Waugh on Wood

Tue, Jul 2, 2024
Waugh for Web Cropped

Andrew Waugh

Waugh Building for Web Cropped

The Black and White Building, photo by Ed Reeve, courtesy of Waugh Thistleton Architects

The Skyscraper Museum continued its Mass Timber semester series, which brings together key voices in the Mass Timber movement to reflect on its short history, current condition, and promising future, in conjunction with the exhibition, TALL TIMBER: The Future of Cities in Wood.

Andrew Waugh is a founding director of Waugh Thistleton Architects, a British firm established in 1997 alongside Anthony Thistleton. In 2009, they completed Murray Grove, the world's first nine-story mass timber building, located in London. As a pioneer and advocate for sustainable, engineered wood in architecture, Waugh has dedicated his practice to developing efficient, aesthetically pleasing, and ambitious architectural solutions that minimize resource use.

Among the firm's significant projects is Dalston Works, a 10-story, 121-unit development completed in 2017, which was the largest CLT (cross-laminated timber) building in the world at the time and a landmark in high-density urban housing. The firm's recent award-winning Black & White Building is now the tallest engineered timber office building in central London. Waugh Thistleton Architects' extensive research has resulted in multiple open-source publications, such as "New Model Building: Building Net Zero Homes," which provides principles and guidance for the design and construction of multi-story mass-timber housing.

Following Waugh's presentation, he engaged in a conversation with Andrew Bernheimer, an architect and educator at Parsons School of Design. In 2015, Bernheimer edited Timber in the City (ORO), a book featuring essays on innovative practices and research in wood construction. They reflected on the early history of Mass Timber in North America as it learned from Europe and discussed where we stand today.

Andrew Waugh is a founding director of Waugh Thistleton Architects, a London based architectural practice that is a world leader in engineered timber and a pioneer in the field of tall timber buildings. In 2010, Waugh was awarded the Presidentʼs Medal of the Royal Institute for British Architects (RIBA) for his research into high-rise buildings in timber. The firm has won many subsequent awards, including the 2024 RIBA London Award for The Black & White Building.

Andrew Bernheimer, FAIA is a Brooklyn-based architect and Associate Professor of Architecture at the Parsons School of Design. He leads an eponymous firm responsible for a wide variety of projects. Bernheimer Architecture was named by The Architect’s Newspaper as Best of Practice 2024, medium-sized firm/Northeast. It is also currently the only private architectural firm in the United States with unionized labor.


The video begins with a welcome and introductions by Museum Director Carol Willis, followed by the presentation by Andrew Waugh. After his talk, Andrew is joined in dialogue by Andrew Bernheimer. Carol Willis's longer introductions of the series is appended at the end of the video.


TALL TIMBER is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

TALL TIMBER is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature.