Wood Awards 2021 winners

Six structures and two product designs were announced as the Wood Awards 2021 winners at a ceremony held at The Building Centre in London on 25th November. Established in 1971, the Wood Awards is the UK’s premier competition for excellence in architecture and product design in wood. The competition is free to enter and aims to encourage and promote outstanding timber design, craftsmanship and installation. The independent judging panel visits all the shortlisted projects in person, making it a uniquely rigorous competition. The Awards are split into two main categories: Buildings and Furniture & Product. The Gold Award is given to the project that the judges deem to be the winner of winners.

The judges chose Magdalene College Library by Niall McLaughlin Architects as the Gold Award and Education & Public Sector category winner. It is an arrangement of simple brick volumes with timber windows and pitched roofs that echo the gabled architecture of the college. The interior spaces are created by a glulam and CLT structure, supported on load bearing brickwork and populated with oak shelves and tables. Liveryman Jim Greaves, chair of the buildings judging panel, comments, “Magdalene College Library is a tour de force of architectural design and achievement. The different forms of the reading rooms are beautiful and experienced sequentially as they lead one through the building. The brick, timber and stone has been designed exquisitely with a thorough understanding of their intrinsic qualities.”

The Commercial & Leisure winner was The Alice Hawthorn by De Matos Ryan. In medieval times, the village of Nun Monkton was an important river hub with many travellers staying overnight. In recent years, the village’s last remaining pub, a critical community meeting point, had come under threat. This community-led project transforms the pub’s sustainability with the addition of twelve guest bedrooms, eight of which use an entirely timber frame construction centred around a new courtyard.

The Interiors winner was St John Street by Emil Eve Architects. This large Victorian apartment was acquired as an empty shell with an industrial palette of exposed brickwork and concrete. It has been reimagined as a warm, inviting home that retains the building’s industrial character. A series of contemporary interventions are distinct from the existing fabric, with carefully crafted joinery running throughout.

The judges selected The Boathouse by Adams Collingwood Architects as the Private winner. This practical family residence respects the outstanding natural beauty of its surroundings and looks out over the Salcombe Estuary. Natural materials are at the heart of the project. Yellow cedar tiles and cladding adorn the roof and exterior, while the upstairs floor is made from Douglas fir.

Built: East Pavilion by OGU Architects + Donald McCrory Architects was the Small Project winner. With cultural identity being a divisive issue in Belfast, it was important to find cultural common ground shared across the neighbouring communities. The site has a rich industrial history, and the Belfast truss used represents the area’s history of manufacturing ingenuity.

The Structural Award winner was The Welcome Building RHS Garden Bridgewater by Hodder + Partners. Sitting within the new RHS garden on the site of 154-acre Worsley New Hall, The Welcome Building is predominantly one open space that acts as a gateway to the gardens but also contains a visitor meeting and interaction point, restaurant, gift shop, offices, and educational spaces.

Gayles Farm 5 by Wycliffe Stutchbury was the Bespoke winner. The sculptural piece has a flowing appearance, made up of thousands of small oak tiles glued to an open weave cotton twill. The wooden curtain is hung on a hinged, three panelled oak frame with hemp rope and cleats and can be height adjusted.

Iso-Lounge Chair designed by Jasper Morrison for Isokon was selected as the Production winner. The chair’s cutting-edge design started life as a single sketch, where the hand flowed from the back of the seat to the floor. Plywood was the only choice of material to follow the curve of the cantilevered design.

Further information about the Wood Awards can be found at www.woodawards.com.

Carpenters’ Company Chronicle 2021

Chronicle 2021

Re-election of Master and Wardens

On Tuesday 20th July at our General Court of the Livery the Master and Wardens were re-elected to stand for another year. They are Master – Mr Michael Morrison; Senior Warden – Brigadier John Meardon; Middle Warden – Dr Allen Zimbler and Junior Warden – Dr Loyd Grossman CBE.

They will formally be re-installed at the Court Meeting on Wednesday 4th August.

Dr Simon Thurley’s lecture

By Royal Appointment: Carpenters and Masons at the Court of Henry VIII“.

Dr Simon Thurley CBE is a leading historian, curator and heritage expert; and he recently delivered this lecture, which you can view below.

Carpenters’ Company Chronicle 2020

The Chronicle

Election of Master and Wardens 2020-2021

Mr Michael Morrison

Michael Morrison was born in Hertford in 1948 but spent most of his childhood in north Derbyshire where his father had opened his architects’ practice in 1950.  He was educated at Repton, before reading Architecture at Bristol University.  He married Catherine in 1973 and they moved to Norfolk when Michael joined an architects’ practice, Purcell Miller and Tritton, who specialised in the repair and conservation of historic buildings.  This move  was intended at the time as a short stay, whilst they decided where they really wanted to live – but 47 years later they are still in the same place and living in the same 17th Century farmhouse house purchased in 1974 with a demolition order hanging over it!

Michael became a partner in the firm in 1979 and was for many years the Managing Partner and then Chairman of the business, overseeing its expansion across the UK and into Europe, Hong Kong and Australia, before retiring from the practice in 2019.  His own work has been largely on museums, galleries and country houses.  He has been a member of the National Trust’s Architectural Panel, the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Expert Panel, a Trustee of the Greenwich Foundation and he is currently a Commissioner for Historic England (formerly English Heritage).

Michael’s introduction to the Carpenters’ Company was through the Wood Awards, where he chaired the judging panel for several years – a most rewarding thing to do.  He joined the Company in 2008 and was installed as Master in August 2020.  He and Catherine have three children and five grandchildren.  Michael has a keen interest in carpentry and joinery with a well set up workshop in a barn at home where he has built a couple of racing dinghies.  He is also a keen gardener.

The Senior Warden for the year is Brigadier M J Meardon, the Middle Warden is Dr Allen Zimbler and the Junior Warden is Dr Loyd Grossman CBE. The Company’s Clerk is Brigadier Tim Gregson MBE.

Field of Cloth of Gold

This summer marks for 500th anniversary of the Field of the Cloth of Gold. Please click here for an article on The Field of Cloth of Gold – Henry VIII and Humphrey Cooke

Role of Honour WW2

To mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day the Company’s Second World War Roll of Honour please click here.

Carpenters’ Company Chronicle 2019

The Chronicle

Wood Awards 2019

Wood Awards 2019 winners announced

The winners of the Wood Awards 2019 were announced at a ceremony held on the 19th November at Carpenters’ Hall in London hosted by Priya Khanchandani, editor of Icon magazine. Established in 1971, the Wood Awards is free to enter and aims to recognise and encourage outstanding design, craftsmanship and installation using wood.

The judges selected Cork House by architect Matthew Barnett Howland, Dido Milne and Oliver Wilton as this year’s Gold Award and Private category winner. Judge Ruth Slavid commented, “This is a really exciting project. Not just a house, it is also a piece of research.” Cork House is built almost entirely from cork and timber. Monolithic walls and corbelled roof pyramids are built with loadbearing expanded cork made from the bark of the cork oak tree, a by-product from wine stoppers. The house is a prefabricated kit of parts. 1,268 blocks of expanded cork were CNC-machined off-site.

The Commercial & Leisure winner is Royal Opera House ‘Open Up’ by Stanton Williams. Striking the right balance between heritage and 21st century 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 of performance hours.

Cambridge Central Mosque by Marks Barfield Architects was selected as the Education & Public Sector winner. Judge David Morley says, “This building is an exemplar of how wood can enable a structure to become the primary representational element of a building.” The mosque is a calm oasis of contemplation inspired by an image of the garden of paradise. Repeating star octagons are converted into a continuous structural pattern. Alternate octagons are converted to the structural columns or ‘trunks’. The 30 trees create an overall impression of stillness, quiet and focus.

The Interiors winner is Battersea Arts Centre by Haworth Tompkins. In March 2015, a fire broke out in the northern half of the 1890’s grade II* listed 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.

MultiPly by Waugh Thistleton Architects, the 2019 Small Project winner, is the is the first structure made from UK manufactured CLT. The vertical maze of stacked modules and staircases creates labyrinthine spaces which intertwine. MultiPly demonstrates how engineered timber structures can be reconfigured, reused, repurposed and ultimately recycled. Like a piece of flat-packed furniture, it arrives as a kit of parts and can be quietly assembled in under a week.

This year’s Structural Award winner is House in a Garden. Judge Nathan Wheatley said, “this is an exceptional structural form of elegant and slender timber ribs, a structural arrangement which is exciting, efficient and responds perfectly to the study of natural light.” The house is on ground and two basement floors surrounded by gardens, light wells and skylights. The roof curves into an oculus. Shaped and informed by light and shadow, the roof’s tent like form creates a new place for life to occur. Wood-lined ‘internal’ spaces (living rooms and bedrooms) are juxtaposed with marble-lined ‘external’ spaces (wet areas, pools and courtyards).

The Furniture & Product judges selected two winners within the Bespoke category. Alison Crowther’s The Kissing Benches were awarded for their simplicity and honesty to the material. The benches were made for the newly Figaro Garden at Glyndebourne. Gigantic beam sections of green English oak have been hand-carved to create a contemporary take on an old style of outdoor seating. David Gates’s Littoral Chances 1&2 received a Bespoke award for its singular vision and how it highlights just how much a material can be adapted to an individual’s style. This unmatched pair of collecting cabinets is based on the beauty of chance composition. Gates is drawn to industrial and agricultural architecture, including jetties and pylons, and the paraphernalia that populates these sites.

Ian McChesney Bench produced by Benchmark is the Production winner. Judge Sebastian Cox comments, “Seeing something in the production category that is so sculptural is lovely.” These highly crafted benches are made in two sizes. The gently pillowed top and bottom give the benches a very natural feel. They are carved initially on a 5 axis CNC machine and then assembled and finished by hand to create the elegant edge profile.

Within the Student Designer category there were two cash prizes; £1,000 for Winner and £500 for People’s Choice. The overall winner is Bio Iridescent Sequin by Elissa Brunato, which the judges praised as a refreshing alternative to finishes and colour within the fashion industry. Brunato’s sequin uses bio-technologies to create colourful shimmering sequins from naturally abundant wood. The People’s Choice Award was given to Udon Stool by Anton Mikkonen from The Sir John Cass School of Art. The stool consists of five parts, all CNC routed with a 2D CNC machine.

Further information about each of the winners can be found at woodawards.com.

The Wood Awards 2020 call for entries will launch in March and run until 22 May.