NZ Timber Design Awards winners announced

Timber industry and design professionals were honoured for their creativity and ingenuity at a gala event that ran in Auckland last night. Entries in the 2018 NZ Wood-Resene Timber Design Awards demonstrated new and different ways to use timber that nevertheless meet all building codes and criteria as well as being beautiful.

“In a market crowded with grand designs and wonderful claims for every construction material, New Zealand timber is proving just how versatile and cost effective it is,” said Wood Processors and Manufacturers Association Promotions Manager Debbie Fergie. “These Awards have again proved how imaginative design and structural integrity can combine to deliver beautiful timber buildings.”

Judges agreed. “All entries demonstrate a love of expressing timber in its many different applications,” they said. “The real stand-outs were those that went a step further, displaying a mature professional approach, an evocative sophisticated outcome, or a surprising twist.”

Entrants competed within ten categories covering everything from residential and commercial architectural excellence to engineering innovation, multi-storey construction and student innovation. Structural performance and aesthetic excellence were highlighted across all categories.

The Resene Supreme Award went to the iconic He Tohu Document Centre within the National Library, inspired by the form and function of a waka huia (treasure container). “This is the perfect vessel to display the founding documents of Aotearoa,” said the judges. “Highly developed manufacturing technologies are woven together with traditional timber materials, showcasing how timber can deliver technological, social and cultural value in a beautiful way.” This entry also won the Niagara Timber Products’ Interior Innovation category.

Runner up was Cymon Allfrey’s Family Bach in Hanmer Springs (photo). “An interesting redefining of the family bach as a series of separate yet interrelated buildings with shared common spaces,” commented judges. “A building where architecture hero’s wood, and wood has hero’d architecture.” This entry also won the CHH Woodproducts Futurebuild Residential Architectural Excellence Award.

The South Island again garnered the bulk of winning entries. Five winners or highly commended entries featured Canterbury builds, and Kaikoura, Nelson and Otago projects also won awards.

Plant and Food Research’s Seafood Research Centre won Nelson Pine Industries’ Excellence in Engineered Wood Products category. Judges commented on the entire structure being prefabricated timber featuring highly refined joint detailing. “This shows how versatile timber can be for both structural and non-structural applications,” they said.

Commended was Warren and Mahoney’s Wellington International Airport project. “Using timber in such a representative building is very important,” said judges. “The curved structural forms demonstrate how timber can be integrated with steel and glass using precision manufacturing and careful attention to detail, and showcase the potential and capabilities of the whole New Zealand timber industry including the forestry, wood product manufacturing, design and construction sectors.”

NZ Farm Forestry –sponsored winner for the NZ Specialty Timber category was the Pukapuka Road house in Rodney. Judges were impressed that 'pickled' timbers were sourced from Northland rivers, and as a result have purple, green and blue hues along with the traditional browns. “The skilful combination of these unique materials produces interior spaces of remarkable mood and atmosphere,” they said.

The XLam NZ Multi-Storey Timber Building Award is a new category, requiring entrants to submit projects at least three stories high. This was won by Te Pa Tauira-Otago Polytechnic Student Village in Dunedin. It was the first five-storey all-timber building in the country, with judges pointing out that the highly efficient modular layout enabled efficient offsite prefabrication which significantly reduced construction time, minimised waste and reduced cost. They also believed this building will help to positively shape the attitude of a new generation towards timber.

Commended in this category was the three-storey Ara Kahukura, designed as much as a living example of sustainable design as to provide teaching spaces. The building is an excellent testimony to the potential for hybrid timber-steel-concrete structures, said judges.

Judges were universally delighted with the standard of entries. “The 2018 NZ Wood-Resene Timber Design Awards showcase some of the best examples of innovation in timber design that New Zealand has to offer,” they said. “It’s evident there is great collaboration between architects, engineers, suppliers, fabricators and builders to produce some outstanding and highly innovative timber buildings and structures.”

“The remarkable achievements of all contestants show how wood is the perfect material to deliver more sustainable and resilient buildings,” they added. “It's fantastic to see the growing use of local products such as CLT, glulam and LVL in a broader range of applications with some stunning results.”

Further details and images can be seen here.

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