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Feast on some award-winning Nelson and Marlborough architecture

Feast on some award-winning Nelson and Marlborough architecture

It's regional architecture awards season—a time when the discerning eyes of judges scan the Enzed landscape for examples of architectural excellence. And if the results of the recent Nelson Marlborough Architecture Awards are anything to go by, we're off to a bumper season of design.

Everything from a superloo with a glass wall to a library with an imaginarium are among designs celebrated in the Nelson Marlborough awards. Three properites were even so secluded, judging panel convenor and Blenheim architect Tim Barton says they had to be accessd by boat.

The awards—established by the New Zealand Institute of Architects— celebrate the innovation, creativity and excellence of architectural projects nationwide. Tim Barton was joined on the jury by architects Felicity Wallace from Marton and Marc Baron from Nelson. Lay juror was Jeremy Jones from Wellington.

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 now, for your viewing pleasure, here are some of the highlights...

Superloo by Redbox Architects for Waimea Intermediate School 

Jurors were intrigued by the innovative Superloo for Waimea Intermediate School. The toilet block, a winner in the Small Project Architecture category, includes brilliant yellow interior walls, and glass exterior walls on two sides making the handwashing area visible from the outside. 

Jurors praised the way the building challenged conventional thinking about privacy while succeeding in creating a “bright, colourful and safe environment.” 

Tasman District Council Library by Arthouse Architecture 

The Tasman District Council Library in Richmond, was among three winning projects designed by Arthouse Architecture. 

The library, a winner in the Public Architecture category, includes an in-library café and an ‘imaginarium,’ where users can rehearse and record music. 

It was described by jurors as “A lively response to the new script for modern libraries.” Features also include glass partitioning inscribed with giant typography.

The Yealands Estate Winery by C Nott Architects 

The Yealands Estate Winery, in the Awatere Valley scooped double honours in the Commercial Architecture and Sustainable Architecture categories. 

Jurors said that, “like its founder” Peter Yealands, the winery, by C Nott Architects, was “confident and straightforward,” and the simple arched form was elegant and friendly while maintaining a high level of sustainability. 

Apple Bay House by Parsonson Architects 

The Apple Bay House, set in the Marlborough Sounds bush, was a winner in the Residential Architecture category

Jurors praised the way “Deft planning has created a surprising variety of well-proportioned living spaces, including a library with reading nook, pool room and a performance stage.” 

Greenwood Street Pharmacy by Arthouse Architecture 

The Greenwood Street Pharmacy in Motueka, also by Arthouse Architecture, was a winner in the Small Project Architecture category

It was described as “vibrant and confidently planned,” overcoming the challenges of a contaminated site to create a very accessible local amenity – with the use of colour drawing attention to the building in a positive way. 

Friendship Boardwalk by Irving Smith Jack Architects 

The Friendship Boardwalk bridge crossing at Wakefield Quay in Nelson was the only winner in the Urban Design category. It was described as carefully detailed with robust materials evoking a maritime theme while harmonising with the urban scale of neighbouring apartment buildings. 

Other highlights 

Three properties by Irving Smith Jack Architects featured among winners in the Residential Architecture category. Balquidder, a small home overlooking the owner’s private vineyards at Brightwater, captivated jurors with its “effortless fluency.” 

An Onahau Bay Bach was cited as a fine example of “an architect having listened carefully to the needs of the clients” and the Tiltpanel House in Nelson city was seen as simple, robust and elegant and “A model for the cost-effective, warm-in-winter, cool-in-summer dwellings for the future. 

The Lee House by BSW Architects, in Kaiteriteri overlooking Abel Tasman National Park, was admired as a “slick integration of Asian and western culture. Jurors described it as “more a luxury retreat/spa than a house” and noted “simply to visit is to feel pampered”. 

Sounds House, in Queen Charlotte Sound, by John Daish Architects and Archiscape in association was hailed as “delightful and adventurous” and a Spring Creek House in Marlborough by Arthouse Architecture was described as “inviting and comfortable”. 

If you like what you’ve seen so far, you’re in luck. The Nelson Marlborough Architecture Awards mark the start of the regional awards season, with Auckland next in line this coming Thursday. The remainder of the dates can be found HERE and we’ll be sure to keep you updated as the results roll through.

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