This week The Wood Awards - Britain’s premier award scheme for wood in buildings and furniture - presented their awards at the Carpenters’ Hall in London. The New Shetland Museum and Archives in Shetland triumphed in the Commercial & Public Access category before being crowned 2008’s overall Gold Award winner. <br/>
This week The Wood Awards - Britain’s premier award scheme for wood in buildings and furniture - presented their awards at the Carpenters’ Hall in London. The New Shetland Museum and Archives in Shetland triumphed in the Commercial & Public Access category before being crowned 2008’s overall Gold Award winner.
The New Shetland Museum and Archives was labelled “an excellent building that fits in very well with its surroundings” by the independent judging panel. The building, with sloped walls conceived as abstract sails, echoes the sails of traditional Shetland herring boats in colour and form while taking inspiration from the Shetland’s Nordic neighbours. The Museum juxtaposes local heritage with the needs of a modern community in a clean space comprising of a cinema/lecture theatre, display galleries and public search rooms. Architect Angus Kerr of BDP has achieved an “excellent building that fits in beautifully with its wind lashed surroundings” where trees are strikingly absent and visitors are brought face to face with Shetland’s maritime history.
The Stadthaus, the world’s tallest timber residential building and winner of the Structural and Offsite Construction category, challenges the “fears and prejudices of established practitioners”, according to the judging panel. This nine storey building, where even the lift cores are made from wood, went up in just nine weeks thanks to Waugh Thistleton’s prefabricated panel design manufactured from 70% waste timber.
The Private category was won this year by Halligan House, a project which presented architects Simon Condor and Associates with a tight budget and the unusual restraints of a flat roof and a single storey. Set in a traditional suburban road this home combines a simple palette of materials with a basic courtyard layout providing light and ventilation as well as external spaces to rooms.
The winner of the Conservation/Restoration category matched the skills of modern craftsmen to those of their medieval ancestors. With bespoke tools required to uncover the timber panelling in the dining room, the restoration of Whitestaunton Manor by Jonathan Rhind Architects shows “a passion and eye for detail that must be admired and applauded” as well as the workmanship and dedication needed for this skilful craft.
The 2008 winner of the Furniture category brings fluid movement in a static sculpture to a Bedfordshire Garden. Commissioned to celebrate a 30th Wedding Anniversary The Sleeping Dragon is a “superbly executed and imaginative piece” in which designer/maker Alun Heslop captures the outstanding design and craftsmanship of furniture made in Britain.
The Awards, hosted by Craig White of White Design and Chairman of ‘Wood for Gold’, an initiative set up to encourage the use of wood in the build up to 2012, and supported by the North East Timber Trade Association, (NETTA) were presented in front of an invited audience of over 200 architectural, design, and wood professionals. Now in its sixth year, The Wood Awards aim to recognise, encourage and promote outstanding design and craftsmanship in wood, the only sustainable building material.
The Wood Awards is supported by twenty generic sponsors, led by the American Hardwood Export Council, the Carpenters’ Company, the Forestry Commission and wood for good.
Interest in the Wood Awards 2009 is already gathering momentum with the entry period opening in March 2009. For further information visit www.woodawards.com.