Jun 08

Embracing Legacy: The New Restoration and Reuse Category

In a world where sustainability and the careful use of existing resources is increasingly important, the introduction of the Restoration and Reuse category at the Wood Awards 2022 marked a significant step forward.

This new category highlights projects that employ timber to preserve, enhance or transform existing buildings. Recognising the immense potential of timber in revitalising structures, the Wood Awards has awarded prestigious accolades to outstanding projects like the Water Tower and the highly commended Threshing Barn.

Preserving Legacy with Timber

The Restoration and Reuse category is a testament to timber’s enduring beauty and versatility as a building material. It underscores the transformative power of wood in breathing new life into historic structures, enabling them to continue their journey as relevant and vibrant spaces in the present day. By celebrating the creative use of timber, the category emphasises the sustainable approach to conservation, as wood is a renewable and carbon-friendly material.

The Water Tower: Winner of the Restoration and Reuse Category 2022

The Wood Awards’ 2022 Restoration and Reuse category witnessed a remarkable project crowned as its worthy winner –the Water Tower. This exceptional restoration project showcases the remarkable vision and skill of the architects, designers and makers involved. Located in an idyllic countryside setting, the Water Tower was successfully transformed from an abandoned, dilapidated structure into a stunning residential space.

water tower reuseBy ingeniously integrating timber into the restoration process, the existing steel structure was strengthened from within. The adaptive reuse of the Water Tower highlights the potential of timber to bridge the gap between traditional and contemporary aesthetics, preserving the essence of the past while embracing the present.

Watch the Water Tower #designTimber series to find out more.

The Threshing Barn: Highly Commended Project in the Restoration and Reuse Category 2022

While the Water Tower was crowned as the winner, another remarkable project received high commendation in the Restoration and Reuse category – the Threshing Barn. This outstanding example showcases the adaptive reuse of a historic barn, reimagined as a multifunctional space for community gatherings and events.

By integrating timber into the restoration process, the Threshing Barn strikes a delicate balance between preserving the authenticity of the original structure and infusing it with modern functionality. Timber was employed to create structural elements, flooring and cladding, enhancing the aesthetic appeal while retaining the rustic charm of the barn. The project exemplifies how timber can reinvigorate heritage buildings and provide versatile and sustainable solutions for their future use.

Celebrating Sustainability and Craftsmanship:

The introduction of the Restoration and Reuse category within the Wood Awards framework serves as a vital platform to acknowledge and encourage sustainability-focused design practices. By highlighting the exemplary use of timber in the preservation and enhancement of existing buildings, the Wood Awards promotes both the environmental benefits of sustainable construction and the artistry of skilled design.

Projects like the Water Tower and the Threshing Barn illustrate the integral role of timber in the restoration and adaptive reuse of historic structures. These endeavours offer inspiration and serve as blueprints for future projects seeking to strike a harmonious balance between preserving the past and embracing contemporary needs.

“These buildings work with what is already there, reducing carbon footprints by avoiding unnecessary demolition. They recognise that the lowest embodied carbon building is the one that already exists. Both buildings seamlessly and effortlessly weave old and new together. While the first restores a barn to its former glory, the latter rediscovers a piece of our industrial heritage. The Restoration and Reuse category demonstrates the ways timber can help enhance existing buildings,” Jim Greaves, Chair of Building Judges.

This category elevates the significance of timber, celebrating the sustainable use of wood as a material that allows us to retain and reimagine our architectural heritage. With its ability to seamlessly blend tradition with innovation, timber plays a crucial role in shaping a more sustainable and aesthetically rich built environment. As we move forward, this category will continue to inspire architects, designers, and craftsmen to create transformative spaces that honour our past while embracing the future.

Enter the Wood Awards 2023 before 23 June.