and the ‘Furniture’ category has been broadened into two: ‘Bespoke Furniture’ and ‘Production-made Furniture’. In separating ‘Small Projects’ from the ‘Private’ category this year, the Wood Awards has the opportunity to give much smaller projects (this year ranging from a bird hide in Perthshire to the new gates of Anne Boleyn’s Gateway at Hampton Court Palace and the innovative 12m-high Timber Wave in
American red oak for the London Design Festival) the specific recognition they deserve. The category ‘Repair & Adaptive Reuse’ is open to both the careful conservation and ingenious restoration seen every year and the repurpose of existing buildings.

"The entries this year have been excellent, with wide variety and some very interesting projects," said Michael Morrison of Purcell UK and chairman of the judges. "As always, the shortlisting was an exciting process, and it was made more difficult this year by the impressive number of entries. The Wood Awards shortlist really is a short list, and there was a lot of heated argument on the way to agreeing our chosen 30 projects. We knew 2012 would be an interesting year and it has not disappointed."

Both Canada Wood, the joint initiative between the Canadian government and timber industry association partners representing producers in Canada, and Wood for Good, the timber industry’s sustainability and promotion campaign, have this year become lead sponsors of the Wood Awards, alongside long-standing supporters the American Hardwood Export Council and the Carpenters’ Company. Other sponsors include TRADA and American Softwoods, with support from BRE.

The Wood Awards 2012 shortlist will be showcased at Timber Expo, Ricoh Arena, Coventry on September 25-26, and selected projects will be presented by the architects and designers to form part of Timber Expo’s new expanded programme of seminars.

The judges are visiting the shortlisted projects over the coming weeks, and the winners – including that of the coveted Gold Award – will be announced on November 27 at Carpenters’ Hall in London.