Winner of NZ’s top student architecture award announced

James Durcan has won the top prize for New Zealand architecture students.

Durcan of Victoria University’s School of Architecture was announced as the winner of the 2015 NZIA Cadimage Group Student Design Awards in Auckland last night.

For the winning entry, Durcan combined contemporary digital fabrication techniques with traditional Māori craft methods for a proposed off-grid construction at a coastal site near Gisborne.

The judging followed two days of presentations by 12 final year students from the country’s three Schools of Architecture, which are departments of Victoria University of Wellington, the University of Auckland and Unitec.

Competition judges Pip Cheshire, the President of the New Zealand Institute of Architects, Wellington architect Cecile Bonnifait and Brisbane architect Michael Banney said Durcan’s work was “the result of huge engagement”.

“It reveals a willingness, on all sides, to learn and collaborate to produce a meaningful outcome.”

Image: 2015 NZIA Cadimage Group Student Design Awards winner, James Durcan 

Two Highly Commended Awards were also presented, one to University of Auckland fifth year student Tessa Forde for her proposal for a new Parliament sited in downtown Auckland, and Unitec student Hannah Broatch for her design of accommodation for migrant construction workers in Ahmedabad.

Image: Highly Commended Award winner, Hannah Broatch

Image:  Highly Commended Award winner, Tessa Forde

Finalists in the 2015 NZIA Cadimage Group Student Design Awards

University of Auckland:

Tessa Forde – Highly Commended 

(Tessa attended Northcote College, Auckland)

Chirag Jindal

(Chirag attended Lynfield College, Auckland)

Robert Pak

(Robert attended Rotorua Boys High School)

Kate Turner

(Kate attended Westlake Girls High School, Auckland) 


Hannah Broatch – Highly Commended 

(Hannah attended Western Springs College, Auckland)

John Belford Lelaulu

(John attended De La Salle College, Auckland)

Kiri McKenna

(Kiri attended Taikura Rudolf Steiner School, Hastings)

Don Pengpala

(Don attended Pukekohe High School, Auckland)

Victoria University of Wellington:

Nick Denton

(Nicholas attended Wellington College)

James Durcan - Winner

(James attended Roncalli College, Timaru)

Rachel Murray

(Rachel attended Onslow College, Wellington)

David Walsh

(David attended Stratford High School, Taranaki)

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