Charlotte Chapel – Winner, Excellence in the use of timber products – Australian certified timber, Australian Timber Design Awards 2017

Now in its 18th year, The Australian Timber Design Awards highlights, promotes and encourages a timber design ethos by showcasing outstanding timber design in a variety of applications. This year, Australian Forestry Standard attended the awards night as proud sponsors of the Australian Certified Timber Award. A coveted award that recognises the use of certified timber from sustainably managed forests.

The 2017 winner was the beautiful Charlotte Chapel project by builder Chris Graves from a design by SJH Planning & Design, Gosford.

Charlotte Chapel was built as a wedding chapel at the elegant and sophisticated Kantara House wedding venue on the NSW Central Coast. A condition by the Reid family, who own the property, was that the chapel be built using responsibly grown and legally sourced wood. Furthermore, that the building be durable and bushfire resistant. As a result, all timbers used were Australian hardwoods, primarily AFS-certified Blackbutt from the North Coast of NSW. AFS certification is endorsed by the endorsed by the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), the global authority on sustainable forest management.

Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), the global authority on sustainable forest management.

The handcrafted elliptical shaped windows were made from Blackbutt, customised to suit the client’s requirements. The doors were also made of customised Blackbutt timber, shaped as an elliptical form. Flooring was 180X20 tongue and groove Blackbutt whilst ceilings were lined with V-Jointed Pine select grade. Customised 100-year old Blackbutt beams were encased around structural steel trusses to highlight the grandness of the 45-degree pitch roof above.

The bell tower was also made of Blackbutt. The structure was made on site and lifted in place to house the oldest fully functional ringing bell in Australia from circa 1550.

Congratulations to the builders, designers, engineers and fabricators for their win! We look forward to seeing many more incredible designs using certified timber from sustainably managed Australian forests next year.

To check out the winning designs, download this e-book.


  • Designer: SJH Planning & Design
  • Structural Engineer: Lomas & Associates
  • Fabricator: Davebilt Industries
  • Photographer: David Benson Photography
Charlotte Chapel exterior
100-year old Blackbutt beams
Customised Blackbutt doors