International House, Australia’s first engineered timber multi-storeyed office building located in Sydney’s Barangaroo, is the winner of the Grand Prix Award at the 2017 Australian Timber Design Awards (ATDA), held recently in Melbourne. Wood Solutions was the Platinum sponsor of the event.

Designed by Tzannes Architects and developed by Lendlease, International House Sydney is a prestigious project that has been making news for some time now. The multi-storeyed building is constructed from engineered timber products, cross laminated timber (CLT) and glue laminated timber (glulam).

Principal architect Alec Tzannes explains that the architecture of International House Sydney reflects a new form of beauty; beyond shape and surface, it is deep design renewing architecture’s role to serve the greater social purpose of lowering carbon emissions.

According to Tzannes, they turned the structural limitations of timber to advantage, designing a unique colonnade form evocative of a forest that gives the building its distinctive character.

The unique construction used more than 2,000m³ of CLT for the floors and cores, and 930m³ of glulam in the columns and beams. Reclaimed ironbark timbers were used for the towering two-storey wooden pilasters that support the CLT.

The quality of entries at the 2017 Australian Timber Design Awards reflects the increasing popularity of wood and wood products in the built environment. This trend is expected to sustain as more mid-rise residential and commercial projects realise the significant financial, operational and environmental benefits of using timber systems.

Eileen Newbury, National Marketing and Communications Manager for Forest and Wood Products Australia, the industry services company that resources Wood Solutions, thanked all the entrants for their inspirational work and for relentlessly pushing the boundaries of working and building in timber.

Now in its 18th year, the Australian Timber Design Awards programme promotes and encourages outstanding timber design, and is open to builders, designers, architects, engineers and landscapers.

This year’s winners also included Geoffrey Marshall and Jeff Thornton, the recipients of the inaugural Dangerous Designs competition annual prizes. Ms Newbury congratulated Geoffrey Marshall for his beautiful Conus Lighting Range, which received the Grand Prize of $10,000 and Jeff Thornton for his striking Gaijin Chair, which received the most social media votes and won the People’s SurPrize! award.