We've always been partial to the humble building material of timber, whether it is applied with traditional, craft-based techniques or emphatically modern innovations, and the UK's annual Wood Awards is an excellent showcase of the practices putting it to best use.
The shortlist, announced this week, spans different scales and typologies, and seven key categories: Bespoke Furniture, Commercial & Public Access, Private, Production-made Furniture, Repair & Adaptive Reuse, Small Project and Structural.
Nominations range from well-known new public buildings - such as the Mary Rose Museum by Wilkinson Eyre and the Bishop Edward King Chapel by Niall McLaughlin (also on the shortlist for the RIBA Stirling Prize) - to smaller projects, such as the RoominaRoom in London by Atmos Studio, and private, bespoke commissions such as the Tay Bench by Angus Ross. The 30-strong list encompasses everything from architecture to product design, and from traditional design to the cutting edge.
The awards are sponsored by a consortium of brands, including the American Hardwood Export Council, Canada Wood, Carpenters' Company, TRADA, Wood for Good, American Softwoods, BRE and the Forestry Commission. The winners, which will be picked for their design excellence and quality in the use of wood by a jury led by Michael Morrison of Purcell UK and Sean Sutcliffe of Benchmark Furniture, will be announced on the 19 November in a ceremony held at the Worshipful Company of Carpenters in London.