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NZIA Resene Architecture AwardsNZIA Resene Awards for Architecture 2008

Three outstanding buildings from across the country have been honoured in the New Zealand Institute of Architects Resene Supreme Awards for Architecture 2008.

Hills Clubhouse in Arrowtown, DoC's Conservation House in Wellington and Trinity Apartments in Auckland were named as winners of the country's highest award for architecture at a gala dinner in Auckland on May 24.

The institute also honoured acclaimed architect Ivan Mercep with its Gold Medal in recognition of his outstanding career in architecture in New Zealand, which spans over 50 years.

The importance of Wellington's iconic Massey House, designed by Ernst Plischke and Cedric Firth in 1957, was recognised with an Enduring Award.

National judging convenor Pip Cheshire, of Auckland-based Cheshire Architects, said the winning buildings reflected the fact that New Zealand was increasingly producing buildings of international stature.

'We are seeing a great deal more sophistication in New Zealand architecture,' he said. 'While solutions are responsive to the demands of New Zealand, they display a true knowledge of world conditions of architecture.'

Hills Clubhouse, designed for jeweller Michael Hill by Auckland-based Patterson Associates Ltd, was created to seamlessly integrate with the landscape.

Less than a quarter of the clubhouse is above ground, the roof is topped with native tussock and it is built to the highest sustainable principles.

DoC's Conservation House, in Manners Street, was redeveloped by Wellington-based architecture + from a series of 1980's buildings including a former cinema. It is now regarded as one of New Zealand's most environmentally friendly buildings.

Trinity Apartments, by Auckland-based Architectus, occupies a sensitive key location opposite the city's Anglican Cathedral.

It was praised by judges for its rich streetscape and as 'proof that apartment buildings can provide high quality environments and make significant contributions to the urban landscape'.

Mr Mercep, of Auckland, was among founders of the Jasmax practice. The many acclaimed and award-winning projects he has worked on range from Te Papa Tongarewa - the Museum of New Zealand to Auckland's Samoa House and Auckland University's magnificent Fale Pasifika complex.

Supreme Awards recognise exceptional New Zealand architecture. They are made annually to projects that have already won a New Zealand Award for Architecture.


Supreme Winners

The Hills Clubhouse
Patterson Associates Ltd

The pavilion perfectly houses the clubhouse program involving back of house support, entertainment and observation and makes a splendid divot like sculpture just off the eighteenth green. The expressive use of structural engineering and reflective interiors make a memorable entry to the course and a triumphant nineteenth hole.

The Hills Clubhouse

Conservation House

An inspired reconfiguring of existing buildings has created a masterful workplace solution for a government agency around a central organizing void that orientates the visitor, facilitates better communication between those working there and is an integral part of the building's program of sustainability and low energy use.

The building's environmental control systems are cleverly exploited to create a lively and protected rooftop garden, meeting rooms and café. This is adaptive reuse at its best and will be a benchmark for the future.

Conservation House

Trinity Apartments - 429 Parnell Road

Careful analysis of intensive housing typologies and the particularities of the site have lead to a clever massing of form and an arrangement of apartments that produces a rich streetscape, a private garden realm within and a good mix of apartment sizes and orientations. The project is proof that apartment building design can provide high quality environments and make significant contributions to the urban landscape.

Enduring Award

Massey House (1957) Wellington
Plischke & Firth

This prototypical office building continues to offer a strong model for city building some fifty years after its construction. The narrow floor plate and cross ventilation through its carefully modeled curtain wall are strong examples which influence contemporary buildings and the sculptural treatment of the Lambton Quay tenancies create a rich streetscape.

Northern Region Winners

NZIA Practice: Fearon Hay Architects Ltd
Category: Hospitality & Tourism
Clooney occupies an existing concrete and steel building which has been stripped bare and, within which, a sophisticated exploration of space and materials has been undertaken. The building is left to show its origins clearly.

A strong palette of materials has been added to complete the restaurant and bar. Oiled basalt, blackened oak and steel, leather and blown glass feature. These elements complement, not conceal, the given space and materials.

he dining space is further subdivided by heavy curtains and a contrasting tracery of full height veils of black vertical filaments, adding a delicacy, intimacy and mystery within a rich interior.

Inventive, appropriate and stylish, this is a great space to be in.


Photographers: Patrick Reynolds & Simon Devitt

Colin McCahon Artists' Residence, French Bay, Auckland
NZIA Practice: Pete Bossley Architects
Category: Community & Cultural
This deceptively simple residence and studio is carefully lifted and threaded within a steeply sloping stand of kauri, playing its mullions off within the slender kauri trunks. A fine tree house. The buildings also thread a difficult line of appropriateness to their raw, culturally loaded begetter, the original McCahon house below.

Without resorting to deference or imitation, the McCahon Artists' Residence contrasts the original McCahon house with delicacy, elevation and scale. It is a successful and fitting neighbour.

Colin McCahon Artists' Residence

Photographer: Patrick Reynolds

Onetangi House, Waiheke Island
NZIA Practice: Stevens Lawson Architects Limited
Category: Residential
Here is an impeccably sited house, wedded to a mature pohutukawa and a sweeping beach. It has a presence which perfectly punctuates the beach edge. The plan is ingenious and intimate, with internal and external spaces borrowing from each other to give an intriguing, informal and easy living house.

The building is beautifully detailed and constructed, engaging with its surroundings yet cleverly providing privacy for its inhabitants.

A house entirely right for the site and beach living.

Onetangi House, Waiheke Island

Photographer: Patrick Reynolds

Tarrant-Millar House, Grey Lynn, Auckland
NZIA Practice: Cook, Sargisson, Tarrant & Pirie
Category: Residential
An inner city house on an infill site, this is an exemplar of how it should be done.

The house is carefully sited and planned to achieve sun, outlook, privacy and an intimacy with the site.

The house has considered, and been considerate to, its neighbours.

It sits well within the neighbourhood and its contemporary lines complement its mostly Edwardian neighbours. It is skilfully and commodiously planned, and beautifully constructed with a restrained use of simple materials.

It is a delight.

Tarrant-Millar House, Grey Lynn, Auckland

Photographer: Patrick Reynolds

Franklin: The Centre, Pukekohe, South Auckland
NZIA Practice: ASC Architects
Category: Community & Cultural
ASC Architects have put the genius back into genius loci in their design for Franklin District's new library and arts facility. With its massing cleverly echoing the neighbouring war memorial Town Hall, the new building's contemporary form sits comfortably in its urban context.

The complex revolves around a civically proportioned entry foyer and courtyard that link library, art gallery and public café, while providing a dynamic space for community events. In the library a large-span sawtooth roof is cloaked in computer controlled glass louvres that bathe the library in ample south light and auto-magically open to naturally ventilate the single space when required.
This is a deftly handled and dignified extension to the town's civic precinct.

Frankin The Centre

Photographer: Simon Devitt

Sovereign House, Takapuna, Auckland
NZIA Practice: Bligh Voller Nield in association with Jasmax
Category: Commercial & Industrial
The architects' strategy of designing from the inside out has manifested as a remarkable interior with soaring spaces on an urban scale. Office floors overlook a five-storey atria enlivened by flying bridges and stairs designed to encourage serendipitous communication between the 750 desk jockeys that it takes to run a modern insurance company.

Staff aspirations for an office with a view have been wryly countered by the strategy of hanging individual managers' fishbowl-like offices out over the edge of the abyss where these overseers become well and truly overseen.

This overt display of the workings of the company is mirrored by an equally candid exposition of the mechanical services used to sustain the internal environment. The design team have admirably orchestrated the myriad strands of exposed piping, cabling and lighting into a colourful refrain, articulating their function to the workers they serve.

A delightful working environment that pushes boundaries of office design in New Zealand.

Sovereign House

Sovereign House - Interior Design
NZIA Practice: Bligh Voller Nield in association with Jasmax
Category: Interior Design
The integration of interior design into the overall architectural concept of Sovereign House has resulted in an exceptionally unified and cohesive office environment.

This is an interior fitout that provides many humane touches that balance and complement the almost urban scale of the architectural spaces.

Sovereign House

Alfriston College, Manurewa, South Auckland
NZIA Practice: Warren and Mahoney Ltd
Category: Education
One of the first two new State secondary schools to be built in Auckland in 25 years, Alfriston College is a successful manifestation of current thinking on education for the 21st Century. Separated two-storey Whanau blocks provide an identity as well as a home-base for vertically-integrated groups of students within this 1500-pupil school.

An emphasis on providing an environment where students can develop independent learning skills has driven the integration of flexibility and choice throughout the school. Flexibility of teaching space configuration through operable walls and screens and comprehensive implementation of ICT networks is reinforced by the sheer variety of indoor and outdoor learning spaces catering for specific needs.

The campus has an urban-scaled environment of individual structures unified by their careful placement around a sheltered courtyard space. Landscape has been thoughtfully integrated within the entire composition in a way that also provides environmental learning possibilities for students.

This is a comprehensive and humane design response.

Alfriston College

Photographer: Simon Devitt

Waitakere City Council - Waitakere Civic Centre, Henderson, Waitakere City
NZIA Practice: Architectus Auckland in association with Athfield Architects Limited
Category: Community & Cultural
The project's careful integration of administrative and civic wings with a busy public transport interchange makes for a humming building which actively brings the council together with its local community. A strong pedestrian link to Henderson town centre and sympathetic response to the existing urban fabric has brought life to what was previously industrial land and signals a new beginning for what used to be the rough side of the tracks. The rigorously planned building displays a somewhat robust exterior, while within, the soft curves and warmth of the council chamber create a delightful heart to the otherwise staunch building. The success of this project has raised the bar for future rejuvenation of the Henderson central area.

Waitakere City Council - Waitakere Civic Centre, Henderson, Waitakere City

Photographer: Simon Devitt

Stanley Point House, Devonport, Auckland
NZIA Practice: Geoff Richards Architects Ltd
Category: Residential
This dark stained timber house sits beautifully amongst the shady canopies of protected pohutukawa which it artfully negotiates along its cliff top site. Comprising two wings separated by an entry foyer the house is delicately sited to frame views and encourage sun into the spaces within. An informal verandah cleverly mediates between the bedroom and living spaces and the sloping site beyond, while engaging respectfully with the surrounding trees. The general casualness of this house is challenged as one arrives at the end of the living wing which culminates in a strong angular deck that cantilevers precariously out amongst the trees as the site drops steeply away to the shoreline below. This combination of ease and drama makes for an engaging project which provides the clients both a home as well as a seaside haven to escape to.

Stanley Point House

Lindale Bach, Great Barrier Island
NZIA Practice: Herbst Architects Ltd
Category: Residential
A restrained palette of raw materials has been intricately detailed and obsessively crafted to form an elegant piece of architecture which sits respectfully in its island surroundings. Central to the scheme sits a solid gabion wall contrasting a delicate framework of flitch beams and double columns, and lightweight timber boxes, which collectively define a number of spaces of varying enclosure. Generous openings allow one to casually meander between spaces and reveal views over the dunes to the surf beach beyond. Sunlight moving across the richly textured timber batten cladding and rough gabion walls enlivens the building with an ever changing shadow play over the day. This project blurs the boundaries between interior and exterior, providing a casual shelter perfectly suited to the Barrier.

Lindale Bach

Photographer: Patrick Reynolds

Westmere House, Westmere Auckland
NZIA Practice: Stevens Lawson Architects Limited
Category: Residential
The dark timber skin of this finely crafted house subtly folds and shifts along its façades, creating a sculptural presence which offers a firm yet seductive face to the street. Its muted planes come to life as the cladding dissolves into a rich texture of delicate slatted screens offering semi-private enclosure to the generous street frontage verandahs that make reference to the remaining villas of the neighbourhood. The envelope is deliberately punctured and pulled to create strategic openings for daylight to illuminate the interior, with the slatted screens providing a beautiful texture of light to the spaces within.

Playful moments enliven the house by way of secret passages and splashes of colour offering a counterpoint to its otherwise slick subdued interior.

This beautifully detailed house succeeds as a sophisticated urban residence.

Westmere House

Photographer: Mark Smith


Mai Mai House, Auckland
NZIA Practice: Patterson Associates Ltd
Category: Residential
On a cusp of the energetic commercial strip of Ponsonby Road and the clusters of cottages clinging to the slopes of Freeman's Bay sits a house that both hides and seeks. While its entry level draws one immediately to its commanding view of the Auckland cityscape, its lower level sumptuously hides its inhabitants from the city above. This is a clever experiment in the condition of inner city urban living that produces powerful but polarised experiences of occupation. A courageous client has enabled a full expression from their architect.

Mai Mai House

Photographer: Patrick Reynolds

Britomart Chief Post Office, Auckland
NZIA Practice: Jasmax in association with Mario Madayag Architecture and Salmond Reed Architects
Category: Heritage & Conservation
A cherished historic artefact of the City of Auckland has been exceptionally reworked to ensure it remains a lasting landmark for the future. The glasshouse addition to the rear succeeds both functionally and aesthetically to touch the building delicately with a response that is entirely appropriate to the existing building. The protected former Post Office building has been respectfully modified with a clear language of new and old that creates intelligible boundaries between refurbishment and addition. The overall project has benefited from its additions at least as much as it has from its protected counterparts.

Britomart Chief Post Office, Auckland

Photographer: Simon Devitt

Central Region Winners

Wellington Zoo Amphitheatre, Newtown
NZIA Practice: Jasmax
Category: Community & Cultural
The Wellington Zoo Amphitheatre is a fine example of a carefully considered solution. Simple building techniques and a limited palette of materials have been combined to produce a robust yet elegant multi-purpose performance space.

The key gesture of opening up the rear of the theatre with fold-up wall elements demonstrates a thorough understanding of how visitors circulate through, and gather in, the zoo, as well as providing a dynamic presence in its significant location.

A clear and rigorous design approach to form and detailing, together with a thoughtful choice of materials, has resulted in a beautiful and ever-changing light quality. Sitting in the theatre is a poetic and delightful experience.

Wellington Zoo Amphitheatre

Photographer: Paul McCredie

Greytown Forum, Greytown, Wairarapa
NZIA Practice: Architecture Workshop Ltd
Category: Community & Cultural
The refurbishment and addition to the existing town hall in Greytown is a project that has been analysed carefully on many different levels by the architects.

Through the veranda and translucent wall on the north, this project successfully addresses and connects to the wider context of Greytown's streetscape. The thoughtfully worked detailing and material selection, layered into the rich sectional quality of the project, show careful consideration of the more intimate experience of the users, bringing in moments of joy in the everyday use of this building.

There is a clear distinction between the existing and new parts of the building. This revitalises the old and adds depth and delight to the new.

Greytown Forum, Greytown, Wairarapa

Photographer: Patrick Reynolds

Conservation House, Wellington, Manners St. Wellington
NZIA Practice: architecture+
Commercial & Industrial
Conservation House is a testament to the adaptive and sustainable reuse of a low grade legacy of the 1980's.

Skilfully carved out from an old cinema complex, are two lofty atria and four levels of light and airy office space for the Department of Conservation, topped off with a staff cafe and roof garden.

With a strong focus on ESD, this architecture is successful on all levels, from the street through to the invigorating work environment.

Conservation House, Wellington

Photographers: Mark Hadfield and Paul McCredie

Salamanca House, Kelburn, Wellington
NZIA Practice: Parsonson Architects
Category: Residential
The Salamanca House is a sophisticated urban dwelling that not only respects its historical context but also makes a significant architectural contribution to the streetscape.

The highly creative response within plan and section to the site's considerable constraints has led to a project that has a strong and distinctive form. The intensely resolved and crafted detail is a huge credit to the skill and persistence of both the architect and builder.

This house provides thoughtfully balanced measures of containment and outlook; privacy and a public face. The result is a collection of gracious spaces that are a pleasure to be in.

Photographer: Patrick Reynolds

Salamanca House

Palmerston North Clock Tower, 'The Square', Palmerston North
NZIA Practice: CCM Architects Limited
Category: Community & Cultural

This restrained refurbishment and addition has literally elevated the existing clock tower to be a true marker of time. While the clock indicates the hour, the tower's new lantern changes character with the sun's daily and seasonal movements. The integrated layers of sophisticated lighting also provide a vibrant contribution to the city at night.

The crisp and restrained detail and colour allow the tower and its remodelled base to be experienced with equal delight at varying scales - up close, around the remodelled square and from a distance of several city blocks.

The clock tower has successfully navigated the fine line of making a striking addition, while respecting the existing structure's past, ensuring the healthy longevity of Palmerston North's focal point.

palmerston North Clock Tower

Photographer: Paul McCredie

Southern Region Jury Citations

The Hills Clubhouse, Arrowtown
NZIA Practice: Patterson Associates Ltd
Category: Hospitality & Tourism

A wonderfully sophisticated bunker that incorporates a flexible functional brief, sensitive siting, and plenty of drama. Outstanding in concept and execution, with careful and consistent detailing, finishing, and furnishing.

The articulation of precast concrete slabs, GRC panels, cast insitu elements and polished concrete floors is consummate and evidences a new level of confidence in concrete construction, perhaps not seen since the brutalist work carried out in Christchurch in the 1960s.

The plan and details generated by a simple 'slipping' of a rectilinear form are at once incredibly simple yet highly dynamic.

Photographer: Simon Devitt

The Hills Clubhouse

A.J. Hackett Bungy Centre, Gibbston Valley, Queenstown
NZIA Practice: Patterson Associates Ltd
Category: Hospitality & Tourism

A bold and intellectual concept integrating the rugged cliff-face site and its environs with the idea and adrenalin-filled character of the building's function.

The building is a clear expression and promotion of the culture of bungy, yet belies this with a more subtle and far-reaching agenda of siting and structure.

A sophisticated site-as-building strategy and a circulation event that echoes the dynamic nature of the adventure experience beyond are highly successful.

A J hackett Bungy Centre

Wakatipu Basin House, Queenstown
NZIA Practice: Fearon Hay Architects Ltd
Category: Residential

This house initially appears to eschew some fundamental concerns of a country house - its point of entry is disguised, sun and wind are seemingly ignored, and provision of outdoor shelter is denied.

However, closer inspection reveals a deliberately self-effacing one-bedroom house (with occasional ' 2+2' loft accommodation over the garage) arranged about a tent-and-cave indoor/outdoor living room, and its design intentions become more legible.

The strength of a bold and severe form coupled with expansive landscape gestures render the house a singular and intriguing proposition in a potentially overwhelming site.

The apparent simplicity of the rural shed silhouette belies the sophistication of the internal environment, where heroically-scaled elements and carefully selected finishes mediate the powerful landscape and contribute to an overall composition of clarity and restraint.

Wakatipu Basin House, Queenstown

Photographer: Patrick Reynolds

Drift Bay House, Queenstown
NZIA Practice: Kerr Ritchie Ltd
Category: Residential

An antidote to the large (and typically empty) mausoleums that constitute a large portion of Queenstown's outlying housing stock - and a refreshing product of experimentation and self-confidence rather than fashion.

This seemingly effortless solution accommodates a young family, guests, and a work studio in a perfectly sited house that offers a variety of outdoor spaces, framed views and spatial experiences all folded in and about a modest structure.

The house has been designed with a clear understanding of site, form, microclimate, solar and environmental concerns, as well as the necessities of raising a growing family and of building to a realistic budget.

At its heart - a simple but very effective plan, cleverly framing a number of landscape elements and responding rationally to the harsh environment. A joy to be in.

Drift Bay House, Queenstown

Photographer: Paul McCredie

The NZIA Resene Awards for Architecture are organised by the NZIA. Please see the NZIA website for details on how to enter.

View NZIA Resene Awards for Architecture:

2009 - 2008 - 2007 - 2006 - 2005 - 2004 - 2003 - 2002 - 2001


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