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Commercial architecture reigns supreme in Auckland Architecture Awards

Auckland’s Art Gallery was the star of the show in more ways than one at last night’s Auckland Architecture Awards. As well as playing host to the packed crowd that attended the awards, the redeveloped gallery took home two awards — one for heritage and another for public architecture. 

The Art Gallery’s double dash to the stage wasn’t the only one of the night. The Order of St John National and Northern Regional Headquarters, MOTAT’s Aviation Display Hall, the Novotel Hotel at Auckland International Airport, and the Auckland Viaduct Events Centre each took home two awards. 

And although the Awards jury convenor Gary Lawson acknowledged that each year the judges claim entries have lifted the bar, he said this year’s Auckland entries were truly of an exceptionally high standard. He noted that “impressive public and commercial projects in the central city area” were a standout feature of this year’s awards. 

“Award-winning buildings such as the Auckland Art Gallery, and work in the Britomart Quarter and in the new Wynyard Quarter, have given the city a real sense of momentum,” Lawson said. “I think Aucklanders are now very aware of the importance of good architecture, and should be confident the city will continue to get it.” 

Residential buildings were also of high calibre and the jury visited each one in the judging process. Lawson said many of the judges didn’t want to leave the “many special places”. Awards host Ludo Campbell-Reid joked that he had all the residential properties on his shortlist of holiday destinations for summer.  

This year's awards attracted a record number of entries (150) and resulting in 42 wins.         

But, seeing as the ceremony was a snappy one, let’s get straight to the category winners. 

Commercial Architecture 

Anvil by Patterson Associates Limited 

A crisp and contemporary commercial exterior utilising black fritted glass and folded geometry generates a dynamic presence in a tough urban area. 

Auckland Meat Company by Clark Brown Architects

A simple, playful addition of a pavilion, service block, and courtyard to the back of a restored turn-of-the-century retail building has activated an otherwise disused street-edge. 

Order of St John National and Northern Regional Headquarters by Deighton Sayegh Architects Limited and Simon Mrkusic in association

The restrained material palette and clean and simple detailing employed in this building provide an excellent resolution to a brief pursued on a tight budget.  

Novotel Hotel, Auckland International Airport, by Warren and Mahoney Architects Ltd 

This building is a bold statement in pattern and sculptural form.  

Telecom Place by Architectus    

The Architect has not so much overcome the challenges of a sloping site as taken advantage of them. The undulating elevations, abetted by the Architect’s colour strategy, impart a depth to the structure, and enhance the building’s engagement with, and contribution to, its urban environment.    

Heritage 

Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki by Archimedia Group Ltd and FJMT (Sydney) in joint venture

The beautiful restoration of this important civic landmark has been handled in a quiet, confident manner.

St Thomas Chapel by Salmond Reed Architects Limited

This jewel-like box, with its highlights of lit onyx, honours and respects the existing architecture of St Matthew-in-the-City while asserting its own merits. 

Stanbeth and Excelsior Buildings by Cheshire Architects

There is a raw richness to this design which, because it is not overworked, serves to maintain the integrity of the original building.  

Interior Architecture 

Britomart Country Club by Cheshire Architects     

A temporary insertion on the site of an urban car-park, this theatrically staged project is a tongue-in-cheek take on the country club type.  

Cocoro by Gascoigne Associates Ltd       

In this cleverly ordered restaurant, the Architect has achieved much with a small space and a limited budget. 

Elmstone by Daniel Marshall Architects      

This family house incorporates elegantly designed, surprising and delightful kitchen and bathroom areas, and well-resolved cabinetry.  

Les Mills Britomart by Warren and Mahoney Architects Ltd

A simple palette of materials and colours create a vibrant interior in this central city gym.  

New Navy Museum by Herriot + Melhuish: Architecture Ltd (HMA), Opus Architecture Ltd, Dave Pearson Architects Ltd and Pearson & Associates Architects Ltd in association 

A dark atmosphere permeates the small galleries devoted to a rich and deep part of New Zealand’s history, which is at last well presented. 

Novotel Hotel, Auckland International Airport by Warren and Mahoney Architects Ltd

From the engaging steel stair to the triangulated motif and bespoke door-handles, the interior of this hotel is a celebration of New Zealand design. 

Tyler Street Garage by Dorrington Architects and Associates Ltd   

Tyler Street Garage is a bar slotted cunningly into a Britomart heritage building, complementing the raw and rugged beauty of existing walls. 

Planning and Urban Design 

Clarks Lane Footbridge by Jasmax Limited

This bridge is a nice and necessary piece of urban structure, reconnecting for the benefit of pedestrians and cyclists a lane severed by the motorway carved through Hobsonville. 

Wynyard Quarter Urban Design Framework by Architectus

The Architect has undertaken an intelligent, considered and detailed approach to the all-important Urban Design Framework for a critical development on Auckland’s waterfront.  

Public Architecture 

Albany Senior High School by Jasmax Limited  

This is a high school for a new generation, in campus style – open plan, light, and convivial. 

Aotea Square Redevelopment by Architectus

A delicate, light-filled concourse forms a sophisticated welcoming edge to Aotea Square. 

Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki by FJMT (Sydney) and Archimedia Group Ltd in joint venture 

Rich metaphor has allowed for an openness of interpretation in this excellent design for the extension to the existing Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki.

MOTAT Aviation Display Hall by Studio of Pacific Architecture Limited

The impressive and innovative use of an LVL timber structure provides an immense aircraft exhibition facility enlivened and enriched by the visual ‘warmth’ of  timber veneer linings. 

New Lynn Transit-Oriented Development by Architectus and Architecture Brewer Davidson Limited in association 

This spacious, light-filled and safe public environment is a key interchange in Auckland’s rapidly improving transit network.  

Rotoroa Exhibition Centre by Pearson & Associate Architects Ltd 

This elegant shed is, impressively, part gateway, part shelter and part information post for visitors to Rotoroa Island, formerly the site of a Salvation Army rehabilitation centre. 

Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Te Kotuku, Ranui by Architecture Brewer Davidson Limited

This building is a delight to be in, as is evidenced by the smiles on the students’ faces. 

Viaduct Events Centre by Moller Architects 

The building sits happily on its commanding harbourside site, under roofs evocative of waves and billowing sails. 

Residential Architecture – Houses 

Brown Vujcich House by Pete Bossley Architects Ltd 

This house comprises a pleasing, layered series of spaces leading down the hillside. 

House for Awihitu Wines by Cook Sargisson and Pirie Architects Ltd 

A carefully layered structure establishes a comfortable logic to this home, which is at once an open, welcoming residence and also a private retreat. 

House for Family of Five by RTA Studio

Sliding and screened façade elements play with notions of privacy and mediate the occupants’ relationship to the street. 

Korora by Daniel Marshall Architect Ltd

An engaging entry leads to the dramatic revelation of expansive views from this insular site. 

Matapouri Beach House by Crosson Clarke Carnachan Architects (Auckland) Ltd 

The clever intersection of two geometries and an intelligent interpretation of the site results in a beautifully sculptural home. 

Owhanake Bay House by SGA Ltd – Strachan Group Architects

A sensitive building ‘tucked’ gracefully into its site, this building gives the impression that it actually breathes.

Stradwick House by Space Division

A clever addition to an existing brick garage which has resulted in a sensitive, peaceful suburban home. 

Thorne Bay House by Pete Bossley Architects Ltd

This tree-house, skilfully designed for a near-impossible site, allows the protected pohutukawa to take centre stage, generating, with its twists and turns, a house of unexpected geometries.

Timms Bach by Herbst Architects Ltd

Layered and veiled screens of timber and glass are organised into a simple orthogonal plan to create a retreat featuring moody light, shady verandas and a relaxing outdoor room.

Under Pohutukawa by Herbst Architects Ltd        

A bach nestled exquisitely under and around a dense pohutukawa grove near the beach. 

Small Project Architecture

Twin Peaks, Kingsland by McKinney + Windeatt Architects Ltd

With its bold and uplifting ceiling plane and playful, light-filled interior this is both a dynamic and a respectful addition to a typical villa. 

Westhaven Z Pier WC by SGA Ltd – Strachan Group Architects      

Built to a tight budget and timeframe this waterside WC is a clever incorporation of artwork into a public space. 

Wetland Folly by Herbst Architects Ltd      

This delightful and direct building is a joyous celebration of the holiday retreat atmosphere. 

Sustainable Architecture 

MOTAT Aviation Display Hall by Studio of Pacific Architecture Limited

In this project sustainability is thoroughly integrated with design. 

Order of St John National and Northern Regional Headquarters by Deighton Sayegh Architects Limited and Simon Mrkusic in association

A sustainable approach is integral to the architecture of this building, with embedded features and simple, well-considered, low-tech solutions. 

Owhanake Bay House by SGA Ltd – Strachan Group Architects

From the outset of design the Architect has intimately considered the environment, skilfully weaving a deeply sustainable approach into the building’s DNA. 

Viaduct Events Centre by Moller Architects

The Architect has pursued an integrated and innovative sustainability approach on this landmark project.