Seventeen projects ranging in scale from an Auckland transit development and a Christchurch government precinct to a Hamilton urban park and a Nelson bach were recognised in the country’s premier building design competition, the New Zealand Architecture Awards 2018. Four projects achieved further distinction in taking out Named Awards in the categories of public architecture, education, housing and commercial architecture.
The Sir Ian Athfield Award for housing went to Kawakawa House at Piha on Auckland’s West Coast, designed by Herbst Architects.
The awards jury gave four awards to residential projects.
Perennial award-winners Herbst Architects chalked up another win with Kawakawa House, described by the jury as “a sensitively designed retreat that pays due respect to the wild beauty of Auckland’s west coast”. “Occupation must be a pleasure, no matter what the season or weather. The house connects just as well to the pōhutukawa forest in which it sits, as to the beach it overlooks.”
Stevens Lawson Architects received an award for Rawene House in Westmere, Auckland, designed for a client who asked for, and got, an “earthy and soulful home”. “A lovely spatial flow, adept handling of natural light and well-chosen and crafted materials combine to produce a calmly ordered and serene house,” the jury said.
Tūrama, a Rotorua house designed by RTA Studio, shows how connections can be made not with the surrounding environment but to whanau and genealogy. “The house makes its stand in Rotorua suburbia, amid a cluster of state houses, on land that has been in the client’s family for many generations.”
Irving Smith Architects won an award in the Housing Alterations and Additions category for Bach with Two Roofs, in Golden Bay. The building had been completed before a cyclone felled the surrounding stand of eucalyptus trees, sparking a complete rethink about the relationship between the dwelling and its environment. “The architect has adjusted the design so that the house provides the shelter once offered by the trees,” the jury said. “The effect of the additions has enriched an already accomplished house.”
Hamilton architect, Edwards White’s third award-winning project in the Awards (the other’s were commercial) is River Retreat, a compact Taupiri house recognised in the Small Project category.
The house designed by an architect for his own family is “small but sufficient”, the jury said. “The clever design is an economic but also a romantic response to site conditions – the busy highway to the east and the Waikato River on the property boundary to the west.”
At the awards evening, Auckland architect Jeremy Salmond received the 2018 New Zealand Institute of Architects (NZIA) Gold Medal in recognition of an outstanding career in heritage and conservation architecture.
This year, an award for Enduring Architecture a category that recognises buildings of at least 25 years of age was given to Auckland’s Heke Street House (1988), designed by Mitchell & Stout Architects, the practice founded by David Mitchell and Julie Stout. David Mitchell passed away this year.
“The Heke Street House is one of the best New Zealand urban houses of its generation,” the jury said, “and its intent is even more evident now as it was at the time of construction”.
“David Mitchell and Julie Stout designed the house, which fully occupies a small Ponsonby lot, when they were sailors in the Pacific, and the design seems to float on this conceptual current.”
The New Zealand Architecture Awards is a peer reviewed programme run by the NZIA with the support of Resene.