The winners of the Wood Awards 2017, have been announced at a ceremony held on the 21st November at Carpenters’ Hall hosted by Johanna Agerman Ross, Founder of Disegno magazine and Curator of Twentieth Century and Contemporary Furniture and Product Design at the V&A.
Coastal House, Devon by 6a Architects was awarded the Arnold Laver Gold Award, the winner of winners, as well as being the Interiors category winner. The house is an early-twentieth century family home with extensive views of the sea. It has been transformed by stripping it back to its stone walls and completely reconfigured internally. Each space has a distinct volume and ceiling height, with the central stair offering clear views through the whole house. Tapered oak verticals are used as supports throughout, including primary drawing room columns, external veranda posts and the stair spindles. The judges commented that timber has been used in several different ways to create a wonderful home which feels natural and unaffected.
The judges selected Rievaulx Abbey Visitor Centre & Museum by Simpson & Brown as the Commercial & Leisure winner as it does something highly unusual – it creates an abstract, numinous space using timber as an expressed structure. The project surpassed the demands of the modern curatorial standards it was originally designed to meet, creating a welcoming and beautiful space for visitors to the ruins.
Maggie’s Oldham by dRMM was chosen as the Education & Public Sector winner. Built in the grounds of NHS cancer hospitals, Maggie’s Centres offer free practical and emotional support for people affected by cancer. Maggie’s Oldham is the first permanent building constructed from sustainable tulipwood CLT.
The winner of the Private category was Hampshire Passivhaus, a self-built home on the south coast by Ruth Butler Architects. The judges were impressed by the design, craftsmanship and attention to detail. It is an L-shaped detached dwelling, creating private courtyard spaces, on a tight brownfield site with multiple neighbours.
Feilden Fowles Studio was selected as this year’s Small Project winner. The judges praised the how simple yet beautifully thought through the project is. Situated on Waterloo City Farm, the design fits perfectly in to its surroundings. The structure can be dismantled and re-erected when the lease ends.
The Smile by Alison Brooks Architects was awarded this year’s Structural Award, chosen from all the buildings shortlisted in each category. The judges were impressed by the ease with which The Smile rested in place which masked some impressive and complex engineering. Conceived as a habitable arc, The Smile was a 3.5m high, 4.5m wide and 34m long curved timber tube built for the London Design Festival 2016.
The winner of the Bespoke category was Time and Texture by Eleanor Lakelin which forms part of ‘A Landscape of Objects’, a site-specific exhibition set in the gardens of Forde Abbey. The thought-provoking project comprises three hollowed vessels and four solid forms which show how natural elements erode and work away at materials.
The judges gave the Narin Chair by David Irwin for Case Furniture the Production Made award for its elegant, distinctive, logical and comfortable design. Case wanted to change preconceptions of what a folding chair is; a piece of furniture you would be proud to have on display at any time and not the emergency chair that comes out of the cupboard at Christmas.
Within the Student Designer category there were two cash prizes; £1,000 for Winner and £500 for People’s Choice. Voting for the People’s Choice Award took place at the Wood Awards shortlist showcase at London Design Fair in September. The category winner was Rustic Stool 1.0 by Central Saint Martins student Mark Laban. The judges praised this interesting new typology which interprets traditional Japanese aesthetics through a contemporary digital manufacturing process. The People’s Choice Award was given to Hex Drinks Cabinet by Damian Robinson of Williams and Cleal which was inspired by a bees’ nest found in the maker’s garden.
Further information can be found on the Wood Awards website.