No. 251 . 10 August 2005 
ArchitectureWeek
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Wood Design Awards 2005

by ArchitectureWeek

Well crafted wood in buildings is sometimes a conversation piece, but perhaps seldom as explicitly as in three projects recently selected to receive honors from the 2005 Wood Design Awards program. A chapel, a temporary show installation, and a house all make contributions to a conversation about what it means to design with wood.

This North American awards program is coordinated annually by Janam Publications Inc. through the Canadian Wood Council magazines Wood Design & Building and Wood Le Bois. Distinguished jurors look for examples of excellence in architectural design in which wood is a significant element and plays a central role in the project's success.

According to awards program coordinator Don Griffith, the winning projects have come to be regarded as a resource for architects looking for "new ideas for using in wood in the design and construction of residential and nonresidential buildings, and interiors.

Wood that Glows

One example of fresh thinking is evident in the award-winning Bigelow Chapel in New Brighton, Minnesota, designed and engineered by the Minneapolis office of Hammel, Green and Abrahamson, Inc. (HGA) Architecture, Engineering, Planning.

Within an exterior of stone and glass is a softly curving interior of wood veneer panels that virtually embrace the congregants. The honey-colored, quilted-grain maple panels, crafted by Wilkie Sanderson, form 7-foot- (2-meter-) wide floor-to-ceiling ribbons separated by 3-foot (1-meter) spacings. Thin enough to be translucent, the maple veneer filters and colors the interior light, radiating a sense of warmth throughout the sanctuary.   >>>

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