Projects by Howarth Tompkins, Dow Jones, Gianni Botsford and Stanton Williams feature in this year’s Wood Awards shortlist


The 20-strong Wood Awards shortlist will be showcased at 100% Design at London’s Olympia from 18-21 September, and the winners will be announced at the annual Wood Awards ceremony at the Carpenters’ Hall on 19 November. The shortlisted projects are divided into two categories: Buildings (featured below) and Furniture & Product. The judging panel, which will visit the shortlisted building projects, comprises Stephen Corbett (Green Oak Carpentry), Andrew Lawrence (Arup), Adam Richards (Adam Richards Architects), Kirsten Haggart (Waugh Thistleton Architects), Nathan Wheatley (Engenuiti), David Morley (David Morley Architects), Jim Greaves (Hopkins), and journalist Ruth Slavid.

Sponsors of the 2019 Wood Awards are American Hardwood Export Council and Carpenters’ Company with American Softwoods, Arnold Laver, Forestry Commission, Timber Trade Federation, TRADA and Wood for Good.


Peter Hall Performing Arts Centre, Cambridge

Architect: Haworth Tompkins; wood species: German beech

Peter Hall Performing Arts Centre includes a 400-seat auditorium, back-of-house facilities and an adaptable foyer that incorporates exhibition and rehearsal spaces. The warmth, stability, and acoustic benefits offered by timber are exploited throughout, with pale timber in the foyer to accentuate the daylight that floods through the glazing. The rich, dark timber-lined auditorium provides an intimate room which wraps the audience around the performers. The triple-height glazed foyer space with its timber diagrid roof is a key element of the design. The roof uses BauBuche beams and central steel nodes to hide all connections.


Eleanor Palmer Science Lab, London

Architect: AY Architects; wood species: European spruce, Finnish birch ply, Siberian larch

Eleanor Palmer Science Lab is a wooden ‘wonder room’, a cabinet of curiosities and a place for discovery and experimentation. The building can accommodate up to 31 pupils and responds to complex site and boundary conditions – a noisy road and a disjointed playground. The primary and secondary structure, internal linings, built-in furniture and external cladding are all timber. Two triangular volumes float above the learning space, offering generous daylight, ventilation and additional height for science experiments. The exterior is protected by a hardwearing Siberian larch rainscreen. The horizontal cladding is closely spaced at low level to endure playground impact and prevent small fingers from getting trapped, the spacing increases at high level, facilitating natural ventilation via concealed shutters facing away from traffic.


Music School, King’s College Music School, Wimbledon

Architect: Hopkins Architects

This state-of-the-art music school comprises a triple-height 200-seat auditorium, a double-height rehearsal space above classrooms, and a two-storey block housing practice and teaching rooms, offices, a porters’ lodge and caretaker’s flat. Three carefully disposed buildings are linked by a single-storey L-shaped foyer, while a basement provides additional practice and ancillary space. The auditorium and rehearsal room roofs use an expressed high-tolerance diagrid structure, comprising a visible lamella of American white oak bonded to spruce glulam beams. Matching veneered solid/slotted triangular panels infill the diagrid and flitched oak ceiling structure. In the auditorium, a series of Douglas fir vertical bay windows provide lateral glimpses back to other buildings in the school. The main foyer features veneered ceiling panels and an oak boarded bar, doors and stairs. Elsewhere, timber framing abounds and rooms feature Douglas fir window reveals.


St John’s Music Pavilion, Buckinghamshire

Architect: Clementine Blakemore; wood species: European spruce, British green larch

St John’s Music Pavilion is a timber classroom, completed incrementally in partnership with the local community and funded through in-kind donations of materials. The structural design was developed as a reciprocal timber frame, with each member resting on the adjacent one to create an interlocking lattice. The collaborative ‘live build’ project formed part of a larger research project and was constructed in two phases. Phase one saw the design, fabrication and erection of the main timber structure. The construction took place in two weeks and the resulting space was initially used as an open-air canopy. Stage two involved enclosing and insulating the space to form an additional classroom for the school. Bi-folding doors open to the grassy mounds of the school which double as an audience viewing area. The finished structure of multiple timber species creates an interesting pallet of colour and textures.


Mitie Headquarters, The Shard, London

Designer: DaeWha Kang Design; wood species: Chinese bamboo

This biophilic workspace aims to increase employee productivity and wellness. Over 2000 bamboo plywood parts were digitally fabricated and finished by hand. The space features two areas: Living Lab and the Regeneration Pods. Living Lab features plywood ceiling ribs spanning the full width of the space, providing a greater sense of privacy to the worker. All the furniture was designed specifically for the space. The floor, desks and task lights are formed from different shades of textured bamboo giving a holistic organic feeling to the office space. Built to provide a tech-free meditative moment within the working day, the Regeneration Pods are also constructed from bamboo plywood. Thin featherlike leaves slot into the structural ribs.



Architect: Waugh Thistleton; wood species: American tulipwood

MultiPly is a carbon neutral engineered timber pavilion, made from hardwood CLT. The vertical maze of stacked modules and staircases creates labyrinthine spaces which intertwine, inviting people to explore the use of wood in architecture and reflect on how we build our homes and cities. MultiPly demonstrates how engineered timber structures can be reconfigured, reused, repurposed and ultimately recycled. The pavilion has been shown in three locations, each iteration taking a different form. The unassuming assembly of modules belies the engineering challenges created by the thinness of panels, significant cantilevers, and the complexity of designing a structure that can be reduced to a set of parts. MultiPly – the first structure made from UK-manufactured CLT – provided an opportunity to push the boundaries of CLT construction. Like a piece of flat-packed furniture, it arrives as a kit of parts and can be quietly assembled in under a week.


Wildernesse Restaurant, Sevenoaks

Architect: Morris & Company; wood species: spruce, fir and pine

Wildernesse Restaurant is a timber-vaulted, metal-skinned shared dining space for a new retirement community set within the Wildernesse Conservation Area and adjacent to a grade-two listed mansion. During the nineteenth century a conservatory sat to the north-east corner of the listed building. The new restaurant aims to reinstate this pavilion typology, creating an exquisite dining space with the transparency of a traditional glasshouse. Internally, CLT arches sit atop a grid of glulam columns. The arches define large glazed openings and a central elevated lantern houses the open kitchen, creating a space filled with light and views across the estate. Internally, all the timber structure is left exposed.


The Spinningfields Pavilion, Manchester

Architect: Sheppard Robson Architects; wood species: Austrian spruce and larch

The Pavilion forms the heart of the commercial Spinningfields development in Manchester. The four-level structure was prefabricated using CLT and glulam. The building’s grid system allows the viewer to understand the location of the floorplates and the columns simply from reading the external frame. A planter support system forms the final layer of the façade, appearing as bands of green running across the building and wrapping over the roof terrace. The new building sits on ‘The Field’, a valuable green space that it links with the surrounding commercial buildings. The Pavilion’s gridded form and expressed, greenery-clad timber structure does this by offering warmth and variety from the surrounding steel and aluminium context of the corporate workspace.


Royal Opera House ‘Open Up’, London

Architect: Stanton Williams; wood species: American black walnut

Striking a balance between heritage and contemporary life, the transformation of the Royal Opera House reimagines the world-renowned home of ballet and opera. Improved access and transparency, a completely new Linbury Theatre and new foyers, terraces, cafes, bars, restaurant and retail facilities extend the building’s life outside performance hours. At entrance level, timber elements inlaid in the stone floor offer a warm welcome. Descending into the double-height Linbury foyer, the atmosphere becomes more intimate and theatrical as book-matched veneer surfaces are complemented by linear grids of timber batons and solid wood parquet. The Linbury Theatre is entirely clad in black walnut, inspired by the rich cherry cladding in the main 1858 auditorium. Lights, acoustic insulation and sound equipment are integrated within the timber.


Battersea Arts Centre, London

Architect: Haworth Tompkins; wood species: European tulipwood and birch

Battersea Arts Centre is an 1890s grade-two* listed building. In March 2015, a fire broke out in the northern half of the building, destroying the roof to the largest performance space. The original decorative plaster barrel vaulted ceiling was completely lost. Rather than replicating the lost ceiling, a contemporary plywood lattice ceiling was conceived. The new ceiling follows the curvature of the original and echoes the motifs in the plasterwork. It is much more porous and suitable for a modern theatre’s requirements. The new ceiling is constructed of three layers of 18mm-thick birch-faced plywood. Many apertures provide multiple rigging and lighting positions from the technical walkway built into the roof space above. Hidden banners within the roof space provide a variety of acoustic options.


Maggie’s Cardiff

Architect: Dow Jones Architects; wood species: Austrian and American Douglas fir

Maggie’s provides practical, emotional and social support to people with cancer and their family and friends. Maggie’s Cardiff takes you on a journey from the bleakness of the car park, through an intimate courtyard garden, into a range of calm and contemplative spaces which focus on a stand of trees and a new landscape garden. The building’s form and materiality reflect the surrounding topography and provide a range of uplifting spaces that have a strong relationship to nature. The silhouette echoes the shapes of the local mountains, while the rusty, wrinkly steel cladding resonates with the colour of the bracken that adorns the hills. The building is an entirely timber structure. The interior spaces are formed between Douglas fir lined walls which have a warmth and softness, and contrast with the sleek polished concrete floor. At the heart of the building is the cwtch, a tall and intimate roof-lit space, inspired by the simnau fawr (big chimneys) of vernacular welsh architecture.