Much like the recent NZIA Western Architecture Awards, Friday night’s 2010 Gisborne Hawkes Bay Architecture Awards demonstrated how good design need not come equipped with a hefty price tag.
Judging panel convenor, architect Daniel King, says the winning entries demonstrated how architects could achieve excellent results on relatively modest budgets.
"The winning projects are of a high standard and what we have seen this year has been very good examples of architects and clients really focusing on good architecture rather than going for the ’wow factor’,” he says. “There is more innovative use of materials and more emphasis on specific relevance of the project to the site.”
King was joined on the jury by architects Simon Clarkson and Ann Galloway, both from Hawkes Bay. The lay juror was Gisborne art gallery owner Matthew Clark.
As well as visiting all shortlisted properties, the judges met with the architects and clients. The buildings were judged against a series of key criteria including their contribution to the advancement of architecture as a discipline and enhancement of the human spirit.
And the winners are...
Hastings District Court
The striking new Hastings District Court by Paris Magdalinos Architects won a Public Architecture award, with the architects hailed for making the most of the site and reconciling a very complex programme.
Features of the $14m building include dedicated spaces for JPs, coroners, the judiciary, lawyers, prisoners and administrators as well as open public spaces. An enclosed courtyard allows public access to the outdoors without having to leave the building, while a larger courtyard spanning the front of the building allows natural light into the interior via a unique double-glazed ‘green glass system’.
Jurors said the project was a strong piece of public architecture, also noting: “A well-defined, almost iconic entry, leads to an interior rich with materiality and detailing. The use of natural light wherever possible helps to link the interior with the outside world.”
The Smith House in Napier, by Gavin Cooper Architect, won a Sustainable Architecture award and was described by jurors as being a thoroughly considered response to the brief and site and “packed with beautifully integrated sustainable design features”.
They noted: “The use of the central ‘core’ as circulation, thermal mass store, heat stack and plenum is exemplary. Additional features such as solar hot water heating, double glazing, a northern aspect, use of renewable timber and super-insulation all contribute to a very inviting and pleasurable living experience.
‘Church’ of Saint Bucephalus
‘Church of Saint Bucephalus’ a house by Crosson Clarke Carnachan Architects, at Waimarama Beach, won a Residential Architecture - Houses award. The project was inspired by the owners’ passion for horses and takes its name from Alexander the Great’s legendary steed Bucephalus
Jurors noted: “This is a strong, deliberate architectural gesture, tailored to the users’ backgrounds with agricultural references abounding.
“The black shell sits camouflaged – but not quietly – in front of a stand of trees overlooking farmlands and out to sea. The rigorous planning is carried through into the detailing and refined finishes palette, and walks a fine line between architectural expression and comfort.”
East Clive Visitors Centre
East Clive Visitors Centre and Administration Building, by Opus Architecture, was also among winners in the Public Architecture category, admired as “robust little building that delivers and challenges what could have been a potentially prosaic response”.
Jurors admired the strong geometric response the site and context and the way the building relates to its neighbours.
Light filled industrial cavern
The premises of the Band graphic design company at Ahuriri, Napier, by Paris Magdalinos Architects, was a winner in Commercial Architecture.
Sited in a former wharf shed, jurors were struck by the way “the dynamic entry bursts out into a stripped back, light filled, industrial cavern,” and described the project as “a classic case of less is more”.
The citation also read: “Simple spaces and authentic detailing have created a flexible and contemporary piece of architecture.”
Historic Whare Ra
A new bathroom at the Category 1 listed heritage building Whare Ra at Havelock North won a Heritage award.
Whare Ra was designed in 1913 by one of New Zealand’s most famous architects James Walter Chapman-Taylor.
Jurors described the project, also by Paris Magdalinos Architects, as an unashamedly modern insertion noting: “The clean use of high quality materials and detailing creates a small light-filled jewel that celebrates the ritual of bathing, without detracting from the architecture of the original building.”
Shoal Bay Beach House
A Shoal Bay Beach House by Parsonson Architects, which takes inspiration from the old farm buildings of the area, was also a winner in the Residential Architecture – Houses category.
Jurors described the property as “a very strong and simple form placed lightly on the land to maximise and control exposure to the elements”
They also said: “The deliberate emphasis on materiality and construction, with its quirky detailing, links the users with nature and the elements, paring back the bach experience without sacrificing any of the luxuries that are now expected. A delightful building that is unpretentious while at the same time being a herald of what could be.”
More about the Awards
The awards are open to all NZIA Practices, and projects can be entered into one or more of 10 categories – Public Architecture, Residential Architecture – Housing, Residential Architecture – Multiple Housing, Commercial Architecture, Urban Design, Interior Architecture, Heritage, Small Project Architecture, Sustainability, and Enduring Architecture.
There is no limit to the number of awards the local jury can make in any category.
The programme has three tiers, progressing from the eight regional awards to national recognition – the New Zealand Architecture Awards—and through to the ultimate accolade, the New Zealand Architecture Medal.
All local winners become eligible for consideration for a New Zealand Architecture Award, decided by a national jury, which includes an overseas judge, in early 2011.
In May at the NZIA’s annual Gala Dinner, the finalists for the New Zealand Architecture Medal will be announced, and the winner named later in the evening. Only one New Zealand Architecture Medal is bestowed each year, in recognition of a single built work.
Check out more regional award results below