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Piano wins timber prize

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Italian architect Renzo Piano last week became the first winner of a prize to recognise excellence in the use of timber in architecture.

Piano, who designed the timber Tijabou Cultural Centre at Noumea in New Caledonia, was presented with the Spirit of Nature Wood Architecture Award last week. The award, initiated by the Finnish Wood in Culture Association, is worth 50,000 euros (£30,000) and will be presented every two years. An international jury including Australian architect Glenn Murcutt selected Piano for the way he uses his knowledge of materials as 'the basis of a sustainable, aesthetic and ethical architecture'.

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