Timber Design Awards: Scion announced finalist

5 July 2023

Te Whare Nui o Tuteata, Scion’s striking three storey building and innovation hub, has today been named a finalist in the 2023 Timber Design Awards under two categories, Sustainable Development and Innovation Timber Engineering.

The prestigious awards, now in their 48th year, highlight the latest advances in New Zealand’s timber construction capability, proving that the degree of creativity and innovation in wood-based design is accelerating with pace.

The Sustainable Development Award celebrates buildings that have achieved low environmental impact and enhance New Zealand’s unique society and environment, while the Innovation Timber Engineering Award honours engineering and construction innovation, maximizing the use of timer with exciting solutions.

Scion’s Te Whare Nui o Tuteata, officially opened in March 2021 by the former Prime Minister, Dame Jacinda Ardern, has pioneered sustainability and design using engineered wood products. The structure won 14 domestic and international awards already, making it an international timber architecture icon.

The design is believed to be a world-first, utilising a diagonal-grid (diagrid) timber structure for a three-storey building and importantly, a Life Cycle Assessment showed it is embodied-carbon neutral at the point of completion.

Scion has been named a Sustainable Development Award finalist alongside HomeGround | Te Tāpui Atawhai, Kohinga – St. Albans Community Centre, Te Noninga Kumu – Motueka Public Library, and Waimea College.

Nelson Airport Terminal, Gunyama Park Aquatic and Recreation Centre, Te Ara o Puanga – Mary Potter Apartments and University of Canterbury – Beatrice Tinsley Building are fellow finalists for the Innovation Timber Engineering Award.

Scion sustainability architect and portfolio leader Andrea Stocchero says Te Whare Nui o Tuteata represents advancement and sophistication in the way timber structural buildings are not just put together, but conceptualised.

“Thinking harder about what timber is good at and how timber buildings might be better prefabricated and pieced together, has resulted in a globally significant demonstration of how we might build tomorrow,” Stocchero says.

“The building represents a real prototype rather than just a possibility for how future buildings can optimise the use of wood in construction and lays a marker on New Zealand’s journey to be carbon zero by 2050.”

Hybrid Building category new for 2023

Scion is the proud sponsor of a new category Hybrid Building, which celebrates buildings that make use of timber in combination with other building materials, for example, timber extensions on an existing steel or concrete building.

Congratulations to the six finalists in this new category, including BBI Warehouse, Dowie Rose House, Higgins Family Holdings Ltd Head Office, Ōpuke Thermal Pools and Spa, Te Rauhītanga – Landcare research, Wall-É.

Stocchero says this new awards category is important for fostering a low-carbon future.

“Construction shouldn’t be based on the competition between materials. Rather, it should be about balancing the right material for the right purpose, delivering functional, safe, aesthetically pleasing and environmentally performing building designs that support climate change mitigation.”

The awards will be celebrated with a gala dinner at the Cordis Hotel in Auckland on the 2nd November 2023.

Whilst Andrea Stocchero is one of four judges in the Timber Design Awards, he is not involved in the judging of Scion’s Te Whare Nui o Tuteata.