2022 Winners

Gold Award

Buildings Introduction by Jim Greaves Chair of Buildings Judges

While wood has long been employed for its aesthetic qualities, increasingly it is its low embodied carbon and carbon store characteristics that make it a favoured material choice within our built environment. The range of buildings in which timber is used continues to grow, and this can be seen in our shortlist. It is a testament to an evolving industry that is embracing timber.

From over 200 entries, our shortlist showcases the very best of construction using wood in the UK. The quality this year was very high: to make it onto the shortlist is an impressive achievement in and of itself. Each of these projects is at the forefront of design, craftsmanship and innovation - amongst any building in the UK,  not just those that use timber.

Timber can help us reach the highest contemporary building standards. So, it is unsurprising that wood is being more widely embraced, and that timber buildings are being more widely recognised. For over 30 years, the Wood Awards have promoted inspiring timber design - as evidenced with last year’s Wood Awards Gold Winner, Magdalene College Library.

For 2022 we have created a new Building category: Restoration and Reuse. We decided to add this after viewing projects such as the Threshing Barn and the Water Tower.

These buildings work with what is already there, reducing carbon footprints by avoiding unnecessary demolition. They recognise that the lowest embodied carbon building is the one that already exists. Both buildings seamlessly and effortlessly weave old and new together. While the first restores a barn to its former glory, the latter rediscovers a piece of our industrial heritage.

The Restoration and Reuse category demonstrates the ways timber can help enhance existing buildings. But this is not the only way timber is being used in this year’s Wood Awards. Every shortlisted entry is an example of excellence.

Whether you look to the Commercial category, where the ABBA Arena and UK Hardwoods Storage Centre show timber being embraced as a construction material in its own right, or to our Educational or Private sector entries, where timber is building the homes and learning spaces of tomorrow, you will see that wood is increasingly being used as the construction material of choice.

I would like to thank my fellow judges for contributing their time and expertise to this process, including visiting all twenty shortlisted projects. It is the fact that so much time and commitment is put into visiting and assessing these projects that makes these awards a true measure of the best of wood design for 2022.

Finally, I would like to congratulate our winners. They represent the best of contemporary wood architecture. With this in mind, I very much look forward to seeing what next year has to offer..

Winners – Buildings

Highly Commended – Buildings

Introduction, Furniture & Product Judges

The Wood Awards were set up to encourage beautiful and thoughtful designs in wood. This year’s shortlist shows they have done just that, bringing together a collection of 12 objects which excel in form and function. Being in a position to experience each of these pieces as a judge has been an absolute privilege.

The awards and the exhibitions are an excellent opportunity to showcase incredible works by some of the most interesting designers and makers in the UK – both those who are already established, and others just starting out.

The selected projects tell a powerful narrative about what can be achieved using wood in design. As a material it is tactile, versatile and sustainable. In the hands of skilled craftspeople, it can be shaped to achieve excellence. Each of these pieces is a testament to the skill and care of its makers.

Of course, great product design is ultimately about people. This does not just mean the makers, but also the users of these objects. All the shortlisted projects take this into account.

You can see it in the collection of foraging tools in the Alder Hey Foraging Collection, intended to bring joy and spark the imagination of children. Or in the Fenland Black Oak table, an object which connects the ancient forests of the East Anglian Fenland Basin with the local community.

One notable aspect this year was the way these objects reflect the times during which they have been created. Conceived during the pandemic, the Migo stool reflects a time of change, uncertainty and rapid adaptation. It has neither a definitive front or back, nor a right or wrong approach to using it.

The Wave Bench centres on a zero-waste philosophy, showing that we can make better use of materials which might otherwise be tossed away. These projects are not alone, with a celebration of change and innovation being a central pillar of the Wood Awards.

One of my personal highlights this year was that, after the hiatus of Covid, we were able to bring back the Student Category. As you can see in the shortlist, the standards were high, giving us great confidence in the future of design in wood in the UK. Each of our shortlisted students should feel proud of their achievements; as should their tutors and the design schools from which they hail.

Picking winners across these categories was not easy. I would like to begin by thanking my fellow judges for giving their time and expertise to this process, for which I am eternally grateful. I hope that everyone on our shortlist also feels a sense of pride. To get this far is an accomplishment in and of itself.

Finally, I would like to congratulate our winners, who represent the very best of British wood design and craftsmanship in 2022. I look forward to seeing you achieve even more next year.

Winners – Furniture

Highly Commended – Furniture

Highly Commended – Furniture

2022 Winners

Gold Award

Homerton College Dining Hall

Commercial & Leisure

Winner: Abba Arena

Highly commended: Brent Cross Town Visitor Pavilion


Education & Public Sector

Winner: Homerton College Dining Hall

Highly commended: Wintringham Primary Academy



Winner: Equal Access Project - Inner Portico



Winner: Mews House

Highly commended: March House

Highly commended: Green House

Restoration and Reuse

Winner: The Water Tower

Highly commended: Threshing Barn

Small Project

Winner: Douglas Fir House


Structural Award

Winner: Homerton College Dining Hall



Winners: Fenland Black Oak CIO



Winner: Furniture for 2 Bessborough Street

Highly commended: Migo

Student Award

Winner: Veneer Stool