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Dowse Square wins national architecture award

12 May 2014

Dowse Square wins national architecture award

Popular Dowse Square – at the heart of Hutt City’s Civic Centre - has won a New Zealand Architecture Award.

Athfield Architects designed Dowse Square, which the jury of judges described as project in which, “civic seriousness has been leavened with playful delight” to produce “a refreshing and sustaining community asset.”

The Square, “successfully addresses and unifies the Dowse Art Museum, the street and the adjacent parkland, and promises to be a catalyst to future local development,” they said.

Ray Wallace, Lower Hutt Mayor said, “Dowse Square is at the heart of our Civic Centre – an area of important development for Hutt City in the years to come.

“It is heartening to see the Square being nationally recognised as a ‘refreshing and sustaining community asset’.”

Courtney Johnston, Director of The Dowse Art Museum said, “Dowse Square gives us the perfect venue for large scale community events such as Big Day Dowse and offers a flexible community space for smaller events too.”

Dowse Square received one of only three awards given in the Planning and Urban Design category. Courtney Johnston, Director of Museums accepted the award at a ceremony in Auckland on Friday night.

The New Zealand Architecture Awards is a programme of the New Zealand Institute of Architects, supported by Resene.

The full judges citation for Dowse Square is as follows:
With its clear rationalisation of connections and linkages, and successful integration of well-considered artworks, Dowse Square is a strong exemplar of urban place-making. It provides a much-needed public space in an environment that has suffered from neglect, successfully addresses and unifies the Dowse Art Museum, the street and the adjacent parkland, and promises to be a catalyst to future local development. The architects have leavened civic seriousness with playful delight. The imaginative use of water – apt in a city that takes prides in the quality of its artesian water – is a strong characteristic of the project. There’s water for drinking and irrigating, for splashing in, looking at, and listening to. In sum, Dowse Square is a refreshing and sustaining community asset.

The judges were Richard Naish RTA Studio, (Auckland), Michael Banney (m3architecture, Brisbane), Stuart Gardyne (Architecture+, Wellington), and Bronwen Kerr (Kerr Ritchie, Queenstown).


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