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New Zealand’s Best Architecture Recognised

NZIA Awards Media Release

The country’s most coveted awards for architecture were announced tonight at a gala dinner at Te Papa with three National Awards being presented this year.

The 2001 New Zealand Institute of Architects (NZIA)-Resene National Awards for Architecture, the profession’s highest honour, recognises excellence in architecture.

The 2001 National Award winners are:
 House at 17 Royal Terrace, Dunedin, by Roger Dodd Architect

 Longbeach School, Ashburton, by Peter Beaven Architects

 The New Gallery Building, Auckland, by Mitchell and Stout Architects.

The National Award winners were selected from 137 entries from architects around the country. Twenty-six NZIA-Resene Regional Awards and seven Colour Awards were also announced at tonight’s awards ceremony.

The Brake House, Titirangi (1976) by Mark-Brown Fairhead Sang Carnachan, was presented with a 25 Year Award. This is an award for projects that possess enduring design qualities that worthy of recognition.

The Institute’s premier award, the Gold Medal was presented to The Group, an Auckland group of architects who practised in the late 1940s and 1950s.

Geoff Richards, principal of Geoff Richards Architects Ltd, a previous National Award winner, headed this year’s jury selection panel. Other members of the National Jury were Malcolm Walker (Northern Region Convenor), Chris Kelly (Central Region Convenor), John Blair (Southern Region Convenor), plus Australian architect and contributing editor of Architecture Australia magazine, Kerstin Thompson from Melbourne.
Geoff Richards said that each of the projects selected for an award had presented different problems for the architects to solve, including such things as the nature of the site and the constraints involved in working within existing buildings.

He noted that the best of the new buildings responded clearly and well to the character of their sites (sun, topography, views, vegetation, existing buildings). Frequently the building shape and choice of materials expressed the architects’ attitude to the placement of buildings in the landscape.

There was some evidence of overseas influence, Geoff Richards said, but the top quality work went beyond style or current fashion. These buildings evoked a sense of timelessness and the feeling that they belonged comfortably in their environment.

The jury described The House at 17 Royal Terrace, Dunedin as “an eminently satisfying and deeply peaceful place to live”. It sits in a street of quite substantial, earlier-period conservative houses but Geoff Richards says part of its charm is that it fits in very successfully without dominating the street. The Dodd House has a steel structure and Oamaru stone has been used extensively throughout.

The jury said, “In its eloquent passage from street to tree tops, this house has created lasting and civilised connections with both. Its siting on the street is a masterful mix of public acknowledgement and private enclosure.

“Hovering over the steeply sloping site, with all of its attendant technical challenges, a simple and relaxed plan unfolds as a skilfully modelled environment, characterised by openness and closure, solidity and transparency.”

Another National Award winner, Longbeach School at Ashburton, which involved an addition to an existing school building, brings a fresh sense of achievement, joy and discovery to the staff and pupils who use it the jury said.

“Skilful planning, executed with a masterful touch, creates stimulating spaces both inside and outside the buildings. It is to be hoped that this piece of work will serve as a reminder to providers that educational buildings can rise above the mundane.
“A rare mix of verve, vigour and wisdom, this school will stay with the children for the rest of their lives.”

The New Gallery Building in Auckland won a National Award for its imaginative approach to reusing the former Auckland Post Office tolls building in a manner that totally befits its new life as an art gallery.

“The architects have respectfully and skilfully reworked the building,” the jury commented. “Notable features include the introduction of exterior balconies and canopies, and the remodelling of the original central lightwell to create a lively and highly successful contemporary public space. The architects’ sensitivity to the distinctive features and qualities of the original structure have not blinkered them to the possibilities of substantial change; but the changes made only serve to enhance and enliven the original building and the neighbouring Khartoum Place.”

Seven NZIA-Resene Colour Awards were presented this year for the creative use of colour in design decisions including National Award winner Longbeach School.

The Brake House, Titirangi, by Mark-Brown Fairhead Sang Carnachan, winner of this year’s 25 year Award, continues to impress, entertain and please 25 years after being designed. Built originally for late photographer Brian Brake. The house is essentially a series of pavilions, offering intimate connections with the surrounding bush, juxtaposed with stunning Auckland vistas. The jury commented that “the house has substance and spirit that transcend image and plan”.

The Group, which was awarded this year’s Gold Medal by the NZIA Council, recognises the important and influential contribution to New Zealand architecture made by 12 individuals, who first, as architectural students and then as practitioners, shaped the future of New Zealand house design.

The Group’s buildings, and their approach to building, expressed a clear philosophical and social vision - in particular the need to articulate an emerging sense of a New Zealand identity.

Throughout, their buildings and pronouncements advanced their view that the aim of architecture is the satisfaction of human needs and aspirations; that architecture is not only an art and a science - it is basically the means to achieve a civilised and cultured society.

2001 NZIA-Resene Regional Awards were presented to:
Northern Region:
 Bambury House, Western Springs, Auckland, by Jasmax
 Dowell House, Takapuna, by Architects Patterson
 Linn Beach House Alteration, Whangamata, by Esotero Architecture & Design
 Hall House, Te Puna, Tauranga, by Manning & Associates
 The Point Apartments, Auckland, by Craig Craig Moller Architects & Interior Designers
 The New Gallery Building, Auckland, by Mitchell & Stout Architects
 Civic Theatre, Auckland, by Jasmax
 Royal & Sun Alliance (Lobby), Auckland, by Noel Lane Architects
 Corporate Headquarters for Sales Technologies, Auckland, by Architectus: Bowes Clifford Thomson
 Ford Motor Company (NZ) Ltd, Manukau City, by Jasmax
 Bachkit™, Kumeu, by Andre Hodgskin Architects
 Teachers Support Services Centre: Auckland College of Education, Epsom, Auckland, by Architectus: Bowes Clifford Thomson

Central Region:
 Goldsack Harris Interior, Brandon St by Architecture +
 Wellington International Airport by Craig Craig Moller Architects & Interior Designers
 Silverscreen Productions by Herriot + Melhuish: Architecture Ltd
 Scots College, Strathmore by Athfield Architects
 Thorndon School Classrooms & Administration Block by Roger Walker Architects Ltd
 New Gallery for the NZ Academy of Fine Arts by Herriot + Melhuish: Architecture Ltd
 Wellington City Pedestrian Shelters by Custance Associates
 Labone Cabin, Wairarapa by Architecture Plus

Southern Region:
 Sumner House, Sumner, Christchurch, by Noordanus Architects
 House: Carlton Mill Road, Christchurch, by Wilson & Hill Architects Ltd
 House at 17 Royal Terrace, Dunedin, by Roger Dodd Architect
 Southland YMCA Recreational Centre, Invercargill, by Neil McDowell Architects Ltd
 Longbeach School, Ashburton, by Peter Beaven Architects Ltd
 Otago Museum Redevelopment Stage Two, Dunedin, by McCoy & Wixon

NZIA-Resene Colour Awards:
 Bambury House, Western Springs, Auckland, by Jasmax
 Zibibbo Restaurant & Bar, Wellington, by Group CDA
 New Gallery for the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts, Wellington, by Herriot + Melhuish Architecture Limited
 Thorndon School Classrooms and Administration Block, Thorndon, Wellington, by Roger Walker Architect
 Southland YMCA Recreational Centre, Invercargill, by Neil McDowell Architects Ltd
 Longbeach School, Ashburton, by Peter Beaven Architects Ltd
 Sumner House, Sumner, Christchurch, by Noordanus Architects


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