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Wood Awards 2019 winners announced

Published: 24 November 2019 - Neil Mead

The winners of the annual Wood Awards were announced at a ceremony held on the 19 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 as this year’s Gold Award and Private category winner. The Gold Award is given to the winner of winners. 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, which is adorned with five skylight-topped ziggurats, is a prefabricated kit of parts. Blocks of expanded cork were CNC-machined off-site and then assembled on-site by hand without mortar or glue. All 1,268 pure cork blocks will be available at end-of-building-life as either biological or technical nutrients. A CLT floor platform, finished with oak floorboards, rests on Accoya beams supported on steel screw piles. Accoya is also used for the bespoke doors, windows and external steps. Western red cedar weatherboarding is used on the roof and rear fac¸ade. All internal built-in joinery and loose furniture is made from spruce. Internally, the exposed cork and timber create a rich, evocative, sensory environment.


The Commercial & Leisure winner is Royal Opera House 'Open Up'. The judges admired how the new design reads as a complete building, yet seamlessly connects with the main spaces of the existing space.

Cambridge Central Mosque was selected as the Education & Public Sector winner. Judge David Morley said: “This building is an exemplar of how wood can enable a structure to become the primary representational element of a building. This is a hard project to beat.”

The Interiors winner is Battersea Arts Centre. Head buildings judge Stephen Corbett commented: “The design philosophy, imagination, originality, and the meticulous modelling, prototyping and execution made this stand out as a project of high quality.”

MultiPly, this year’s Small Project winner, is the is the first structure made from UK manufactured CLT. The judges praised its simple design that communicates modularity and repetition.

This year’s Structural Award winner is House in a Garden, chosen from all the shortlisted buildings. Judge Nathan Wheatley said: “House in a Garden 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 Furniture & Product judges selected two winners within the Bespoke category. Alison Crowther’s The Kissing Benches were awarded for their simplicity and how honest they are to the material. David Gates’s Littoral Chances 1&2 received an award for its singular vision and how it highlights just how much a material can be adapted to an individual’s style.

Ian McChesney Bench is the Production winner. Judge Sebastian Cox commented: “Seeing something in the production category that is so sculptural is lovely.”

The winner of the Student Designer category is Bio Iridescent Sequin, which the judges praised as a refreshing alternative to finishes and colour within the fashion industry. Head judge Corinne Julius said: “Wood encompasses all kinds of experimentation.

Anton Mikkonen has received £500 for winning the Student Designer People’s Choice Award with Udon Stool. Voting took place at 100% Design in September.


The buildings judging panel was led by three-time Gold Award winner Stephen Corbett of Green Oak Carpentry. The panel included Andrew Lawrence, Arup; Adam Richards, Adam Richards Architects; Kirsten Haggart, Waugh Thistleton Architects; Nathan Wheatley, engenuiti; David Morley, David Morley Architects; Jim Greaves, Hopkins; and architectural journalist Ruth Slavid. The furniture and product panel is led by design critic, curator and journalist Corinne Julius. The panel includes Oliver Stratford, editor of Disegno magazine; designer/makers Sebastian Cox and Eleanor Lakelin; Yael Mer of Raw Edges Design Studio; and Rod Wales of Wales & Wales.

As a not-for-profit competition, the Wood Awards can only happen with collaborative industry sponsorship. Major Sponsors are American Hardwood Export Council and Carpenters' Company. Other Sponsors include American Softwoods, Arnold Laver, Timber Trade Federation, TRADA and Wood for Good.

For more details about the event and all the winners, visit


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