The winners of the New Zealand Architecture Awards have been announced and the results are stunning
The winners of the New Zealand Architecture Awards have been announced with the top award, the 2015 New Zealand Architecture Medal, going to the new Blyth Performing Arts Centre at Iona College, Havelock North, designed by Stevens Lawsons Architects.
This year’s Architecture Awards saw the introduction of three best-of-category awards named for eminent New Zealand architects: the John Scott Award for public architecture, won by the Christchurch Botanic Gardens Visitor Centre, designed by Patterson Associates; the Sir Ian Athfield Award for housing, won by Lyttelton Studio Retreat, designed by Bull O’Sullivan Architecture; and the Sir Miles Warren Award for commercial architecture, won by the Stranges and Glendenning Hill Building Replacement, designed by Sheppard & Rout Architects.
Awards jury convenor, Auckland architect Pete Bossley, said there was an abundance of buildings available for consideration by the judging panel, which also included architects Sharon Jansen from Wellington, Jeremy Smith from Nelson, and Damien Eckersley from Brisbane.
“The tough calls began on day one of shortlisting and continued to the very end,” says Bossley. “It has been a strong year in New Zealand architecture, and the buildings we saw amazed and enticed us. It was a privilege to visit them, and a challenge to judge them.”
The jurors described the Blyth Performing Arts Centre, which won a New Zealand Architecture Award in the education category as well as the New Zealand Architecture Medal, as a “beautifully planned and executed building in which technical as well as architectural issues have been resolved masterfully”.
Christchurch Botanic Gardens Visitor Centre, the winner of the John Scott Award for Public Architecture, is “an exhilarating contemporary take on the traditional garden greenhouse and an adroit and sympathetic piece of place-making”, says the jury.
“The elegant form is an inspiring contribution to the public realm in Christchurch,” the jury said.
Another Christchurch project to win one of the new named awards was the Lyttelton Studio Retreat, which won the Sir Ian Athfield Award for housing.
“This building is a labour of love and a testament to the design capacity, bloody-minded commitment and appetite for sheer hard work of its architect,” the jury said. With a nod to architect Michael O’Sullivan’s ancestry, the jury said the building, “with its robust and straightforward shell and finely crafted interior, perfectly expresses the dichotomy of pugnacity and poetry of a Hibernian heritage.”
Completing the Christchurch clean sweep of named awards, the Stranges and Glendenning Hill Building Replacement received the Sir Miles Warren Award for commercial architecture.
“Client and architect set out to make a cosmopolitan, industrious and joyful place on a prominent urban site, and they have succeeded admirably,” the jury said. “With its interior courtyard offering sanctuary from traffic and street noise the building is a modern village with an urbane disposition.”
Residential architecture featured strongly in the Architecture Awards. Five new houses won awards in the housing category, four of them in Auckland.
Waiheke Island is the site of Bull O’Sullivan Architecture’s Award-winning Ostend Road Home. “Crafted rather than merely built, the house is an entirely suitable and very enjoyable home for the young family for whom it was designed,” the jury said.
To see all the winners, visit www.nzia.co.nz.