Dec 05

Wood Award Steering Group Reflections 2023

The Wood Awards, now in their 52nd year, continue to go from strength to strength. We see the quality of entries improve year on year. Those who choose to work with wood are often the material’s best evangelists – appreciating its versatility, visual warmth, beauty and singularity, all of which are highlighted in their creations.

A large variety of species were celebrated in the Wood Awards in 2023. In Buildings, we found species such as American tulipwood in the slatted façade of The Black & White Building; reclaimed greenheart, ekki and basralocus in the Durley Chine Environmental Hub; cork in The Cork Stair at the Building Centre; as well as more familiar European spruce, beech and Douglas fir.

We also saw an impressive reuse of timbers in the Lea Bridge Library, where reclaimed wood from across London, including poplar, sycamore, ash, Holm oak, Turkey oak, sequoia and horse chestnut, allowed for a vibrant palette of colour in the internal joinery and furniture.

Across our Furniture & Product Design entries, we saw many species embraced. British ash was transformed into translucent timber lights in Grain, British sycamore into balance boards in COTTO’s Kyora Board, while British cedar, oak, yew, alder, elm, chestnut and more can be found in The Sound of Wood, where they reveal their unique harmonics. These are just a few of the incredible examples of projects to be found in the Wood Awards this year.

As a natural material, every species – or even piece – of timber, can contribute something unique. Working in union with material opens all sorts of possibilities, which have been deftly explored by entrants into this year’s Wood Awards.

We see this in the ‘tall timber’ buildings and music schools which draw on the strength and acoustics of engineered timber products such as CLT or LVL, the homes made of spruce, larch, or Douglas fir, and the baskets, mirrors, chairs and tables which lend life and warmth to these spaces. No matter what you seek to create, wood offers a low-carbon and beautiful expressiveness, enriching the objects it forms.

I hope all enjoy the Wood Awards 2023. Our congratulations to all of the winners, and each project shortlisted. To each of the judges, who have dedicated their time and energy, we also offer our thanks and heartfelt appreciation. Finally, we would like to acknowledge the supporters of the Wood Awards, who make this event possible. These are American Hardwood Export Council, The Carpenters’ Company,
and Timber Development UK (TDUK) – who organise the awards.

Please do explore all the Wood Awards has to offer – including our new website, initiated by TDUK with the support of Nick Watts Design and Effra Digital. In particular, the people you connect with through wood, from forest through to building or product. We can’t wait for 2024.

The Steering Group