2013 Wood Awards - the hotly awaited shortlist

2013 Wood Awards - the hotly awaited shortlist

No matter what new materials come on stream, they never surpass wood. Sustainable, natural, strong and durable, the Wood Awards celebrates the wonders of wood

Dining area in The Dune House in Thorpeness by Mole Architects

More than 300 designers, architects and furniture companies entered this year's Wood Awards and the judges have managed to whittle that number down to a shortlist of 30. Categories include bespoke and commercial furniture, new build architecture and building restoration. Pictured above is The Dune House in Thorpeness, Suffolk by Mole Architects and Norwegian practice Jarmond Visgnaes Architects. See the finalists' work at 100% Design exhibition (18-21 September). Winners announced in November.

Incredible things can be achieved with wood. Spectacular houses, wonderful furniture, welcoming interiors, wood is a material that creative and practical people adapt to their needs and ideas. And because wood from managed forests is sustainable, lots of us like to use it.

The Wood Awards, founded in 1971 and re-launched in 2003, recognizes and encourages excellence in design, craftsmanship and installation and it gives its prestigious awards to architects and furniture designers.

Bespoke furniture finalists

Four finalists have been chosen: Edward Johnson, for his remarkable Ripples chest; chaircreative for its sculptural Nimm Rae high back chair made from ash and Scottish elm; Angus Ross for its Tay Bench, made from Scottish and European oak; and Atmos Studio for its extraordinary Worldscape, an installation of the world which 80 people can sit around, made from Latvian birch ply.

Ripple chest by Edward Johnson, ash, American black walnut, Cedar of Lebanon. wwwejbespokefurniture.co.uk
Tay Bench by Angus Ross Ltd www.angusross.co.uk
Worldscape installation by Atmos Studio www.atmosstudio.com
Sculptural and slender Nimm Rae chair by chaircreative, www.chaircreative.net

Production-made furniture

Commercially-made winning designs shortlisted include: the Joyce Cabinet by Pinch Design, made from cherry and oak or walnut-veneered MDF, and the Clyde side table, also by Pinch Design, made from American walnut with an oak top; Theo and Han chairs by Mark Gabbertas of Gabbertas Studio; and the beech wood Holland Park chair by Ercol, made for Holland Park School.


Han chairs by Gabbertas Studio
Theo chairs by Gabbertas Studio, Hungarian oak and beech
Joyce Cabinet in cherry and oak by Pinch Design
Joyce Cabinet in red by Pinch Design. www.pinchdesign.com
Clyde side table by Pinch Design, American walnut and oak top
Sitting pretty at school, the Holland Park beech chair by Ercol, made for Holland Park School

In the private architecture section, shortlisted houses include The Dune House in Suffolk by Mole Architects in collaboration with Norwegian practice Jarmond Visgnaes Architects, which used spruce crosss-laminated timberand the new Rigg Beck house in Cumbriaby Knox Bhavan architects, which used European oak, Siberian larch and American black walnut.

In the structural section, Trewarren house in Pembrokeshire by John Pardey Architects is shortlisted. It uses iroko and western red cedar woods.

Living area in Trewarren house in Pembrokeshire by John Pardey architects. Shortlisted in structural section
Bedroom in The Dune House by Mole Architects
Cross laminated timber panels were used to construct The Dune House in Suffolk by Mole Architects
Rigg Beck house in Cumbria by Knox Bhavan architects
American black walnut was used to build storage in the Rigg Beck house by Knox Bhavan architects
Kitchen in Rigg Beck house in Cumbria by Knox Bhavan architects

Also in the 30-strong finalist entries are some stunning small projects, outstanding restorations and impressive public buildings, ranging from the traditional to the cutting edge.

The independent judging panel of architecture, engineering, craftsmanship and design experts and specialists is led by Michael Morrison of Purcell UK and Sean Sutcliffe of Benchmark Furniture, and they'll meet the finalists in person before announcing the winners at an awards event on 19 November.

Morrison says the diversity of this year's entries has been impressive: 'They demonstrate the range of flexibility and problem-solving which timber brings. This is exciting to see, and the quality of the entries has made the shortlist selection particularly difficult.'

'Timber is finally being recognised as a solution to achieving affordable, low-carbon urban development goals'

David Hopkins of major Wood Awards' sponsor Wood for Good, says he's been struck by the impact that the timber industry is having on the face of urban architecture throughout the UK:

'Timber is carving itself an ever larger niche in the construction market and one factor which is repeated throughout the entries is sustainability. Timber is finally being recognised as a solution to achieving affordable, low-carbon urban development goals.' 

The Wood Awards 2013 shortlist can be seen at the 100% Design show at Earls Court in London from 18-21 September, and at Timber Expo at the NEC in Birmingham from 24-25 September.
Wood Awards sponsors include the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC), Canada Wood, the Carpenters’ Company, TRADA (Timber Research and Development Association) and Wood for Good. Other sponsors include American Softwoods, BRE and the Forestry Commission.