International House Sydney Builds on its Winning Reputation at the 2017 Australian Timber Design Awards

Australia’s first engineered timber multi-story office building, International House at Sydney’s Barangaroo, was announced as the winner of the Grand Prix Award at the Australian Timber Design Awards (ATDA) dinner, held in Melbourne. Among the other winners were Geoffrey Marshall and Jeff Thornton, the recipients of the inaugural Dangerous Designs competition annual prizes.

Already the recipient of international acclaim and extensive editorial coverage, International House Sydney, designed by Tzannes Architects and developed by Lendlease, is constructed from the increasingly popular engineered timber products, cross laminated timber (CLT) and glue laminated timber (glulam).

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

Describing the design, Tzannes says that they have turned the structural limitations imposed by the use of timber to advantage and celebrated them, forming a unique colonnade form evocative of a forest which gives the building its distinctive character.

More than 2,000m3 of CLT have been used for the floors and cores and 930m3 of glulam have been used in the columns and beams of the multi-story office building. The towering two-story wooden pilasters, which support the CLT, are reclaimed ironbark timbers.

The result is a striking structure, a worthy winner in a very strong field in the 2017 Awards. The quality of this year’s entries reflects the increasing popularity of wood and wood products in the built environment. A trend that is expected to increase as more mid-rise residential and other commercial projects realize the significant financial, operational and environmental benefits of using timber systems.

“I would like to thank all the entrants for their inspirational work and for relentlessly pushing the boundaries of working and building in timber,” said Eileen Newbury, National Marketing and Communications Manager for Forest and Wood Products Australia, the industry services company that resources WoodSolutions, the Platinum sponsor of the event.

Now in their 18th year, the Awards promote and encourage outstanding timber design. They are open to builders, designers, architects, engineers and landscapers: to anyone involved in the design or building of structures that feature timber. A Rising Star Award is available to students and entrants aged 35 or under.

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