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A double honour for New Zealand architect

A double honour for New Zealand architect

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The Hill's Clubhouse

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Exterior of Patterson's Mai Mai house in Ponsonby

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Interior of Patterson's Mai Mai house in Ponsonby


A double honour for New Zealand architect

New Zealand architects Patterson Associates has been included as a double finalist in the World Architecture Festival, one of the world’s most prestigious architectural awards, being held in Barcelona this October. The announcement from Barcelona was made today.

Auckland-based Patterson Associates has been nominated for two separate buildings, one located in Auckland and one Queenstown. Both projects draw heavily on New Zealand cultural traditions.

The World Architecture Festival (WAF) has named Pattersons as finalists in both the Private Home and Sports Building categories, for their ‘Mai Mai’ house in Auckland, and the Hills Golf Clubhouse in Queenstown. This effectively makes ‘Mai Mai ‘ one of the 16 best Private Homes built in the world during the last two years.

Founder Andrew Patterson says he couldn’t quite believe it when he got the news:

“An email came through from WAF saying we had been selected for the Michael Hill building in Queenstown, and our team was over the moon. It took a day for it to sink in, then just as we were calming down we got a second email, telling us Mai Mai had made it too. To have two buildings we have designed named on the world shortlist is both incredibly exciting and humbling. “

The Hills Clubhouse featured extensively on international television coverage of the Michael Hill New Zealand Golf Open in 2006 and 2007, and is the recipient of New Zealand’s most prestigious design accolade, The New Zealand Institute of Architects Supreme Award 2008.

Patterson has a simple way of describing his architectural philosophy: “Form follows Whanau”.

“It means you design a building around the people who live, work and enjoy it, not around some particular style. For example, Mai Mai was designed as a home that could bring together the lifestyles of two very different people and create something beautiful from the union.”

Mai Mai takes inspiration from Pacific design, with a carved feather motif on the outside of the building, upon which striking images of the home and its surrounds are projected at night. The building takes its name from the shelters used by duck hunters, which like the home offer both camouflage and vantage point – in Mai Mai’s case a beautiful view of the Auckland cityscape.

The Hills Clubhouse is built into the earth on the Michael Hill New Zealand Open Course in the Wakatipu Basin. Ringed by mountain ranges, the design recalls early New Zealand pas and hillside architecture.

Patterson will present both projects in person at the World Architecture Festival before a panel of judges, among whom are some of the most celebrated architects in the world. After announcing category winners, they will present an overall award for best building, ‘The Prix d’ Barcelona’. In the Sport and Leisure shortlist the Hills Clubhouse is one of nine finalists, up against the Beijing Olympics’ Water Cube swimming stadium, and London’s new Wembley Stadium.

“We’ll be the underdogs”, Patterson says wryly, “when you think about the size of these other commissions. We’re simply delighted to be there. By being selected for these finals we get to attract the interest of the world in what we’re doing here in New Zealand.‘’


Notes to Editors

Architects Patterson have designed a range of prominent New Zealand buildings, including AJ Hackett’s Queenstown Bungy, Site 3 and the ‘cloud series’ – Cumulus, Stratis and Aotea, a group of large-scale commercial and residential developments in Auckland City.

• Information on Architects Patterson can be found at .

• The World Architecture Festival website is .

• Patterson Associates Architects Ltd can be contacted on (09) 303 4004


Andrew Patterson is one of New Zealand's most internationally recognised architects. His firm Patterson Associates Limited is the only New Zealand architectural practice to be published in Phaidon’s 10x10 book of the Worlds Emerging Architects.

Andrew graduated from Auckland School of Architecture in 1987 with its senior prize. At age 28 he received his first National Award for Architecture, and represented New Zealand in The New Breed Architectural Exhibition in Sydney that year. Patterson won the inaugural 'New Zealand Young Architect of the Year Award' in 1990 and since then, his Auckland based firm has gone on to become one of the most respected architectural practices in New Zealand, with an acclaimed 20 year portfolio of buildings ranging from intimate residential projects to large scale urban housing and public, commercial and tourism developments.

This year Patterson and Associates was the most awarded in the New Zealand Institute of Architects program, gaining four honours including the NZ Supreme Award for Architecture 2008, for the Michael Hill Clubhouse in Wakatipu.

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