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Building beauty: Our favourite winners from the 2016 New Zealand Architecture Awards

With so many pretty pictures, picking our favourites wasn’t easy. But here are the 10 we like best.

Fortieth & Hurstmere, Takapuna

McKinney + Windeatt Architects Ltd

More than a little reminiscent of Auckland’s famed Ponsonby Central, this design emphasises openness, natural light, and more brick than you can shake 14 sticks at. It’s enough to warrant a trip north just to experience it.

E-Type House

RTA Studio

We like cosy spaces, and this house somehow has that plus ample natural light. The exposed wood is a nice touch, too.

Studio & Garden Room – Peters House

Lynda Simmons – Architect

What’s not to like about this garage and carport converted into a studio and garden room? It offers gorgeous views, plenty of light, and plenty of space to indulge in whatever artistic outlet we so choose. We can feel more creative already.

Tom’s House

Anna-Marie Chin Architects Ltd

There’s great views, and then there’s great views. This house in Queenstown is most certainly the latter. It’s also mesmerising to look at by itself, as its asymmetrical design mimics the mountain landscape. Did we mention it has great views?

141 Cambridge Terrace/Lane Neave

Jasmax Limited

It’s always nice to work somewhere pretty, and it’s hard to get any prettier than this ultramodern building in Christchurch. Simple lines and a plethora of greenery make it somewhat reminiscent of the rebel base in Star Wars, but what’s wrong with feeling like you’re working our of a hidden fortress as you change the world?

Christchurch Bus Interchange/Whakawhitinga Pahi



Anyone who’s used the Bus Exchange in Christchurch’s central city can attest to the efficiency of its airy design. Open since 2015, the project was considered a priority for the city following the 2011 earthquakes, and it appears their efforts have paid off.

LightPath/Canada Street Bridge

Monk Mackenzie Architects and LandLAB


We’ve written about this before (it won a Purple Pin at the Best Design Awards, after all), but it’s worth mentioning again. One of Auckland’s most iconic sights, we can’t say enough positive things about this innovative design – and how it encourages people to use alternative modes of transportation beyond automobiles.

Mary Potter Apartments

Warren and Mahoney Architects Ltd

There’s a lot of cool stuff going on in Christchurch at the moment, and these apartments are no exception. New Zealand has struggled in the past with designing high-density housing, so it’s great to see both an effective – and aesthetically pleasing – solution to that.

Annandale Farm

Patterson Associates Limited

Comprising three projects on a farm property on the Banks Peninsula in the South Island, Annandale Farm could easily be described as “paradise.” There’s a poolside pavilion sheltered by a dramatic cantilevered roof, a capacious holiday house in the centre of the natural amphitheatre of a small bay with a wild surf beach, and a cottage set in a rocky escarpment in a small cove. Also the recipient of the Sir Miles Warren Award for Commercial Architecture, it’s hard to think of something we don’t like about this.

Zavos Corner

Parsonson Architects

These apartments in Mount Victoria call to mind some of the distinctive architecture of San Francisco, but we’re not complaining. Eight units have been fitted onto a site previously occupied by one house, and positioned so each has views of internal courtyards and the street. This project also won the 2016 Sir Ian Athfield Award for Housing.

See the complete list of winners here.

Review overview