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Collaboration is a winning formula - three times

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Wellington architectural practice proves collaboration is a winning formula - three times over

Having won a spate of national awards and competitions in the past few months through creative collaborations with a number of local architects and designers, Wellington architectural practice Kebbell Daish is on to a winning formula.

In July Kebbell Daish won a national design competition for the interior fit-out and exhibition furniture of the Blumhardt Gallery - part of the new Dowse Art Gallery in Lower Hutt designed by Athfield Architects. Kebbell Daish collaborated with Wellington-based industrial designer Robbie Greig and interior architect Bernd Benninghoff on the project which will open to the public in February 2007.

“As a young office it is great to win our first public commission, an area of work we are keen to contribute to. It shows the strength of working in an interdisciplinary way”, says John Daish.

In October, this time with Bernd Benninghoff and fellow Wellington architect Rafe Maclean, Kebbell Daish won the Commercial and Public category of the Origin Timber Design Awards for a project providing the new offices for Davidson Armstrong Campbell, a law firm in Central Hawke’s Bay. This award recognizes the “the innovative use of timber resulting in a distinctive visual impact of a commercial, industrial or public building”.

Kebbell Daish was awarded yet again when it won the open category of the Cavalier Bremworth awards: a national competition organised by the Auckland Architecture Association. This time Kebbell Daish worked closely with acclaimed Wellington landscape architect Megan Wraight on the concept for a private house on Great Barrier Island. “Concerned with quality and excellence of design”, the awards recognise (as yet) unbuilt architectural projects “and as such, help record the state of ‘design excellence’ in architectural ideas, and give those ideas a position in history.”

"It is tremendous to have work recognised purely at the level of an architectural idea. For us, all good architecture is based on the delivery of strong conceptual ideas," says Sam Kebbell.

Started in 2002 by Sam Kebbell and John Daish, Kebbell Daish is committed to progressive contemporary architecture and continues to explore collaborative working relationships in New Zealand and abroad.

Both Sam and John are very excited about the prospects of future projects. Sam explains, "Every collaboration requires a great deal of learning for everybody involved, so the result is inevitably stronger than any one individual can achieve on their own."

The practice is currently collaborating with Melbourne based abstract artist Peter Adsett and working on projects for a number of expatriate kiwi clients as far afield as Zurich and the foothills of Mt. Kenya, Africa.

Both Sam and John also lecture at Victoria University’s School of Design. Kebbell Daish is online at


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