Wood Awards 2017 – Shortlist for Buildings: Private and small project

A woodland retreat and the memorial chapel are among the 20 structures shortlisted for the Buildings categories of the Wood Awards 2017.

Established in 1971, the Wood Awards aim to recognise, encourage and promote outstanding design, craftsmanship and installation using wood.

The judging panel, led by architect Michael Morrison of Purcell, visited all the projects as part of the shortlisting process.

The awards are split into two main categories: buildings and furniture & product. Within the buildings competition there are  five subcategories: commercial  & leisure, education & public sector, interiors, private and small project.

The shortlisted projects for private and small project are as follows:


The Crow’s Nest

Location: Dorset

Architect: AR Design Studio

Structural Engineer: Eckersley O’Callaghan

Main Contractor/Joinery Company: Mew Developments

Wood Supplier: Russwood

Wood Species: Siberian Larch


A floating structural frame, which acts as an adjustable raft in case of future movement, was laid on top of dwarf walls built on a concrete slab. The design concept, formed on the idea of movement and fracturing, starts as   a traditional cabin that splits, twists and rotates into four pods. The defined entrance pod leads into the central pod where kitchen,  dining and living room are situated. Extensive sliding glass offers uninterrupted views of the                English  Channel beyond a floating timber deck.

Hampshire Passivhaus

Location: Hampshire

Architect: Ruth  Butler Architects

Structural Engineer: Price & Myers

Main Contractor/Joinery Company: Nicholas Coppin Ltd

CLT Manufacturer: KLH  UK Ltd

Building Services Engineer: Cundall

Landscape Design: John Brooks  Landscape Design

Wood Supplier: Timbmet

Wood Species: Europe   Spruce, Europe Oak, Siberian Larch


Hampshire Passivhaus is a self-build home. It is an L-shaped detached dwelling, creating private courtyard spaces, on a tight brownfield site with multiple neighbours. Spruce CLT panels form the entire super structure, walls, floors and  roof. The spruce panels give a tactile and harmonious quality to the living spaces and bedrooms. The prefabricated CLT superstructure  was complete and watertight in just four days. European oak bespoke joinery is used to highlight interior features including the open tread staircase, recessed handrails, worktops and integrated shelves. Externally, the house is clad in Siberian larch rainscreen cladding, chosen for its straight grain, uniform texture and durability. The untreated larch ages over a short period of time to become silver, providing a maintenance free finish well suited to its location on the coast.

Stepping Stone House

Location: Maidenhead

Architect: Hamish and Lyons

Structural Engineer: Momentum

Main Contractor/Builder: RJ Clyde Ltd

Joinery Company: Woodside Ridell

Wood Supplier: Exterior Decking

Wood Species: European Larch, European Oak, West African Iroko

Disconnected, under-used and flood-prone outbuildings were redeveloped to form additional living space for the existing house situated on a heavily constrained site. The design seeks to connect the family with the calming effects of nature through the use of daylight, organic structure and natural materials. The smaller of the two new buildings    is a self-contained guest house. The larger building is connected to the existing house via a structural glass bridge. Stilts elevate the buildings above the lake, lifting them clear of the flood waters and allowing flush access to the existing house. Much  of the building was pre-fabricated, allowing a brief construction period.

Woodman’s Treehouse

Location: West Dorset

Architect: Brownlie Ernst and Marks Limited

Client: Guy Mallinson Woodland Workshop and Crafty Camping

Structural Engineer: Ecos Maclean

Joinery Company/Wood Supplier: Guy Mallinson Woodland Workshop

Wood Species: English Douglas Fir, Cedar, Sweet Chestnut, Oak and Larch


Woodsman’s Treehouse is a two-person residential retreat at Crafty Camping & Woodland Workshop, a rural campus offering green woodworking courses and accommodation in a woodland. Self-built by a team of skilled furniture makers and green wood craftsmen, the construction is arranged around an aged oak and is in harmony   with its surroundings. The cylindrical living space is concealed within an octagonal drum externally clad in alternating stripes of Douglas fir and cedar, which are weathering to form a chevron pattern. The secondary rooms,  plugged around its perimeter, are clad in different timber species and cuts. The treehouse is approached across a sloping  site via  a boardwalk and entered through a burnt oak entrance door.

Small projects

Belarusian memorial chapel      

Location: London

Architect: Spheron Architects

Client: The Holy See of Rome

Structural Engineer: Timberwright Ltd

Environmental/M&E Engineer: Arup

Joinery Company: T Clark & Co Joinery Ltd

Quantity Surveyor/Cost Consultant: Change Project Consulting

Wood Supplier: Egoin UK, East Bros Timber Ltd

Wood Species: British & Canadian Douglas Fir, Spanish Radiata Pine, Canadian Western Red Cedar

This 70sqm project is the first wooden chapel to be built in London since the Great Fire of 1666. Built for the Belarusian diaspora community in the UK, it is dedicated to the memory of victims of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster. A series of contemporary elements have been introduced to the basic traditional form, such as the undulating  timber frill of the flank walls. The principal structure uses Douglas Fir, chosen for its appearance, reduced drying shrinkage and ability to yield very large structural sections. The frame was fabricated and erected to an exacting tolerance of 2mm to accurately interface with the Radiata Pine CLT panels.  All timber is self-finished and external timbers will weather naturally.

Feilden Fowles Studio  

Location: London

Architect/Client: Feilden Fowles Architects

Structural Engineer: Structure Workshop

Main Contractor/Builder: Miles  Builders

Joinery Company: Timber Workshop

Window Supplier: West Leigh

Landscape Design: Dan  Pearson Studio

Wood Supplier:  SH Somerscales Ltd

Wood Species: British Douglas Fir


Feilden Fowles master-planned Waterloo City Farm from the design of animal pens, sheltered outdoor classroom and barn, to their new studio, which was offered in exchange for their design services. The timber frame structure clad with corrugated Onduline sheets, can be dismantled and re-erected when the lease comes to an end. To the north the timber frame projects at high level to articulate large lights, which run the full  length of the space, referencing traditional artist studios and providing generous diffuse light  and cross ventilation.

Saw-mill shelter

Location: Beaminster

Architect: Architectural Association Design and Make students

Client: Architectural Association Hooke Park

Structural Engineer: Arup

Wood Species: British Western Red Cedar, Douglas Fir and Larch


The Saw-mill Shelter, located in the Architectural Association estate, was designed and built by students with the help of the school faculty and  Arup engineers. The shelter is a lightweight anticlastic timber net spanning nearly 11 metres, made up of timber laths only 38x38mm in section. To avoid imperfections,  the laths, which can carry up to two tonnes of tension each, were assembled from short sections using a glued finger-jointed scarfed splice.  Before construction a digital model was developed and analysed with form-finding techniques. Once the forces from the model were evaluated each  fabricated lath was tested to the force that it would have to withstand.

The Smile           

Location: Chelsea College of Arts, London

Architect: Alison Brooks Architects

Client:   American Hardwood Export Council/London Design Festival

Structural Engineer: Arup CLT

Manufacturer: MERK Timber GmbH, Züblin Timber

Main Contractor/Joinery Company: Aldworth James & Bond

Lighting Designer: SEAM Balustrade

Joinery: John Stidworthy

Wood Supplier:Various

Wood Species:  American Tulipwood


The Smile is s a 3.5 metre high, 4.5 metre wide and 34 metre long curved timber tube that cantilevers 12 metres in two directions with viewing platforms at both ends. Up to 60 visitors could enter at one time through an opening where the arc touched the ground. Innovative solutions using long screws were developed, allowing the opening to be in the most highly stressed region. The Smile was the first project in the world to use large hardwood CLT panels and the entire structure was made from just 12 tulipwood panels, connected with 7,000 self-tapping screws. At the base, a glulam timber cradle filled with 20 tonnes of steel counterweights, allows the project to be self-supporting.

The shortlist will be showcased at the London Design Fair (Stand B05, Hall T2), Old Truman Brewery, from 21 to 24 September. Winners will be revealed at the annual Wood Awards ceremony at Carpenters’ Hall on 21 November, by ceremony host Johanna Agerman Ross, founder of Disegno magazine and curator of Twentieth Century and Contemporary Furniture and Product Design at the V&A.



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