4 December 2015
We are of course designers and makers of furniture and interiors, but the relationship between our specialisms and those of the very best architects is a close one.
As a result we take a great interest in contemporary architecture created for projects great and small, and the Wood Awards is a wonderful medium for highlighting and rewarding those practices of exceptional talent who vigorously apply design and making of the highest standards.
All the finalists in this year’s Wood Awards are great examples of this, but we would like to highlight just a couple here.
Firstly we have Maggie’s Centre in Oxford designed by architects WilkinsonEyre.
Having previously been short-listed for the Building Awards and World Architecture Festival Award for this outstanding creation the architects have within its tripartite design provided free practical, emotional and social care for cancer patients and their families.
The use of engineered timber allows for a floating structure, tree house-like, which sits beautifully within the natural shade of the surrounding woodland.
The clever use of the most appropriate forms of timber and constructional techniques creates a strong, light structure with a sense of harmony for users within its energy efficient, low carbon footprint design.
Maggie’s Oxford is a model of great design that looks forward to the way we enjoy and increasingly respect our built environment.
On a very different scale we have the wonderful Observatory Study & Workshop by FieldenCleggBradleyStudios
This mobile and sculptural constructions provide studio and working space for artists, 12 in all over two years, with whom the public can directly engage in remote landscapes and coastal locations around the UK.
The light interior is constructed from virtually rot proof timbers, important in the environment within which they will sit, which contrast visually with the rainscreen larch exterior, scorched black to protect against rot and insect attack. The employment of a range of timbers will also provide valuable research into the value of the Shou Sugi Ban method of timber scorching.
The other alluring, and witty, element to the design is the ability of the structures to be easily turned allowing changing vista and optimisation of light, warmth, and shade!
Like the best furniture, everything is there for a reason and designed with economy and purity of line, qualities to which we aspire in
our work at Makers Eye.
From the large and complex, evidenced by Canary Wharf Crossrail by Foster + Partners, through to the elegant simplicity of the Fishing Hut from Niall McLaughlin Architects ( Overall Wood Award Winners) new inspiration is there to be found for all who design and make in wood, that unique, versatile and renewable resource!