Arnold Laver Gold went to The Fishing Hut in the 44th annual Wood Awards

30 November 2015

The winner of winners in this year’s annual Wood Awards was The Fishing Hut by Niall McLaughlin Architects. As well as scooping the Private Category Award – it took home the coveted Arnold Laver Gold Award.

Located in Hampshire, The Fishing Hut sits on a man-made lake that was originally built as a fish farm. The client wanted a secure place to store boats and fishing tackle that could also serve as a meeting place and shelter for anglers.

Oak was chosen for the exposed timber structure and cladding due to its colour and grain. The untreated exterior timber will weather to match the silver-grey of the roof cladding and steel supports.
Constellations Bar in Liverpool, designed by Howard Miller Design, won the Commercial & Leisure category. The bar is an outdoor venue that occupies a disused industrial recycling yard. It consists of a bar, food truck, art space and community garden.

Brothers Hugh and Howard Miller, a furniture maker and a practicing architect, collaborated on the project to rekindle the Arts & Craft ideal of gesantkunsterk – a ‘total work of art’.
The structure is supported by a set of 10 green oak quadra-pods, double A-frame supports that carry the load of the canopy via glulam beams.

Arcadia Nursery in Edinburgh won the Education & Public Sector category. Design by Malcolm Fraser Architects and built for the University of Edinburgh, the nursery was conceived as a “floating, lightweight structure that could be built on a restricted site”.

Timber cladding and wood fibre insulation envelopes the building. Timber decks, walkways, feature fences and play features are used throughout. The building was constructed to be a low energy building.

Down in London, The Studio by Bradley Van Der Straeten Architects won the Existing Building category. Said to have been inspired by time spent in a VW Camper van, The Studio was self-built by the architects. The design has been likened to a treehouse, the staircase like a hollowed-out tree trunk, and the mezzanine sitting atop like a Scandinavian wood cabin.

The Interiors category was won by Bryanston School, located in Blandford Forum, Dorset. Designed by Hopkins Architects, the building in question is the new Tom Wheare Music School, which was constructed in brick and wood to “establish a visual dialogue” with nearby buildings. A timber-treaded stair links the building’s three levels. It also makes use American white oak flooring, wall and ceiling panels joined with specially designed oak acoustic panels.

In the Small Project category, the prize went to The Observatory: The Study and The Workshop by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios. The brief was to create a mobile and sculptural building to house 12 multi-disciplinary artists over a two-year residency. It consists of prefabricated cabins, an artist’s studio, and a public shelter. Externally, both cabins are clad in charred larch with a test bed wall clad in a variety of charred timbers. As a contrast to the dark and textured exterior, the interior is made of light Accoya and Tricoya.

The Structural Award went to Canary Wharf Crossrail in London, designed by architect Foster+ Partners. The design is characterised by a landscaped, sheltered park on the roof, accessible from ground level by connection bridges. Wrapping over the lower concrete superstructure, this 300-metre timber lattice opens in the centre to draw in light and rain from natural irrigation.

The Judges’ Special Award went to BSkyB Believe In Better Building, situated in London, by architect Arup Associates. An educational facility for graduates, apprentices and staff training, the building is one a very few multi-storey timber offices in the world.