Wood Awards 2015: Existing Building

WINNER

The Studio

The seemingly solid walls conceal generous storage
The seemingly solid walls conceal generous storage

Birch plywood has been used extensively as both a finishing and a structural material on this tiny house, creating a new staircase that acts as a unifying feature while providing not only circulation but a surprising amount of storage.

At the top of the building, a timber-clad mezzanine room overlooks a double-height space. Timber contrasts with more neutral white plasterboard walls throughout.

The architect wanted the staircase volume to feel sculptural, as if it had been carved out of one piece of wood, so it was important that the surfaces felt solid and continuous. To achieve this, he used plywood plugs to conceal fixings and the cupboard doors are without handles to enhance the solid, carved-out appearance of the space.

  • The plywood stair is at the heart of the building.
    The plywood stair is at the heart of the building.
  • Looking into the first-floor kitchen and living area from outside.
    Looking into the first-floor kitchen and living area from outside.
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The plywood has been treated throughout with a clear Bona extra matt water-based  varnish.

The judges were impressed by the way that this imaginative approach created a family home out of what would previously have seemed an unliveably small area, and that, despite having no external space, the building never feels claustrophobic.

This is a charming and imaginative home for a small but growing family.

Location: London
Architect: Bradley Van Der Straeten Architects
Structural engineer: DMC Consulting Engineers
Main contractor/builder: Bradley Van Der Straeten Architects
Joinery: Bradley Van Der Straeten Architects
Wood supplier: Lathams
Client/owner: David and Rosanna Bradley
Timber: Siberian birch plywood, American red oak


HIGHLY COMMENDED

The Master's House

The Master’s House.
The Master’s House. Credit: Tim Crocker

Location: Ledbury, Herefordshire
Architect and conservation specialist: Butler Hegarty Architects
Client/owner: Herefordshire County
Structural engineer: Hockley and Dawson Consulting Engineers
Main contractor/builder:
Speller Metcalfe
Joinery: Splitlath Building Conservation
Interior joinery & furniture: Woodcraft Joinery
Quantity surveyor: Sawyer and Fisher (Epsom)
Paint conservator: Elizabeth Holford Associates
Wood supplier: OakbeamUK
Timber: European oak, green oak, Russian birch plywood, European beech


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