The Smile has been shortlisted for a staggering 7 awards, 5 of which the winners are still to be announced.
Originally created for the London Design Festival in 2016, The Smile was the first use of construction sized panels of American tulipwood CLT – a 35 metre long ‘mega-tube’.
Designed by Alison Brooks and her team at Alison Brooks Architects, and engineered by the structural engineers Arup, The Smile became one of the most important developments in a decade of research and development in to structural timber innovation.
As well as the structural advantages, the final project boasted huge environmental credentials. Tulipwood is one the most abundant species in the U.S. hardwood forest and, contrary to popular perception, an expanding resource. The volume of tulipwood used in The Smile would take a mere 5 minutes to regrow naturally in the forest.
The nominations come at an exciting time for hardwood in construction following the first ever use of tulipwood CLT in a permanent structure at the new Maggie’s Centre in Oldham. Although it was a temporary pavillion, The Smile, described as the ‘most ambitious CLT structure ever built’, will continue to act as an inspiration for architects and designers across the world, as well as the best ambassador for the use of American hardwoods in construction.