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Kiwi architecture firm named a leading light in 21st century architecture

Being celebrated as “a leading light” in 21st Century architecture is no mean feat, especially when you’re competing on a global stage. Enter Kiwi firm Patterson Associates who, together with practices from Norway, Japan, Spain and Denmark, have been named as the first five winners in World Architectural News (WAN)' 21 for the 21 Awards, which celebrate practices set to shape the future of architecture as leading lights in the 21st century.

The awards are all about celebrating what WAN describes as “outstanding, forward-thinking people and organisations who have the demonstrable potential to be the next big thing in the architectural world. The jurors were looking for architects whose directional ideas are helping to shape the future of architecture, whilst keeping within the boundaries of commercial viability and sustainability”. 

Clearly, Patterson Associates got something right when it comes to forward thinking work, submitting into the awards (see entry here) a body of recent works including Mai Mai Folly (residential, Auckland), Cumulus (commercial, Auckland), AJ Hackett Bungy Centre (commercial, Queenstown), Michael Hill Golf Clubhouse (commercial, Queenstown) and Parihoa (residential, West Auckland). 

As part of the awards, jurors poured over 43 long-listed entrants, singling out Patterson Associates for its visually strong designs and approach to sustainability with a "nonnostalgic" appearance. 

“It is hugely rewarding to present our portfolio of work and have our New Zealand-inspired ideas and philosophy recognised by some of the great minds in world architecture,” says founder Andrew Patterson. 

“The projects within our submission approach architecture, environment and people in terms of New Zealand concepts around Mauri (the lifeforce which all objects contain. 

“All our work is underpinned by a core assumption that if a building logically belongs in its ecology, then people connected with that architecture cannot help but feel the logic in belonging there also. This is the first time ideas relating to Te Reo have been recognized on the international architectural stage.” 

Working on projects that involve sustainability, energy efficiency and environmental issues, the firm is currently designing the first building in the country to be rated with 6 Stars by the New Zealand Green Building Council. 

The other four award winners included: Reiulf Ramstad Architects (Norway), Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos S.L.P (Spain), Atelier Ryo Abe (Japan) and JDS Architects (Denmark). 

Sixteen other entries were highly commended by the judges, including designs by Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp (FJMT), the Sydney-based architects working on the Auckland City Art Gallery project. World Architecture News says its quest for the remaining 16 firms of the 21 for the 21 list will continue over the coming years. 

The remaining 16 spots of the 21 for 21 Awards will be filled graduallly.   

The international judging panel included acclaimed architects David West (Studio Egret West); Patrick Schumaker (Zaha Hadid Architects); Stephen Quinlan (Denton Corker Marshall LLP), Will Alsop (Alsop Architects) and Grant Brooker (Foster Associates).  You can check out a video featuring the judges comments below: