Wood Awards ‘advances the broader adoption of timber in architecture’ say past winners

As the deadline for entering the Wood Awards approaches, two previous Buildings award winners explain what the Wood Awards means to them and why they chose to enter.

Citing the quality of work, the comprehensive approach to selection and judging, and the enhanced exposure of projects, past winners emphasised the integrity of the Wood Awards and the importance of celebrating innovative and sustainable timber architecture.

CLT spiral stair in the Water Tower. Image by Taran Wilku.

The multi-disciplinary design studio Tonkin Liu, known for their creative approach combining storytelling with architecture, landscape and sculpture, won the Restoration & Reuse award in 2022 with the Water Tower – an enchanting home within a dilapidated water tower. They also won the Private award in 2018, with their project Old Shed New House, which transformed an agricultural shed into a beautiful, bright new home.

“Tonkin Liu has entered the Wood Awards over the years because we have great respect for the quality of the past winners and the rigour of the judging process,” said Mike Tonkin, co-founder and director of Tonkin Liu.

“The calibre of the work is always high; it sets a bar for our practice to aspire to and learn from.”

Tsuruta Architects, a London-based practice celebrated for their complex and original projects that combine technical innovation with material sensitivity, are also multiple Wood Awards winners. In 2023, the exquisitely detailed Dragon Flat won the Interiors award, while their striking home extension Wooden Roof (top image) was the Small Project winner in 2020.

AI-generated floral designs are carved into the panels in Dragon Flat. Image by Tim Crocker.

“As an architectural practice with a focus on wood design and construction, we have consistently chosen to enter the Wood Awards due to its rigorous selection process and longstanding reputation,” Taro Tsuruta, director of Tsuruta Architects, explained.

“Not only is the Wood Awards one of the oldest recognitions in our industry, but it also uniquely emphasises the importance of experiencing architecture in its intended form. Each nominated project undergoes a thorough evaluation, often with multiple site visits by the jury, ensuring a comprehensive assessment.”

“Our participation in the Wood Awards has significantly boosted our visibility within the UK timber construction sector. Winning these awards has led to new commissions from clients who discovered our work through the extensive coverage associated with the Awards. Moreover, the organisers’ dedication to excellence is evident in their proactive engagement with winners, from providing media materials to organising jury visits, setting a standard of professionalism that is truly commendable.

“This commitment not only enhances our projects’ exposure but also advances the broader adoption of timber in architecture, fostering a more sustainable building industry in the UK.”

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Learn more about all six Building categories here.

For more details on how to make your submission, take a look at our entry guidance. If you have any questions do get in touch with our friendly team at info@woodawards.com.

About the Wood Awards

Established in 1971, the Wood Awards recognises, encourages and promotes outstanding wood design, craftsmanship and installation.

The Awards are split into two main categories: Buildings and Furniture & Object.

The Wood Awards shortlist will be announced in September and all shortlisted projects will be on display at an exhibition as part of Material Matters design fair. Everyone involved in a shortlisted project will be invited to attend the Wood Awards ceremony held in London in November.