Southern Architecture Awards reward 'good work in difficult times'

Southern Architecture Awards reward 'good work in difficult times'

Seventeen projects, ranging in scale from Forsyth Barr Stadium to a weekend retreat at Taieri Mouth, have been recognised in the Southern Architecture Awards, the programme that celebrates the year’s best buildings in Otago and Southland.

“The high number of entries and the high standard of winners are signs that the region’s architects are doing good work in difficult times,” said jury convenor Dunedin architect Brent Knight.

“We were impressed by some significant community and public buildings, and found that this was also a very strong year for residential architecture ... the high standard of architect-designed housing in the Queenstown Lakes District, especially, made judging very challenging.”

Commercial Architecture

Church Street Development, Queenstown  – MAP (2010) LtdChurch Street Development, Queenstown

"Extending over a large block in the heart of Queenstown’s retail area, this immaculately detailed, mixed-use development is carefully modulated to achieve a scale appropriate to the street. Adopting the local vernacular of stone and timber with contrasts in steel and glass, the architect cleverly, but not overtly, references nearby buildings."

WHK Office Development, Invercargill – Parker Warburton Team Architects Ltd

"This development, with its considered, thoroughly modern design, makes a positive contribution to its urban context on the periphery of the CBD, and by providing alternative interior layouts has given the building’s users opportunities to reorganise their business models."


Robertson Library, University of Otago – McCoy and Wixon Architects Ltd

"The architect has transformed an aging institutional structure into a building with contemporary functional uses which actively engages with the street. A very pleasant place to be in, the revitalised library provides an environment conducive to modern research use."

Remarkables Primary School, Queenstown – Babbage Consultants Ltd

"A simple and bold building concept informed by advanced developments in creative learning has resulted in a highly valued community asset. In this new school, layered teaching spaces open out to a play and recreation space sheltered by the crescent-shaped form of the building."

Wanaka Catholic Church – Sarah Scott Architects Ltd

"A successful realisation of a formal idea has resulted in a sculptural building able to function as both a place of worship and an everyday community space. The compelling internal geometry is reinforced by the honest use of materials in a project that is clearly the product of a good relationship between the architect and a justifiably satisfied client."

Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin – Jasmax Limited, Richard Breslin and Populous in Association

"This is a wonderful place to watch a game; indeed, it is a great little stadium. Despite its origins as a complex project involving a large team and demanding process, the finished stadium clearly reveals the hand of the architects. It takes great skill and discipline to produce such a result; the Architects are to be commended for their achievement."


North Otago Club, Oamaru – Ian Butcher Architect Ltd

"The architect has taken a well-reasoned approach to research and has paid close attention to historical detail in this skillfully executed project. The result is a work with an excellent contextual fit and which communicates a rich sense of time and place."


Mt Iron House, Wanaka – Crosson Clarke Carnachan Chin Architects Ltd

"Articulated as a gable-roofed rural form that touches the site lightly, this family crib is suggestive of camping and the pitching of a tent. Carefully considered materials, together with beautifully crafted details, characterise this deceptively simple yet refined family retreat."

Hawkesbury Manager’s House, Wanaka – Herriot + Melhuish: Architecture Ltd (HMA) and Marmol Radziner for joint venture

"An international collaboration has delivered a successful interpretation of a ‘modernist Californian pavilion’ refined to suit a Central Otago context and climate. Two adjoining pavilions, each with low pitched roofs and strong horizontal lines, step across the site and hunker into the rising topography. The successful solution treats the house’s occupants to spectacular views to the north of the site."

South Coast House, Dunedin – Vaughn McQuarrie Limited

"Occupants of this house, which settles into an exposed paddock above the sandstone cliffs of Dunedin’s southern coast, are sheltered within cedar-clad pavilions offering spectacular views past dramatic cliff faces to the horizon. The pavilions are anchored with natural precast concrete and concrete masonry wall elements, complemented by the dark grey of local Black Head rock. Every detail has received careful and thorough attention." 

Peninsula Road House, Queenstown – Warren and Mahoney Architects Ltd

"On a difficult site, the architect has beautifully created a fluent sequence of spaces that interrelate with each other and with the vistas beyond. The big lake perspectives are viewed through a wall with a multi-layered skin of sliding screens which, with other cleverly arranged oblique walls, gives the house a welcome dynamic. This is a well-detailed house that is very difficult to leave." 

Whakatipua Addition, Arrowtown – Michael Wyatt Architect Ltd

"The architect has achieved an exemplary design feat by designing an addition that genuinely complements and compliments Whakitipua, the original iconic house designed by Peter Beaven. That existing house exudes largesse and character; the addition is formally organised, restrained and eminently liveable. In sum, this is an unusual and highly skilled work of architecture."

Queenstown House – Michael Wyatt Ltd

"The modest street presence of this two-level house opens up to a generous family home in which a limited palette of materials is expertly controlled and immaculately detailed. The house is a genuine and comfortable retreat for extended family gatherings within the bustle of central Queenstown."

Queenstown House – Thom Craig Architects Ltd

"This subtle yet striking holiday home exhibits a deep understanding of landscape context and the ethos of retreat. Set respectfully back from the edge of an old river terrace, the folded form, clad with cedar battens, beautifully reflects textures of the Shotover Valley. This is a house that offers both openness to nature and shelter against the elements."

Wilson House, Lake Wanaka – Rafe Maclean Architects

"Simple forms contain an assembly of beautifully proportioned volumes. The robust use of concrete and wood delivers a sense of strength and permanence, and everything is direct and honest in this house which, centered on a truly functional outdoor room, is made for practical living."


Lakeside West, Queenstown – ASC Architects

"This complex is a laudable result from an architect working on a difficult site and in challenging circumstances. Scale is used to provide interest to the public elevation facing Lake Wakatipu, and the design logic adds real value to a commercial endeavour."


Taieri Mouth House – McCoy and Wixon Architects Ltd

"A weekend retreat from the city has been provided by way of a one-roomed bach of bold geometric form on the coast at Taieri Mouth. The design has been treated like a piece of joinery; the result is a warm and playful house in which the occupants are connected with the landscape and environment."

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