The 17th annual Timber Design Award winners were announced on September 15 at a special dinner event at Luna Park in Sydney. The 2016 awards presentation night was graced by the presence of well-known individuals from government, the timber industry and the design community.

The Grand Prix winner for the 2016 Australian Timber Design Award went to JAWSARCHITECTS for Three Capes Track Cabins. The Three Capes track is a four-day walk taking in the magnificent scenery of the Tasman Peninsula on Tasmania’s south-east coast. Working closely with the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service, JAWSARCHITECTS developed a series of simple, elegant accommodation facilities in three distinct locations along the track route, sitting lightly and effortlessly in this dramatic landscape.

Drawing on previous experience  with prefabrication and transportable structures, the cabins employ repeated  and preassembled timber components. These components were transported by helicopter in 800kg loads, and assembled “flat-pack style” on site by a small team of craftsmen. Ergonomic requirements and structural limitations were considered to determine a regular structural grid.

Timber was the perfect material since it satisfied the requirements of lightness, standardisation and repetition, corrosion and bushfire resistance. Timber integrates well into the bush environment and bushfire resistant species are available for important structural components.

The infill walls were designed to be prefabricated and Tasmanian Oak plywood was the ideal durable material with enough flexibility to avoid damage when being transported. Timber screens with varying levels of enclosure are slotted in between the standardised timber post and beam frames to provide enclosure, light, ventilation, privacy and spatial separation. Tasmanian Oak engineered timber flooring was used to form the finished floors providing a warm and welcoming space for hikers to stay overnight.

In awarding it as the overall winner of Australian Timber Design Awards, the judges said the project’s real achievement is “in its creation of great public amenity to inhabits in a remote area, which we feel is due to the holistic approach to the outcomes, texture and warmth of the timber used.”

Following feedback from previous years, a second architect was added to the judging panel to assist in the volume of entrants that the awards now attract. In addition to the two architects (Diego Bekinschtein and Kerry Clare) were a structural engineer (Chris Potter), a builder (Professor Perry Forsythe) and an interior designer (Kate St James).


Other award winners were:

Peoples’ Choice Award – Excellence in Timber Design: PNEU Architects, Maken Place

Sustainability: Y2 Architecture and Three Acres Landscape Architecture, Marist College Bendigo Montagne Centre

Small Budget: Bates Smart, 106 Flinders St

Rising Star: Andrew Volkmann of Donovan Payne Architects, Bold Park Aquatic

Landscape: Taylor Cullity Lethlean (TCL) and Troppo Architects in association with the City of Charles Sturt and Wallbridge and Gilbert, Henley Square Redevelopment

Timber Fabrication: Donovan Payne Architects, Bold Park Aquatic

Furniture and Joinery: Hydrowood for The Pieman Collection

Stand-alone Structure: Studio Workshop, CONDEV Reception Space

Interior Fitout – Commercial: Enter Projects, Lot 1, Sydney

Interior Fitout – Residential: Fergus Scott Architects, The Farm

Public or Commercial Buildings: Donovan Payne Architects, Bold Park Aquatic

Residential Class 1 – Alteration or Addition:  Gaetano Palmese Architects, Sofia & Otto’s Playground

Residential Class 1 – New Buildings: Richard Kirk Architect, West End House

Multi-Residential: JAWSARCHITECTS, Three Capes Track Cabins

Timber Windows and Doors: Fergus Scott Architects, The Farm

Timber Veneers: Enter Projects, Lot 1, Sydney

Timber Panels: Architectus Group Pty Ltd, The Gipson Commons, St Michael’s Grammar School

Timber Flooring: Allen Jack+Cottier, Abbotsleigh Multi-Purpose Assembly and Sports Hall

Timber Cladding: Seeley Architects, Inlet House

Recycled Timber: Fergus Scott Architects, The Farm

Fit-out Featuring Decorative Sliced Veneers: Zanazan Architecture Studio, Lilly’s Espresso e Cucina

Engineered Timber Products: Morrison & Breytenbach Architects in association with Circa Morris-Nunn Architects, University Of Tasmania Inveresk Student Residences

Australian Certified Timber: Law Architects for Woodleigh School
Homestead Redevelopment.


For more info on nominees and winners, go to