Wood Awards: Showcase competition for excellence in British architecture and product design calls for 2017 entries

27 March 2017

The organisers of the Wood Awards have issued the call for entries to this year’s event with the deadline for submitting application being 26 May.

The Wood Awards: Excellence in British Architecture and Product Design Established was established way back in 1971, and it recognises, encourages and promotes outstanding design, craftsmanship and installation using wood in projects throughout the UK.

Its independent judging panel not only judges all submitted entries but also visits the shortlisted projects in person, making the Wood Awards a uniquely rigorous competition.

The shortlist will be announced in July and the winners will be announced at the Wood Awards ceremony on 21 November 2017 at Carpenters’ Hall in London. The shortlisted projects will be on display at the ceremony and during the London Design Festival in September.

Michael Morrison of Purcell, and Max Fraser of Spotlight Press return as chairmen of the Buildings and Furniture & Product judging panels. New to the Buildings judging panel is Andrew Waugh of Waugh Thistleton Architects. He says: “It’s a fascinating and exciting time to be judging these awards. We are seeing the emergence of a new environmentally aware architecture - an architecture that is centred on the beauty of wooden construction – an age of timber architecture.”

With permission from the owner, anyone associated with a building or product completed in the last two years, can enter. Buildings must be located within the UK whilst furniture and other products must have been either designed or manufactured in the UK. The competition is free to enter and entrants may submit more than one project. There are no restrictions on the size or budget of a project.

The 2017 categories will be confirmed at the shortlisting, the organisers said. Building categories are likely to be:

Commercial & Leisure
Education & Public Sector
Small Project

The Furniture & Product competition will be split into Bespoke, Production Made and Student Designer, which is open to anyone currently in education or who has left education in the past 12 months.

Within the Student category there are two cash prizes (£1,000 for the winner and £500 for the People’s Choice). Other awards, such as Structural and Existing Building awards, can be given at the judges’ discretion. The Arnold Laver Gold Award is winner of winners, chosen from the winners of all the categories.

“Winning a Wood Award gives prospective customers confidence in our abilities and has helped us grow as a company,” said Ben Naylor of Jack Badger Ltd, which won the Judges’ Special Award in 2014 and was the Bespoke Winner in 2016. “Unlike many other competitions, the Wood Awards is free to enter so there’s nothing to lose and potentially lots to gain”

Sebastian Cox, winner of the Special Award: Outstanding Design 2011, said: “The Wood Awards enabled me to meet interesting and important people within the industry at an early stage and was a confidence-boosting accolade on which to launch a whole collection of furniture. More importantly, the Awards reinforce the importance of working with timber and celebrate the creativity and innovation designers and architects, at all stages of their career, are applying to this material.”

Arnold Laver sponsors the Arnold Laver Gold Award which is the project that the judges deem to be the best of all the winners.Major Sponsors of the Wood Awards 2017 are American Hardwood Export Council, Carpenters' Company and TRADA. Other sponsors include American Softwoods, Forestry Commission, Timber Trade Federation, Wood for Good and Furniture Makers’ Company.