Our pick from the Wood Awards 2018 shortlist

The Wood Awards 2018 shortlist has been revealed, and we’ve chosen a selection of shortlisted designs that we think could be worthy winners.

Including designs by Foster + Partners, Studio Weave, Barber & Osgerby, and Niall McLaughlin Architects, the Wood Awards are back for 2018. The Awards celebrate the best of British architecture and product design in wood – the world’s only naturally sustainable material. 32 projects have been selected by the judges for the shortlist, split into two main categories: 'Buildings' and 'Furniture & Product'. To decide on this year’s winners, each of the shortlisted projects will be visited by the judging panel in person, making the Wood Awards a uniquely difficult competition.

All the shortlisted projects will be on display at the London Design Fair from the 20th – 23rd of September, with the winners being revealed at the annual Wood Awards ceremony at Carpenters’ Hall on the 20th November. While we wait for the judges to scrutinise each and every design, DesignCurial have put together a selection of shortlisted designs that we think could be worthy winners for the Wood Awards 2018:


Category: Buildings, Commercial and Leisure

Location: Charlestown of Aberlour, Scotland
Architect: Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners
Client/Owner: Edrington
Structural Engineer: Arup
Main Contractor: Robertson
Installation: L&S Baucon GmbH
Joinery/Wood Supplier: Wiehag

One of the most complex timber structures created in the UK, The Macallan has been built on an estate that has been making single malt whisky since 1824. The scheme has five domes which mirror the surrounding landscape, and a lattice of beams has been imposed orthogonally on the roof; this allows the structure to be robust, and gives space for an increased capacity. The timber has been reinforced with steel, and all the wooden elements have been fabricated in Austria using advanced CNC machinery.

Image: Mark Power Magnum Photos


Category: Furniture & Product, Bespoke

Designer: John Makepeace
Maker: Clive Baines
Client/Owner: Sarah Myerscough Gallery
Wood Species: English oak

This series of unique, handcrafted chairs have been produced by John Makepeace especially for the Sarah Myerscough Gallery. Each of the chairs has been reduced to five major components, three legs, a seat and a back; they were made from a single tree of ‘hedgerow oak’. The angle and profile of the chairs has been designed so that the back leg provides lumbar support, while the curve of the back-rest centres the body.


Category: Buildings, Education & Public Sector

Location: London
Architect: Ian Ritchie Architects Ltd
Client/Owner: Royal Academy of Music
Structural Engineer: WSP
Main Contractor: Geoffrey Osborne Ltd
Joinery: James Johnson & Co. Ltd
Specialist Theatre Electrics & Lighting: Push The Button
Acoustic Engineer: Arup
Wood Supplier: Hardwood Sales Ltd, Brooks Bros Ltd, Lathams
Wood Species: American cherry, European oak

Image: Adam Scott

This project is made up of two exceptional spaces; the cherry-lined Susie Sainsbury Theatre, and the Angela Burgess Recital Hal. Now forming the heart of the Academy, the 309-seat Theatre has been inspired by the curved shapes of string instruments, and has been designed to be both intimate and epic. Above the Theatre, the 100-seat Recital Hall is tranquil and cool; it has been lined in pale, lime-washed European oak, with an oak-lined oculus providing natural light from above.

Image: Adam Scott


Category: Buildings, Education & Public Sector

Location: Northolt
Architect: Studio Weave
Client/Owner: Belvue School
Structural Engineer: Timberwright
Main Contractor: IMS Building Solutions
M&E Consultant: Arup
Project Managers: Jackson Coles
Roofing Sub-contractor: VMZinc
Wood Supplier: T. Brewer
Wood Species: Western red cedar (Canada)

A secondary school for students with moderate to severe learning difficulties, Belvue School’s new  Woodland Classrooms have been built to act as a gatehouse between the ‘familiar’ school playground and the ‘magical, mysterious’ adjacent woodland. Built on a modest budget, the new spaces have a domestic quality and intimate scale; ‘Cosy Lounge’ is used for workshops and engaging with the woods; ‘Sociable Kitchen’ includes a group dining space, and ‘Messy Barn’ allows for outdoor learning, whatever the weather.

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