The Best Use of Timber Awards 2017 exhibition showcases the winner and shortlisted entries to the annual RIAS Awards scheme. Forestry Commission Scotland and Wood for Good combined to sponsor this award. The exhibition, curated by Architecture and Design Scotland, will run on Level 2 at The Lighthouse, from early January 2018. The Award is aimed at encouraging innovative and creative use of timber in new buildings in Scotland. The exhibition features the winning and shortlisted projects, demonstrated through photography and models.
Potential of Timber
The award seeks to stimulate greater appreciation of home grown timber and its potential for use in construction, with added consideration given to thoughtful and appropriate use of different species. Technical competence is of course paramount and the design and detail of how the timber is used was as much a part of the assessment criteria as imagination and overall architectural excellence. There is no restriction on building type or scale of project – from small to large and from domestic to commercial, the challenge is to show how suited the use of timber is to the development of new architecture in Scotland.
A Hut of One’s Own
The overall winning project was Culardoch Shielding, by Moxon Architects. As is in a world unto its own, this small hut sits alone in the vast, rugged and windswept landscape of the Cairngorms. The hut was commissioned as an escape, for small gatherings or parties, fitting a very long and narrow table. It is both remarkably humble and casual, while precise, playful and sophisticated. Its exteriors and interiors are clad in wood, with the roof covered in moss and stone. While larch has been used externally, the interior is entirely lined with locally grown, untreated, spruce.
The Shortlisted Projects
The exhibition features projects ranging from a large-scale building such as the Thistle Foundation Centre of Wellbeing by 3DReid, through to an eco-friendly Pop Up Pavilion for the Mound in Edinburgh, designed by Konishi Gaffney Architects. Also by Konishi Gaffney, and shortlisted, was Comielaw Steading, a B-listed farm with a U-shaped plan dating back to the late 17th Century developed as workspaces to benefit the local economy. Other projects include the Tinhouse – by Rural Design – a simple form recalling an archetypal child’s image of a house, located on the northwestern tip of the Isle of Skye. The Greenrig development, by Pete Cummins Architect, consists of two buildings, a cycle skills track and an extensive network of cycle paths and walkways in Canada Woods, on the Callendar Estate, Falkirk.