Wood Awards 2022 Summary

Timber Development is proud to be the lead organisers of the Wood Awards 2022 and going forward.

This year Timber Development UK (TDUK) became the lead organisers of the Wood Awards after being a main sponsor and member of the steering group for previous years.

TDUK is the largest, most comprehensive supply chain body for timber in the UK. Every day we connect, inspire, and support more than 1,500 businesses to build a better world through wood. Our mission is threefold: connect the supply chain, lead best practices, and accelerate a low-carbon future. All three of these missions seamlessly fit into the ethos of the Wood Awards.

It has been a busy year, one we are proud to have accomplished and been able to lead with outstanding examples of how the construction and product industry is embracing timber to showcase the very best of design, architecture, and projects in the UK.

Call for Entries

In early April 2022, we launched the call for entries to the Wood Awards – the UK’s premier competition for excellence in architecture and product design in wood. To instigate imagination and creativity, we launched a webinar series “designTimber” that ran from May to September, enabling a behind-the-scenes view of the award-winning designs of the Wood Awards 2021.

DesignTimber

From university libraries to house extensions, the designTimber series highlighted some of the finest examples of timber design and construction in the UK. The selected projects were Gold Award Winner 2021, Magdalene College Library; Structural Award Winner, The Welcome Building, RHS Garden Bridgewater; Private Highly Commended, Wooden Annex and the Small Project Winner, Build Eat Pavilion.

Shortlist Judging and Announcement

The call for entries closed in mid-July with over 300 entries received. Over the summer months, the furniture and building judges review all entries to decide on the Wood Awards 2022 shortlist which consisted of twenty buildings and twelve furniture projects.

Wood Awards x Material Matters 

The Wood Awards 2022 shortlist was announced at the start of September 2022, ahead of the first exhibition at the Gallery@Oxo from Thursday 22 – Sunday 25 September. This exhibition was displayed in partnership with Material Matters and took place during London Design Festival.

Over the four days of the exhibition, thousands of trade professionals, as well as members of the public visited the showcase remarking on the incredible displays of ingenuity, craftsmanship and innovation which came through every shortlisted project.

All twelve of the furniture shortlisted projects were on display at this exhibition, allowing the public to see the standard of design. In addition, there were three of the building models displayed: Clifford’s Tower, Threshing Barn, and Equal Access Project – Inner Portico as well as posters displaying all the projects.

The partnership between Material Matters and the Wood Awards felt natural and enabled a focus on materials, how they are used, and their ability to shape our lives. We were delighted to be able to showcase the incredible Wood Awards 2022 shortlist in partnership with Material Matters and during London Design Festival.

On Thursday 23 September, the Wood Awards Shortlist Launch evening took place at Gallery@Oxo. This was a joint event along with the launch of Timber Development UK. Over one hundred people attended, including the shortlisted entrants, judges, TDUK members, sponsors, supporters, media, and other stakeholders.

Wood Awards Building Judging

During October, the building judges visited all twenty of the shortlisted projects in person. This year’s projects ranged from Edinburgh down to South Devon, Cambridge to York, London to Somerset, and all points in between.

Wood Awards Exhibition at Building Centre

The second Wood Awards exhibition opened on 31 October and runs until 22 December 2022, at the Building Centre in London. This exhibition was extended due to popularity from the original closing date of 10 December.

This free exhibition featured the thirty-two shortlisted projects for this year’s Wood Awards, including thirteen of the twenty buildings in model form – allowing visitors to explore, in miniature, the evolution of intent that shaped the buildings.

Visitors were able to get a sneak peek into the daring wood designs found in the likes of the ABBA Arena, Homerton College Dining Hall, The Chapel Roof at Radley College, Wintringham Primary School, the Water Tower, and many more.

This exhibition allowed the public to explore all shortlisted entries before the Wood Awards Ceremony, and for a month after, to learn more about the projects.

Wood Awards Live

On 3 November, around forty built environment professionals were treated to a special evening session with talks exploring three of the shortlisted entries of the Wood Award 2022, as momentum built towards the Wood Awards Ceremony on 23 November.

The three projects – the ABBA Arena, Gramophone Works, and Brent Cross Town Visitor Pavilion – came from the Commercial & Leisure sector, and all made use of mass timber to create sustainable, innovative, and daring buildings – across a range of building types.

Wood Awards Ceremony

The Wood Awards Ceremony on Wednesday 23 November at Carpenters Company was attended by over two hundred people – representing the Wood Awards shortlist, judges, sponsors, supporters, media, TDUK members, and other interested stakeholders.

Winners and Highly Commended Projects of the Building Category represent the best of contemporary wood architecture, demonstrating the use of timber to help reach the highest contemporary building standards, all of which are at the forefront of design, craftsmanship, and innovation. The winning projects were the Abba Arena by Stufish, Atelier One and Stage One Creative Services; Homerton College Dining Hall by Feilden Fowles; The Mews House by Russell Jones Limited; Douglas Fir House by Christian Brailey Architects; Water Tower by Tonkin Liu; and Equal Access Project – Inner Portico by Caroe Architecture Ltd and Connolly Wellingham.

All the Furniture Category Winners and Highly Commended projects tell a powerful narrative about what can be achieved using wood in design. As a material, it is tactile, versatile, and sustainable. In the hands of skilled craftspeople, it can be shared to achieve excellence. Each of these pieces is a testament to the skill and care of its makers. The winning projects were Fenland Black Oak by Mauro Dell’Orco and others; Furniture for 2 Bessborough Street by Mentsen; and the Veneer Stool by Henry Johnson.

Wood Awards 2023 and thanks

As we come to the end of the Wood Awards 2022, the Wood Awards team has begun planning and conversations for 2023. More details on the call for entries will be announced in the New Year along with sponsorship opportunities.

On behalf of the team, thank you to all that made our first year as organisers such as success. From the exhibition, designers Install Archive; Grant Gibson and the team of Material Matters, the Building Centre team, the Curious Crab Production team for their photography and filming, Jan Hendzel Studio for designing and creating this year’s prestigious trophies and a special thanks to Morgan Timber for donating timber for the trophies. In addition, thanks to Nick Watts Design for designing this year’s certificates and to Fingerprint PO+ for printing the certificates.

And last but no means least, to those that make the Wood Awards possible, from all outstanding entrants to the incredible shortlist, judges, sponsors, supporters, organisers, media partners, production and designers, and all stakeholders.