Framing the Timber Awards: Developing a New Exhibition Structure

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For the past five years we have exhibited the Best use of Timber Awards Exhibition at The Lighthouse. It’s been a small exhibition, but it has been difficult to bring to other venues. This has been at odds with the projects showcased in the Exhibition which have come from a wide variety of locations across Scotland. This year we decided to take a different approach and looked for proposals for a freestanding structure that could show off the exhibition content irrespective of the location.

Timber Frame at the Heart

The timber frame was central to the proposal by McGinlay Bell Architects. The timber frame is an element inherent to many of the projects showcased in the exhibition over the years – and a mainstay of the Scottish housebuilding industry. Using the timber frame in a refined way, multiples of this simple element enable different combinations of walls. The frames can be stacked to form a table to display models or material samples in exhibitions in the future. The structure of the frame allows for exhibition content or wall boards to be easily fixed. There’s even room to expand – previous exhibitions have showcased elements of timber cladding – now we can recreate this over a larger area. The whole structure can be de-mounted and packed away when not in use.

Building Offsite

It’s not just any timber frame put together roughly on site. In reflection of the direction of the Scottish construction industry, it has been built offsite. This means manufactured carefully in a factory environment ensuring a better controlled product, a safe work environment and minimum waste. The structure was manufactured locally by Bridgewater Building Solutions. Using Scottish timber is integral to the ethos. Scots Pine was selected as a common material, with the added bonus of being lightweight. A contrasting element, playing dark timber against light has been manufactured from a Wych Elm, which fell naturally in Prestwick recently.

Traditional Timber Jointing Methods

Keen to make the most of the opportunity to display the Scottish timber frame, the architects and joiners have also put together a display of traditional timber jointing methods, allowing the visitor to gain more of an insight into the craft behind the finished structure.


The Best use of Timber Awards Exhibition opens on 17th January 2018 at The Lighthouse, 11 Mitchell Lane, Glasgow. The exhibition is sponsored by Forestry Commission Scotland and Wood for Good.

Blog Post by Laura Hainey, A&DS.

Best Use of Timber Awards Exhibition

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