Winning school design pushes the limits of contemporary timber milling technology

Featuring pre-milled LVL structures slotted together on site, this school design took out Supreme Winner at the 42nd NZ Wood-Resene Timber Design Awards
Contemporary wood working techniques played a central part architecture, daylighting, deck, house, porch, real estate, window, wood, brown
Contemporary wood working techniques played a central part in this school design that took the top award at the 42nd NZ Wood-Resene Timber Design Awards.

From extensive use of laminated veneer lumber (LVL) and cross laminated timber (CLT) in homes to multi-storey commercial buildings, this year's entries in the NZ Wood-Resene Timber Design Awards showed modern applications of wood are providing cost effective solutions.

The Cathedral Grammar Junior School by Ruamoko Solutions, Andrew Barrie Lab, Tezuka Architects, Ohno Japan & Contract Construction took out the Supreme NZ Wood-Resene Award in this year's awards. The entry also won Timberlab Solutions Ltd's Commercial Architectural Excellence section and was highly commended in the NZ Timber Design Society's Engineering Innovation category.


These LVL frames had been meticulously designed and architecture, beam, furniture, home, house, log cabin, table, window, wood, brown
These LVL frames had been meticulously designed and manufactured to 0.5mm accuracy to ensure a perfect fit and structural performance.

This classroom block for an inner-city school overlooks Hagley Park. The design sought to create a garden school' characterised by its extensive use of timber giving the spaces warmth and character.

The complex Pinus Radiata Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL) structure combines traditional timber jointing techniques and the very latest fabrication practices. The design pushed the limits of new computer-controlled timber milling technology to allow the economical use of exacting traditional timber joints precisely interlocking rebates and mortice-and-tenon joints techniques normally thought too expensive or technically demanding.

Class of its own  Cathedral Grammar Junior architecture, deck, door, house, outdoor structure, porch, window, wood, brown
Class of its own Cathedral Grammar Junior School is a fully interlocking CNC-cut, laminated veneer lumber (LVL) timber structure which arrived on site ready to assemble.

The timber elements were meticulously designed and made to ensure structural performance and a perfect fit. These arrived on site complete down to the smallest rebate allowing the complex structure to simply be slotted together on site, resulting in rapid construction and labour savings. The complex timber building appears effortless cabling, fixings, flashings and other cluttering elements are either invisible or seamlessly absorbed. The result of 21st century craft, the spaces are open and light the interior linked with the landscaping and surroundings for a rich, flexible learning environment.

The judges said that the school stands out as an example of what can be achieved with effective collaboration and innovative use of timber design, material selection, and fabrication and construction technologies. Outstanding BIM modelling and CNC machining was used to craft an integrated spatial and structural delight for its young occupants.

Mar 30, 2017
We know the specialists