2010 NZ Timber Design Awards travel from Waitomo to Dubai

The competition was—for lack of a better word—stiff at this years NZ Wood Timber Design Awards, with winners including Wellington’s Supreme Court and the Waitomo Cave Visitor’s Centre. The awards even ventured as far as the sandy depths of the UAE, with Ruby’s restaurant in Abu Dhabi receiving a highly commended in the Commercial Engineering Excellence category, for a project that utilised 10 container loads of New Zealand certified renewable resource timber.

Forty-two entries were received this year across a range of eight categories: Residential Architectural and Residential Engineering Excellence; Commercial Architectural and Commercial Engineering Excellence; Sustainability; Cladding Building Envelope; Commercial Fitout and Outdoor Infrastructure. 


WINNER: Beach Residence - Scott's Landing

“The house comprises two separate structures both with mono-pitched, coloursteel roofs. Walls are clad in cedar vertical boarding, and timber verandahs take advantage of the sun and views to the coast with its native bush and bird life. These simple forms and the muted, natural colours of charcoal boarding and joinery, along with the dark green roofs, integrate and merge into the coastal landscape. The timbers used in the design of the house provide an inviting internal environment and a low-maintenance, rustic external look.”


Coromandel Beach House

Mountain Range House


WINNER: Waitomo Caves Visitor's Centre

“The structure of the centre is internationally significant. The geometry of the canopy was described by the surface of a toroid, and Radiata pine LVL (laminated veneer lumber) was prefabricated into curved (and twisted) ribs in Hunter’s factory in Nelson. These timber I-beams were joined, overlapped in layers, then screwed together as they were assembled on site by Hawkins Construction. Although the complex geometry pushed the limits of our three-dimensional modelling tools the resulting exceptionally light structure ultilises timber members only 316mm deep at 4.25m centres to span almost 30m.”


MAF Multipurpose Building

Birkenhead Library and Civic Centre


WINNER: Waitomo Caves Visitor's Centre


Ruby's Restaurant Al Raha Beach Resort, Abu Dhabi


WINNER: MAF Multipurpose Building

“The client required a multi-functional building which could easily transform, if necessary, into a response centre and enable a number of agencies to work under one roof in the event of a disease outbreak or emergency. It acts as a gateway building terminating the approach onto the site. The two corridors off this axis each end with vistas of the tōtara anchoring the building to the site. Timber was important for a client with its association with the New Zealand forestry industry and their “Building-in-Wood” initiative where the main structural materials are wood or wood-based materials.”


Timbercrete Sustainable Home


WINNER: Birkenhead Library and Civic Centre

“The architectural concept is based around a simple narrative of looking through ancient trees that existed on the site to the view - thus notions of solid and void, transparency, light quality, pattern, materiality and form were considered and modeled to inform various design demands. The intention was to have a pleasant and verdant quality of light available within the building that subtly changes during the day, leading to the building becoming transparent at night.”


Private Lodge


WINNER: The Supreme Court of New Zealand

“The Old High Court Building was built in 1879 on an east-west axis then facing the sea but now modern Office buildings, the New building on the same axis faces Lambton Quay and Parliament, making the urban design and landscape relationship with each important. This project sought to create a new building while being respectful to the historic building adjacent. Renovation and creation. Not symmetry, but reflection.”





Ruby's Restaurant Al Raha Beach Resort, Abu Dhabi

“In Abu Dhabi, the location for Ruby’s restaurant, the most common structural material is reinforced concrete. The architect’s (Broadway Malyan UK) concept for the restaurant featured significant curved structural elements. While possible to construct in other materials these curved members were particularly suited to the use of glue-laminated timber, a structural material familiar to the New Zealand construction industry.”

The Windflow 500

“The company’s two-blade 500kW turbine, Windflow 500, is much lighter than competing three-bladed turbines, which makes it less expensive to build. The blades are made of laminated NZ Pinus Radiata. Overseas wind turbine manufacturers use various components for wind turbine blades, usually a composite, whereas wood is not very commonly used.”

Waitomo Caves Visitor's Centre


WINNER: Sales Pavilion/Community Centre for Fraser

“The Pavilion is quite a precise piece of architecture with two distinctly different shapes: A rectangular box comprising all services and circulation areas and a sail shaped glassbox, primarily acting as a large open space, which can be transformed to whatever function may be required in the future. The box is clad with a sectionised cedar cladding which is constructed with a random sequence of 6 different timber profiles, varying in depth and width. This creates a rather interesting and ever changing façade that interacts quite well with the open structure of the ‘glass pavilion’.”



The Windflow 500



Folding Whare

“The shelter is constructed of structural, insulated, plywood and polystyrene composite panels. The panels are arranged and attached to allow assembly with a minimum of specialist tools or labour. A high quality space is created using a structural system which is expandable to accommodate different functions.”

The annual NZ Wood Timber Design Awards showcase the innovative and aesthetic use of timber by New Zealand architects and engineers.

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