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Kapiti Designer Wins Multi-Category ADNZ Awards

Kapiti Architectural Designer Wins Multi-Category ADNZ Awards

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Friday 22 August 2008
For Immediate Press Release

Darren Hunter of Hunter Design Studio in Paraparaumu Beach has won awards in a number of categories in the ADNZ (Architectural Designers NZ) Wellington Regional Design Awards

The architectural designer won a total of nine awards at the Lower North Island Regional Design Award presentation held August 20 in Palmerston North. Included were overall winner in the Commercial Interiors, Resene Colour, Special Projects and Bathroom Design award categories, along with finalist wins in the Residential New Single Dwelling over 250sqm and up to 250sqm categories as well as his Residential Interiors, Roof Design and Special Projects award entries.

All of Darren’s nine regional award-winning entries now go on to the ADNZ National Design awards to be held in Christchurch in October.

Of note in this remarkable achievement for Hunter’s Kapiti-based practice were his wins in the Residential and Commercial Interiors, and Resene Colour awards for the recently completed Bellagio Building in Taranaki Street, Wellington. The judges commented, “they expressed a warmth and feeling of home, quite an achievement given 58 apartments had to satisfy varying tastes.”

Hunter Design Studio was selected from a group of much larger Architectural firms in New Zealand and commissioned to design all interiors for the impressive Bellagio Building. This ambitious project included designing all colour schemes, kitchens and bathrooms for the apartments along with the building’s entrance. Washington Limited, the developers behind the project said “the deciding factor in choosing Darren’s practice was his demonstration of an in-depth understanding of the Wellington market and the apartment market buyer overall. This was also evidenced in the number of apartments sold directly from the display model apartment designed and supervised by Darren.”

Buyers were offered three distinctive colour schemes to choose from. Hunter also designed practical, clever and cost-effective modular kitchens suiting all apartments, thereby giving Bellagio’s new residents the benefit of stylish, high quality materials including granite bench tops and imported Italian tiles.

The Bellagio project is also noteworthy in the fact that the remains of a 160-year old Maori Pa were discovered during excavation of the site. This archaeological find required a redesign of the new building. While Darren wasn’t responsible for the structure and building design, it had huge implications to the interior layouts of each apartment and the building’s entrance and common areas. Another consequence of being unable to excavate for underground car parking was the design of a revolutionary car lift to enable above ground car parking within the building.

Wellington City Council, Local Iwi represented by the Tenths Trust, Historic Places and Heritage Places Trusts, Washington Limited and Hunter Design Studio all had a vested interest in the project. With so many parties involved it could have been very hard to find a satisfactory resolution for everyone. David Dowsett, owner of Guardsman Property Management Limited and the property manager of Bellagio, negotiated common ground for all parties and a highly successful end result was achieved.


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