The New Zealand Timber Design Awards, now in its 48th year, celebrate the best in timber construction and were held on the 2nd November in Auckland. Recognising leaders across the industry who are redefining timber and pushing the boundaries of what is possible the awards showcase the exceptional projects that were entered in 2023. The Kirk Roberts team were thrilled to attend the gala event and celebrate a highly commended in the Innovation Timber Engineering Award category for Gunyama Park Aquatic and Recreation Centre in Sydney, which features ‘Kiwi’ structural engineering ingenuity in the form of the longest free-spanning mass timber beams in Australasia.

This category focused on timber structures based on innovative engineering solutions. With five finalists, judges were looking at ways engineering and construction innovation would be showcased to maximise the ability to utilise timber in different ways and push forward with exciting and different solutions. The challenge for our engineers meant the Gunyama Park Aquatic design needed to ensure the stability of the beams to accommodate not only gravity and wind load, but also high ensile lateral loads induced by the ETFE cushions.

To find out how our engineers utilised their skills and expertise to manage this task finding a creative way to utilise timber to fulfil not only architectural requirements and structural needs, and in the process created a new Australasian record here.Gunyama Park Aquatic and Recreation Centre in Sydney.

A special mention goes to JMAC Architecture who were also finalists in the Timber Design Awards for their project Oceanbeach Townhouses in the Residential design award for multi-unit residential buildings (up to 3 levels) category.  To find out more about this exciting development visit

Congratulations to everyone involved in the awards for 2023.