The Rothschild Foundation in Buckinghamshire has triumphed in this year’s Wood Awards, winning both the Structural category and the coveted Gold Award.

In presenting the Awards to Stephen Marshall Architects, judges’ chairman Michael Morrison of Purcell Miller Tritton praised the new archive and offices for the charity investment organisation, The Alice Trust, saying it was “truly stunning” and that the standard of work was a testament to the “care and professionalism of everyone associated with the project”.

The construction of the buildings in timber was inspired by the former use of the site as a farm populated by timber barns with vertical boarding and roof trusses. The main space in the scheme, the archive reading room, was designed as a modern reinterpretation of a barn structure, with a detailed European oak gridshell roof supported on triangular struts.

“It is astonishingly beautifully put together and done with real love and affection,” continued Mr Morrison before recommending that everyone should think up a reason to conduct some research in order to have an excuse to visit the building.

Other winners at the event, which was held at Timber Expo on September 27, were the Brockholes Visitor Centre, described by judges as “a true delight; simple and sophisticated”, in the Commercial & Public Access category; Strange House, which showed “what can be achieved by intelligent design with a small site and a modest budget”, in the Private/Best Small Project category; and Diamond Hall at the University of Ulster in the Conservation/Restoration category.

The latter project was praised for breathing new life into a “pretty grim 1960s building, which could easily have been demolished. Conservation in every sense of the word”.

The Furniture category was won by Katie Walker Furniture for Windsor Rocker, an “innovative, sophisticated and beautiful” rocking chair made from English ash.

The Furniture category also provided rich pickings for two of this year’s competition’s Special Awards.

Outstanding Design went to Sebastian Cox furniture for its coppiced hazel Suent Superlight Chair; while Outstanding Craftsmanship was won by John Galvin Design for its American black walnut Manolo Lounger.

The Private/Best Small Project category provided the winner for the Innovation Special Award. The enigmatically named 081-23MR Stairs, constructed by Atmos Studios using engineered oak herringbone parquet, MDF and European oak, wowed the judges.

“It’s difficult to believe that something so fluid could be made out of flat sections of material and achieved in such a tour de force,” said Mr Morrison.

• Sponsors of the annual Wood Awards included The American Hardwood Export Council, the Carpenters’ Company, the Forestry Commission, Wood for Good, TRADA, American Softwoods, the British Woodworking Federation, the Malaysian Timber Council, Canada Wood, Ontario Wood and the Québec Wood Export Bureau.