Wood Awards 2021 winners

Posted on 17 January 2022

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.