Australia has proven its credentials on the global stage securing the PEFC supported Certified Timber prize at the World Architecture Festival (WAF) in Amsterdam for the second year in succession.  

Ben Gunneberg, CEO of PEFC International, with Patrick Beale, of Advanced Timber Concepts Studio at the UWA, Adrian Iredale and Finn Perdersen, both from iredale pedersen hook architects, and Mark Thomson, WAF Judge and Responsible Wood Director

At a gala dinner with over 1,000 attendees in attendance, the Pingelly Recreation and Culture Centre (PRACC) by iredale pedersen hook architects and Advanced Timber Concepts was announced as winner.

‘We are delighted to receive this prize, which recognises the use of sustainable timber as a key material for a building which lies at the heart of the local Pingelly community,’ said Patrick Beale from Advanced Timber Concepts.

Before the award ceremony, the eleven shortlisted teams had presented their projects to the jury, consisting of Mark Thomson from Eco Effective Solutions, Keith Bradley from Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, Jonathan Coote from Warren & Mahoney and Hattie Hartman from Architects’ Journal.

Reflecting on the shortlisted teams, Mark Thomson, also a director of Responsible Wood in Australia, was impressed by the calibre of entrants.

‘Once again forest certification has been warmly embraced by teams throughout the world.

‘What’s more PEFC certification (and timber more generally) has been a prominent feature in entries across all award categories,’ Mr Thomson said.

The winning building overlooks the small town of Pingelly in Western Australia, and serves as a meeting point for the local community. It consists of four pavilions linked by a long veranda. The pavilions contain a sports hall, event spaces, bars, a community kitchen, a cultural centre and a bowls club, welcoming visitors to sports events, music performances and social gatherings.

The community is made up of 12% First Nation people and is the proud home of the Pingelly Tigers – the first all-Aboriginal Australian Rules Football team which was formed in the 1960s.

Certified timber is in the spotlight throughout the building. Hardwood was used in flooring, decking, cladding and panelling.

‘It is always amazing to see how architects and building designers use certified timber to create remarkable buildings for people to experience, live and work in,’ said Ben Gunneberg, CEO of PEFC International.

‘It demonstrates to those supplying wood from certified forests around the globe what can be achieved with the marvellous raw material they supply.’

‘This recognition will give clients confidence that timber is a valuable and incredible material to use. Confidence is growing in the use of timber in Australia. We will share the prize with the local community,’ said Adrian Iredale, from iredale pedersen hook.

PEFC and WAF awarded the annual Best Use of Certified Timber Prize this year for the second time.

The prize recognises architects and project teams for their use of certified timber as a main construction material for buildings outstanding in sustainability, innovation, quality or aesthetics.

39 architects and project teams from 18 countries entered their constructions into this year’s prize.

Photo credits: World Architecture Festival, Peter Bennetts