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Takeaway coffee cups and digital modelling help snag top unbuilt architecture award

While the best of built architecture is being celebrated around the country with the NZIA local architecture awards, it was the turn of unbuilt architecture to strut its stuff at the recent 2010 AAA (Auckland Architecture Association) Cavalier Bremworth Design awards, held at Auckland's St Pauls Street Gallery. And strut it did. 

Pocketing a handy $5000 and the prized Chris Metcalfe designed trophy for their win in the Open Section of the awards were Mike Hartley and Nick Sayes from Daniel Marshall Architects. 

With an entry called “The Path to Dwell on”, Hartley and Sayes created a playful and thoughtful solution that sought to organise a pathway among various functional amenities on a Waiheke property. The jury enjoyed this project because it was playful and took a while to assimilate just what was going on—yet it sounded so simple. 

Digital modelling of the site’s topography, and the existing intuitively-created pathways, allowed them to find the ‘path of least resistance’. Using takeaway coffee cups as the formwork to prepare concrete ‘cobbles’, the pair estimates it will take some 11,000 caffeine fixes to create 50m² of concrete pathways. 

Taking out top honours in the Student Section was Yumian (Dino) Chai for his design for the Sir Keith Park Aviation Museum at MOTAT. Chai’s design was cited by judges as being a very organic structure with a strong ground linkage for the three simple components with a disciplined rhythmic pattern, achieving a complex geometry.  For his geometric efforts, Chai walked away with a trophy and $3000.

Highly Commended trophies were awarded to two student entries. Yosop Ryoo won for an entry called “Being in Painful Circumstances’ based on the notion of a meeting house on the border between dislocated families between North and South Korea. The large and detailed submission captivated all who viewed it. 

Huirui Wang and Ruoyu Wang were joint winners of the second Highly Commended award for their “Red Line” entry. The duo were commended for their drawing technique to carry the idea of reactivating the history of Oakley Creek along a recreational pathway. 

Commended awards were given to Simon Twose in the Open Section for ‘My Bro’s House, and to Matt Deeb in the Student Section for ‘Live and Work infill’. 

Now in their 19th year, the awards received a record 80 entries this year, and featured an impressive judging panel comprised of Rachel Neeson and Nick Murcutt from Neeson Murcutt in Sydney; Jon Craig, founding partner of Craig Craig Moller; and Richard Naish, founding partner of RTA Studio in Auckland.

From left to right: local architect Paul Clarke, Nick Murcutt, Rachel Neeson, and Fleur Palme—president of the Auckland Architecture Association

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