The hallmark of a good set of awards entries lies not in what has been shortlisted, but in what missed the cut. If really fascinating projects fail to get in, you know it is a good year. This is the case with this year’s Wood Awards. The organisers invited views of all the entries on the day that shortlisting was completed. The shortlisted projects looked great, but so do many that were left out. Why couldn’t that lovely stair be included? That intriguing table? That so desirable building. Fortunately, all the buildings and furniture that have been shortlisted look really good. My tip for the overall winner? Adam Khan’s floating visitor centre at Brockholes nature reserve in Lancashire. Wood and water – what a combo!
It was great fun compering the Wood Awards last week, and seeing the highly deserving winners including the King’s Place concert hall where all the veneer came from a single oak. I noticed that the judges and the supplement kept introducing mentions and pictures of one project that was not a winner, just because it was so enchanting.
This was Freya’s cabin, on Kielder Water, by Studio Weave, a simplistic form but with wonderful fretwork cut-outs and a magical way of allowing light to enter. An ideal place to stop for a sandwich on the way round the lake. They are a young practice, and this is their first commission to have a roof.