Friday, November 25, 2022
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‘Homerton College Dining Hall’ has been crowned the UK’s best new timber building, having won the Gold Award at the Wood Awards in a ceremony at Carpenters Hall recently. Elegant and impressive, the dining hall was praised by the judges for how it celebrates the integrity and inherent beauty of its materials, from its design through to its incredible craftsmanship, and for creating a space which is welcoming and inspiring to students.
The dining hall, buttery, kitchens, and associated amenities give rise to a bright, airy, and efficient setting by day, which can transform into a dramatic ceremonial setting at night. The ash-lined buttery serves as a café and provides an area to socialise or study.
At the heart of the hall is an impressive timber structure with no interrupting supports that allows for a large, clear space; breathtaking to building professionals, educators, and students alike.
Each sweet chestnut glulam truss in the hall is formed of four members which are connected at a central node and to the full height columns on each side, while above these beams an engineered timber roof deck lends lateral stability.
Having chosen Homerton College Dining Hall as the Gold Winner, the judges said they were impressed by the harmony of the structure with the rest of the college, allowing for light and flow from the garden and to other areas of the college to create a building both ‘natural and iconic’.
Winners in other categories
Homerton College Dining Hall was not the only winner of the night, with the likes of 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.
Equally exciting was the 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 that won their categories was the Black Oak Fenland Project, Furniture for 2 Bessborough Street by designers Mentsen, and student winner Harry Johnson (from Nottingham Trent University) with the Veneer Stool – each showing outstanding leadership in British design using wood.