The World Architecture Festival (WAF) has revealed that the Queensland based Mon Repos Turtle Centre is among the eight projects shortlisted for 2021 Best Use of Certified Timber – supported for the third year in a row by Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC).

This year’s shortlisted projects highlight the work of practices across the world, from Australia and New Zealand to Denmark, that push new boundaries in the use of certified timber, in terms of construction, sustainability and aesthetics.

The shortlisted research, conservation and visitor centre dedicated to nesting sea turtles on Mon Repos Beach is an impressive glulam timber structure by KIRK architects.

Mon Repos, meaning ‘my rest’ in French, is a conservation park near Bundaberg, Queensland where passionate rangers and scientists manage conservation and research programs to enhance the success of nesting before hatchlings make their perilous journey to the sea some months later.

The Mon Repos beach and environs is the most important turtle nesting ground in Australia and has been a key research centre for over 40 years. The project scope included the master planning of the entire beachside environs to manage vehicle and pedestrian movement within the sensitive coastal landscape which is one of the most significant seasonal nesting grounds for the loggerhead turtle.

Embracing sustainability in its design, the new centre featured a prefabricated Hyne glulam timber structure.  The use of sustainably sourced glue laminated timber was instrumental in meeting the projects 50 year design life requirement

In addition, Austral Plywood supplied Hoop Pine “ariaply”, a premium prefinished panel based on “A” grade Hoop Pine plywood. Locally grown and manufactured, the timber meets the Australian Standard for Sustainable Forest Management, a prerequisite for Responsible Wood certification.

This year the eight shortlisted teams will present their projects to the jury, consisting of Keith Bradley of Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, Carin Smuts of CS Studio Architects, Darryl Condon of HCMA Architecture + Design, and a PEFC representative, before the winning project is announced live on the final day of the festival. The Prize rewards architects and project teams for using certified timber as the main construction material for buildings outstanding in sustainability, innovation, quality or aesthetics.

PEFC International Chief Executive, Ben Gunneberg commented “It is inspiring to see the large variety of buildings in the finals, benefitting from the use of certified timber in so many ways. While some of the architects chose timber for its flexibility and robustness, others appreciate its natural look and the positive effects it has for people, climate and the planet.

“Our expertise lies in managing forests sustainably, PEFC is pleased to partner with WAF to promote responsible timber sourcing helping architects and their clients to request full traceability as well as reduce the carbon footprint of the buildings.”

Paul Finch, Programme Director of World Architecture Festival, added “Sustainable timber construction is making a big impression on architecture and design across the world, and we are delighted at the interest the prize has generated among practices entering the WAF Awards. Judging will be tough, given the wide range of geographies and building types that have made the shortlist. We look forward to celebrating the winner at the Festival in Lisbon.’

In addition to Mon Repos, Australia and New Zealand are strongly represented with Tzannes Sydney-based Daramu House and Rotorua-based Scion Innovation Hub designed by RTA Studio and Irving Smith Architects and featuring Xlam CLT.

The eight shortlisted projects were selected from 28 architects and project teams from 13 countries who entered their projects into this year’s special prize category.

In 2019, the prize was awarded to Western Australian-based Pingelly Recreation and Cultural Centre (PRACC) by iredale pedersen hook architects and Advanced Timber Concepts while a high commendation was awarded to Turo de la Peira’s Sports Centre by Anna Noguera and Javier Fernandez.

The full shortlist for the WAF Certified Timber Prize 2021 is below

Project name: Adohi Hall
Architect name: Leers Weinzapfel Associates lead Architects for consortium with Modus Studio and Mackey Mitchell Architects
Category: Housing – Completed Buildings
Country: United States

Project name: Ariake Gymnastics Centre
Architect name: Nikken Sekkei + Shimizu Corporation
Category: Sport – Completed Buildings
Country: Japan

Project name: Microlibrary Warak Kayu
Architect name: SHAU
Category: Culture – Completed Buildings
Country: Indonesia

Project name: Mon Repos Turtle Centre
Architect name: KIRK
Category: Display – Completed Buildings
Country: Australia

Project name: Daramu House
Architect name: Tzannes
Category: Office – Completed Buildings
Country: Australia

Project name: Harbour Kiosk
Architect name: LAAB Architects
Category: Shopping – Completed Buildings
Country Hong Kong S.A.R., China

Project name: Scion Innovation Hub, Te Whare Nui o Tuteata
Architect name: RTA Studio and Irving Smith Architects
Category: Higher Education and Research – Completed Buildings
Country: New Zealand

Project name: Climatorium
Architect name: 3XN
Category: Higher Education and Research – Completed Buildings
Country: Denmark