WA Woods Awards Winner:
Cathedral of St Paul’s new Inner Portico wins award for ‘masterclass’ in inclusive timber design
24 November 2022
The Cathedral of St Paul’s new Inner Portico Equal Access Project has taken the top prize for interior design at this year’s Wood Awards. The judges could not look past this carefully executed timber entrance, which adds to both the functionality and beauty of St Paul’s Cathedral to help ensure this world-famous icon is a place for all, regardless of faith or mobility needs.
A key strategic aim for St Pauls has been permanent step-free access to the main church floor. Meticulous research against this complex, highly sensitive heritage setting was undertaken to complete this design, situated in the new accessible entrance arrangements at the North Transept.
Homegrown Oak was chosen as the primary material for its beauty and ability to pay respect to the heritage and importance of the building. Meticulously sourced and selected, these materials were deployed to create a structure which calls on the cabinetmaker’s sensibility.
St Paul’s Net Zero 2030 ambitions strongly informed both material section and design, helping minimise embodied and operational carbon emissions with glue-laminated timber in the frame, and the highest standards of care, construction, and craftsmanship. The Wood Awards building judges, a team of world-leading professionals led by Jim Greaves of Hopkins Architects, visited all 20 buildings shortlisted in the Wood Awards’ various categories before deciding winners, in one of the UK’s most rigorous assessments for any competition. Alongside the Equal Access Project, Homerton College Dining Hall won this year’s Gold Award for best new timber building in the UK.
There was also an announcement of a new category, ‘Restoration and Reuse’, which highlights the projects which use timber to preserve and enhance existing buildings.
The winner in this new category was The Water Tower; a project from architects Tonkin Liu which transformed an iconic but abandoned piece of local infrastructure into a beautiful, private residence, in what judges described as a ‘reimagination of what architecture can be.
Among the furniture and product design pieces which were able to storm their categories was the Black Oak Fenland Project, Furniture for 2 Bessborough Street, as well as a student winner, with the Veneer Stool – each leaders, present and future, in British design using wood.
Others winners from the night include ABBA Arena, Mews House, Douglas Fir, and the Equal Access Project all winning their categories and showcasing the diverse use of timber, from large commercial arenas through to intimate private homes.
You can find out more information about the 2022 winners by visiting www.woodawards2022.online
Previous winners of the Wood Awards can be found at www.woodawards.com