Sweet success for seven at Southern Architecture Awards

Seven was the magic number at last week's Southern Architecture Awards. Public changing rooms, a hotel, and a university building were among the winners for 2012, announced at an event at Dunedin’s Forysth Barr Stadium.

Dunedin architect Niko Young, convenor of the jury, said architects and clients doing more with less was a common theme.

“Even though times are tough, client expectations remain high,” Young said. “This has resulted in innovative architecture produced to lean budgets.

“As you’d expect, such an approach often involves the re-working of existing buildings. Two award-winning projects in Dunedin, for example, show the difference architects can make by intelligently refashioning older buildings.”

But enough of the talking. Let's get down to the winning entries...

Commercial Architecture

The Arrow Private Hotel, Queenstown - Assembly Architects Ltd

the arrow private hotel queenstown 2012 southern architecture awards

Judges say: These delicately detailed 'boxes' materialise as jewels nestled into the tree-lined hillside. Positioned so as not to be obtrusive, the boxes provide private yet open spaces which are both generous and appropriately scaled to context. While the building diverges from vernacular norms, its form relates well to local building traditions. The choice of materials and textures sympathetic to the changing seasons and local light further enhances the quality of the design.


Thom Residence, Waitati Architect – Mason & Wales Architects

thom residence house 2012 southern architecture awardsPHOTO: Graham Warman

Judges say: Set within a lush coastal landscape this meticulously crafted home is infused with the spirit of our vernacular architecture. An indulgent, cascading passageway that follows the gentle fall of the earth forms the building spine linking the internal volumes. Together with a series of timber framed picture windows this passageway intimately engages with the native flora and landscape beyond. The successful marrying of architecture and landscape yields a rich sensory experience.

Dublin Street House, Queenstown - Kerr Ritchie Limited

dublin house queenstown 2012 southern architecture awardsPHOTO: Paul McCredie

Judges say:  The clever massing of the building results in an optimal orientation towards the street, the arc of the sun and the sumptuous views on offer. A well-articulated stair element deftly stitches together the various levels of the house, and a modest material palette, relieved with splashes of vibrant colour, communicates the primary purpose of the house as a holiday residence.

Arrowtown House - Crosson Clarke Carnachan Chin Architects Ltd

arrowtown house 2012 southern architecture awardsJudges say: The architect has engaged with the house’s gabled forms, explored ways of re-inhabiting them, and profoundly altered the existing programme. This spatial re-arrangement has allowed for the integration of the owners’ landscape sculptures with the art collection displayed in the house’s interior, and moments of visual connection are consistently on offer. In the well-considered palette of materials the new, raw black steel and dark timbers enhance the existing schist, and the overall material quality of the house is enhanced by the quality of detailing throughout.

Lake Hawea Courtyard House - Glamuzina Paterson Architects Ltd

lake hawea courtyard house 2012 southern architecture awardsPHOTO: Sam Hartnett

Judges say: Cleverness, dexterity and an element of surprise are to be expected from Glamuzina Paterson Architects, and the practice’s courtyard house at Lake Hawea does not disappoint. The local vernacular is turned inside out and new ways are found to deal with climatic extremes. The house and its sheltering walls ride the rolling site at the foot of Mt Maude like a boat in a medium swell.

Interior Architecture

University Union Redevelopment, Dunedin - Parker Warburton Team Architects Ltd

university union redevelopment dunedin 2012 southern architecture awardsPHOTO: Graham Warman

Judges say:  Much can be gleaned about a university’s attitude towards its students from the facilities it provides for them, and this long-overdue redevelopment of Otago University’s Union Building is accordingly a welcome gesture. The re-design accommodates new interleaved social spaces ranging in ambience from cheerful to quietly dignified, and reinforces the crucial connection between the campus and the Information Services Building.

Small Project Architecture

Logan Park Changing Rooms, Dunedin  - Architectural Ecology Ltd

logan park changing rooms 2012 southern architecture awards

Judges say: A decision to recycle the existing facilities was the prompt for a series of intelligent responses to the mundane problem of malodorous changing rooms. The architect has turned the building into a diagram of poetic passive ventilation. The air intake’s series of solid timber gills cranked to ensure privacy culminates in the exhaust, a grouping of unapologetic, industrial-like flues triumphantly reaching skyward. The care and command of detail continues externally with a canopy and a beautifully designed, sturdy yet elegant bench seat for players and spectators alike.

Sustainable Architecture

Logan Park Changing Rooms, Dunedin - Architectural Ecology Ltd

Judges say: Robust and intelligent solutions knitted into the existing historical building fabric have resulted in a comfortable, well-ventilated changing room environment, flexible in nature and lasting in quality. The ventilation design, using a series of flues and air intakes doubling up as filtered windows and mirrors, is detailed and elegantly articulated. Sustainable design methodology and materials are proudly on display, engaging the senses and emphasising, too, the enduring rhythm of games won and lost and remembered.

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