Five buildings were honoured at this year's Gisborne / Hawkes Bay Architecture Awards last week, with the best architectural projects to be found on the North Island's east coast receiving prizes at a ceremony in Napier.
The convenor of the Awards jury, Napier architect Kyla Wilson, said the comparatively low number of awards both signified the challenging economic environment and highlighted the quality of the winning buildings.
“However, we were pleased to see that the standard of the award-winning buildings was impressive, and this promises well for the future. When the economy does pick up, the region will benefit from the skills of its architects.”
Wilson said while the award-winning projects weren’t numerous, they were certainly varied and together provide an indication of the range of projects that architects undertake.
“For example, the three houses that won awards were very different. One is a modern townhouse, another is a refurbished older house, and the third is a small beach house in the simple tradition of the New Zealand bach."
Te Manga Maori Faculty Redevelopment (Taradale, Napier) - Paris Magdalinos Architects Ltd
Judges say: This symbolic gateway to the Eastern Institute of Technology campus effectively and sympathetically marries Maori culture and contemporary building techniques. The project expresses the concepts of entrance and procession with conviction, strength and elegance. The design of the main entrance demonstrates, in its layering of structure, or bones, and transparent cladding, or skin, a competence in detailing and a mastery of modern materiality. Elements such as flooring patterns, hanging lights and wall air vents have been carefully considered to ensure they enhance the architecture.
Resene Colour Award
The architect has carefully chosen colours to complement materials and promote a unified design approach. With its constructed layering of materials, and strong ceiling and floor patterning, the interior could easily have become too busy, but the colour selection has have helped these elements cohere in a composed manner.
PHOTO: Richard Brimer
Bull/McMurray House Alterations (Napier) - Clarkson Architects Limited
Judges say: The success of this project lies in the architect’s eloquent acknowledgement of the building’s history, thoughtful reconfiguration of interior programme and complementary new work. The bold central gallery corridor acts as an internal street that integrates and connects the historically disparate parts of the existing house, while establishing a legible program and a family home with a new identity. From overall context to the level of fine detail, the project has been very competently handled.
PHOTO: Richard Brimer
Havelock North Townhouse - Herriot + Melhuish: Architecture Ltd
Judges say: From the exterior, a bold and formal townhouse commanding a corner site; in the interior, a clearly defined programme of interlocking intimate spaces. The design responds cleverly to the brief by maximising the site while giving the occupants complete privacy from the nearby streets, thereby establishing a successful balance in the play of public and private realms. The accomplished layering and ordering of space and treatment of light and external apertures is complemented by fine but not fussy detailing to produce a very liveable urban family home.
Resene Colour Award
The architect has used a restrained palette of colours to complement the building’s strong geometric forms and deep, aperture-like recessed windows. The subdued interior colour scheme creates a moody backdrop for the play of natural light on the walls from skylights and deep windows.
Mangakuri Bach - bevin + slessor architects limited
Judges say: Sheltered behind native trees, this comfortable, functional and modest seaside bach opens unselfconsciously into the landscape. The building addresses its context, and respects the spirit of place, by acknowledging the traces and memories of the old family bach. A simple and clear palette of materials adds to the relaxed holiday feel. The unstained Lawson Cypress cladding will age and weather gracefully as the bach accrues the family holiday experiences of future generations.
St Mary Star of the Sea Church (Gisborne) - Architects 44 Ltd
Judges say: In this alteration and remediation of a water-damaged building the architects have demonstrated an ability to listen to the client, understand the brief and the issues at play, and prioritise strategies for the re-conceptualisation of the project as a cohesive whole. Sympathetic additions and alterations have enhanced the original architecture. A new day chapel nicely balances the existing design and, combined with a new layout of the ‘crying room’, altar and seating, has given the congregation a fully functioning place of worship that is respectful of the traditions and modern liturgical requirements of the Catholic Church.