Reaching New Heights: The 5th COFI / CW Design Awards Showcase Innovation in the Big & Tall Wood Challenge

By: Kevin Bews

SPF Manager, Canada Wood Japan

The 5th COFI / Canada Wood Design Awards – Big & Tall Wood Challenge – captivated the architecture and design world from November 14, 2022, to January 16, 2023. A distinguished panel of judges, composed of renowned Japanese architecture and design academics Ms. Azuma, Mr. Koshihara, and Mr. Harada, meticulously evaluated the entries. On February 3, 2023, they selected eight outstanding projects, evenly split between the Big and Tall categories, from the impressive pool of submissions.

The Embassy of Canada to Japan wholeheartedly supported the competition, with Ambassador Ian G. McKay representing Canada. In a gracious display of hospitality, Ambassador McKay hosted a spectacular awards ceremony and reception at the embassy on March 20, 2023. A total of 84 attendees witnessed the announcement of the winning projects and the presentation of the well-deserved trophies and certificates of appreciation to the talented participants.

Join us in extending a “Big & Tall congratulations” to this year’s remarkable award winners, who have truly pushed the boundaries of wood construction and design:

Award winners for the Mid-rise Wood Structure category:

Angular House

Shinagawa Ward, Tokyo 

Building & Size: Residential Apartment, P&B Construction, 4-storey & 284 m²

Nursing Home Shindengakuseien

Adachi Ward, Tokyo 

Building & Size: Nursing Home, 2x4 Construction, 5-storey & 7,827 m²
Company Awarded: MEDOX

Port Plus

Yokohama City Kanagawa Prefecture

Building & Size: Training Institute, Other Construction, 11-storey & 3,503 m²

University of the Arts International Exchange Building

Hisao & Hiroko TAKIPLAZA” in Taito Ward, Tokyo

Building & Size: University Building, P&B Construction, 5-storey & 1,484 m²

Award winners for the Large Wood Structure category

Showa Gakuin Elementary School West Building

Ichikawa City, Chiba Prefecture

Building & Size: Elementary School, CLT Construction, 2-storey & 1,468 m²
Company Awarded: NIKKEN SEKKEI LTD. | Nikken Wood Lab

Hitachiota Municipal Suifu Elementary & Junior High School

Hitachiota City, Ibaraki Prefecture

Building & Size: Elementary & Junior High School, Other Construction, 2-storey & 5,994 m²
Company Awarded: Okada & Associates

Nagareyama Municipal Oguro-no-Mori Junior High School

Nagareyama City, Chiba Prefecture

Building & Size: Junior High School, P&B Construction, 3-storey & 14,568 m²
Company Awarded: NIHON SEKKEI, INC.

Kiso Town Hall

Kiso Town, Nagano Prefecture
Building & Size: Government Building, P&B Construction, 1-storey & 3,323 m²
Company Awarded: Chida Architecture Associates

Canada, as a global frontrunner in forestry and wood building technology, takes pride in hosting this competition to honor and celebrate the advancements made by Japanese companies in designing and constructing Big & Tall Wood Buildings in Japan. Now in its 5th year, the COFI Design Competition has garnered positive reception from applicants, the industry, and Japanese stakeholders alike.

Through this event, COFI underscores Canada’s dedication and leadership in promoting the adoption of wood construction and raising awareness about the role of forests and the wood products cycle in combating climate change. By championing the use of wood, we contribute to the decarbonization of construction and endorse the development of socially responsible, eco-friendly, and sustainable communities.

To view the full winning projects, please visit: