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2009 Western Architecture Awards announced


Strictly embargoed until 10.00pm 6 November 2009

6 November 2009

2009 Western Architecture Awards announced

From Palmerston North’s revitalised city square to Taranaki’s first Green Star offices and a slick “bloke’s pad”, excellence in design is celebrated in the 2009 Western Architecture Awards.

The awards programme is organised and run by the New Zealand Institute of Architects and supported by Resene.

New Plymouth architect Jim Elliott, convenor of the judging panel, said the standard had been very high with a wide variety of entries ranging from a kitchen redesign to a vast events centre, all displaying the importance of good architecture.

Revitalised City Centre

Palmerston North City Square, by CCM Architects Ltd, was a winner in the urban design category, hailed for revitalising the city centre.

Mr Elliott said the architects had successfully handled myriad complex issues including the historic nature of the area and a host of underground services that run under the square, providing a safe, exciting magnet for the community.

“Safety was a key issue, he said. “So the lighting has been designed in such a way that anyone crossing any part of the area at night is in light at all times.”

Manfeild Events Centre

Manfeild Park Agri-Events Centre and the Manfeild Race Facilities, both by Campbell and Shadbolt Architects, were among winners in the commercial architecture category.

The centre, the largest indoor equestrian arena in Australasia, was praised as “an elegant solution” and the race facilities as a building that works on every level.

Port Taranaki offices

Commercial winners also included the Five Green Star certified Port Taranaki Offices, by Architects Ian Pritchard, Taranaki’s first specifically designed ‘green building’, described by jurors as “innovative, well-executed and elegant”.

The TSB Cancer Support Centre in New Plymouth, by Boon Goldsmith Bhaskar Brebner Team Architecture was also a winner in the category, praised as a happy and “smile-inducing” building.

Palmerston North Courthouse

The Palmerston North Courthouse Redevelopment, by Opus Architecture, was honoured in public architecture as a successful response to a challenging project and a sensitive treatment of the original building.


Central Normal School Hall in Palmerston North and Taihape Area School, both by Proarch Architects, were also winners in the category, winning acclaim as community assets.

Wanganui winners

The reworking of the historic Henry D Bennett Building in Wanganui, by Dickson Lonergan Architects Limited in Association with Design Group Elliott Architects, was sole winner in the heritage category. The building now houses UCOL’s School of Fine Arts and the Whanganui School of Design,

Mr Elliott said the project had injected new life into the former Backhouse Building incorporating modern services while carefully maintaining and upgrading the historic features and “simple honest structure”.

A “comfortable and warm” new home at Westmere, near Wanganui, by Dalgleish Architects, won acclaim in the residential category for its clever design - meeting the needs of three generations - and for its energy efficient principles.

New Plymouth Residential

A St George Apartment in New Plymouth and the “warm classic” Shepherd Residence on the West Coast of Taranaki, both by Architects Ian Pritchard, were among residential winners.

Jurors enjoyed the surprise of finding a “slick inner city bloke’s pad” behind an ordinary suburban shop façade at the St George project, making clever use of an unusual site and building.

The N & A House in New Plymouth, by Boon Goldsmith Bhaskar Brebner Team Architecture, displayed a high level of innovation in an “elegant contemporary family home”.

A modest Waitara Bach by Saunders Architects exceeded the clients’ expectations, successfully combining the demands of today’s holiday needs with a building that sits comfortably among older neighbours.

An alteration to a Ropiha Street bungalow, by Void Architecture Research Urbanism, revitalised a family home enhancing circulation and ensuring connection between interior and garden.

Innovative pensioners’ community for Levin

Horowhenua District Council’s Cambridge Park, Levin, social housing development for pensioners, by John Wright: Architect, was a winner in residential architecture – multiple housing.

Jurors praised the project as “setting new benchmarks for amenities and overall quality” and as a fine example of excellent sustainable design on a tight budget.

Mr Elliott said: “”This is a real departure from the old approach of building multiple housing in blocks. It is set up to catch the sun and promote community. Residents can see their neighbours coming and going and still have privacy.”

Tiny but significant

A “tiny but significant” alteration project at the Walsh House in New Plymouth, by Boon Goldsmith Bhaskar Brebner Team Architecture, was the only winner in the interior category, described as “a fine example of the beneficial effects of good architecture”.

The Liardet Street Overpass in New Plymouth by the same architects, was a winner in urban design.

The project “seamlessly bridges” the colonial rail corridor to complete the critical historic link through the city grid and foreshore walkway.

Jurors praised the programme as having been delivered with elegance and clarity and as “a fine example of the effortless quality inherent in good design”.

Mr Elliott was joined on the jury by architects David Herman and Caroline Tyrrell from New Plymouth and Mary Porteous who teaches art and design at New Plymouth Boys High School.
As well as visiting all shortlisted properties, the judges met with the architects and clients. The buildings were judged against a series of key criteria including their contribution to the advancement of architecture as a discipline and enhancement of the human spirit.
For more award winning New Zealand architecture visit,

About the New Zealand Architecture Awards
The New Zealand Architecture Awards programme was established by the New Zealand Institute of Architects to celebrate the innovation, creativity and excellence of architectural projects nationwide.
The awards are open to all NZIA Practices, and projects can be entered into one or more of 10 categories – Public architecture, Residential architecture – housing, Residential architecture – multiple housing, Commercial architecture, Urban design, Interior architecture, Heritage, Small project architecture, Sustainability and Enduring architecture. There is no limit to the number of awards the local jury can make in any category.

The programme has three tiers, progressing from the eight regional awards to national recognition – the New Zealand Architecture Awards – and through to the ultimate accolade, the New Zealand Architecture Medal.

All local winners become eligible for consideration for a New Zealand Architecture Award, decided by a national jury, which includes an overseas judge, in early 2010.

In May at the NZIA’s annual Gala Dinner, the finalists for the New Zealand Architecture Medal will be announced, and the winner named later in the evening. Only one New Zealand Architecture Medal is bestowed each year, in recognition of a single built work.

2009 Western Architecture Awards
Judges Citations

Commercial Architecture
NZIA Practice Award For
Architects Ian Pritchard Port Taranaki Offices
This is an innovative, well-executed and elegant building encompassing green star principles. In the architect’s own words: "Internally, the juxtaposition of the dense and raw precast concrete with the more ephemeral quality of the New Zealand silver beech provides a delicate touch that is further enhanced with generous use of frameless glass."

Boon Goldsmith Bhaskar Brebner Team Architecture Ltd TSB Cancer Support Centre
The brief called for a ‘happy building’ and indeed, the result is smile inducing. As well as showing consideration for the needs of its users, this building demonstrates good energy efficient design principles to provide a warm, friendly environment. It is a great asset for the Cancer Society and the community.

Campbell and Shadbolt Architects Ltd Manfeild Park Agri-Events Centre
This building is the largest indoor equestrian arena in Australasia, and provides a multi-purpose facility for agricultural and other events. Using agricultural/industrial aesthetics the architect has created an elegant solution to the ‘big shed’.

Campbell and Shadbolt Architects Ltd Manfeild Race Facilities
A simple planning solution supporting strong sightlines to all parts of the track, this building houses pit garaging, corporate facilities, spectators, race officials, and media. Practical yet refined in its detailing, this building works on every level.

NZIA Practice Award For
Dickson Lonergan Architects Limited in association with Design Group Elliott Architects Henry D. Bennett Building
A sensitive re-working/recycling has injected new life into this heritage building. Modern services have been incorporated while the historic features of the training institute’s external skin and simple, honest structure have been carefully maintained and upgraded. Structural strengthening, new accessible ramps, internal detailing and the enhancement of the art deco façade have been executed by a skilled, caring architect.

Interior Architecture
NZIA Practice Award For
Boon Goldsmith Bhaskar Brebner Team Architecture Ltd Walsh House Alterations
This residential project is tiny but significant. It not only alters the perception of what an architect can do for a client, but also the client’s perception of their existing home. A fine example of the beneficial effects of good architecture.

Public Architecture
NZIA Practice Award For
Opus Architecture Palmerston North Courthouse Redevelopment
The brief was complex, demanding a high level of planning and attention to acoustics, lighting, materials, detailing and security requirements. The architect was equal to the challenge, and the result provides suitably calm yet formal spaces for the judiciary. The project shows sensitivity to the original architecture.

Proarch Architects Ltd Central Normal School - Hall
Simple forms and clear concise colours give this new shared community/school hall strong street presence and provide the school with a recognizable identity. The selection of stained plywoods, perforated pre-finished corrugated iron, and slatted timbers provide warmth, durability and good acoustics. Good lighting and ample storage have also been provided within the limited budget. This successful building has enhanced community spirit.

Proarch Architects Ltd Taihape Area School
After a difficult consultation process this project has delivered not only a full primary school but also a substantial, multi-purpose community asset. Clear hierarchy of spaces and circulation via "internal streets" provide a user-friendly environment. Innovative initiatives by the school and architect are reflected in the spaces created. New standards have been set with advanced IT design.

Residential Architecture - Houses
NZIA Practice Award For
Void Architecture Research Urbanism Ropiha Street House Alteration
This modest bungalow has been revitalised and is now a much-loved family home. Behind the transformation has been the astute application of basic design principles such as good planning and sun orientation, ensuring a connection between the interior and the garden and enhancing circulation. The home feels lived in with its eclectic mix of furniture, yet flexible enough to meet the changing needs of the family. It was completed on a tight budget.

Boon Goldsmith Bhaskar Brebner Team Architecture Ltd N & A House
There is a high level of innovation in this elegant contemporary family home, which incorporates a simple palette of materials, from robust blockwork and concrete to fine cedar slatted screens. It is a well-executed living pavilion that responds to the client’s lifestyle.

Architects Ian Pritchard St George Apartment
An interesting and unusual site and building have been put to clever use. Behind an ordinary old façade the architect has skillfully created a slick inner city bloke's pad, in so doing exceeding the client’s expectations.

Architects Ian Pritchard Shepherd Residence
This house sits harmoniously in its rugged coastal environment, providing its owners with a high level of comfort and security. Simple materials and forms are rendered honestly to provide a timeless quality. Good passive solar design adds to the value of this warm, classic house.

Saunders Architects Limited Waitara Bach
The client's request for a modest "Kiwi bach" for family holidays has been fulfilled. A bach that sits comfortably with its older neighbours yet reflecting today’s holiday needs. A great example where the Architect has exceeded the client's expectations.

Dalgleish Architects Ltd Westmere House
This well-sited home has been cleverly designed to meet the dynamics of three generations. It is comfortable and warm, embracing energy efficient design principles. The use of simple farm-type materials helps ground the house in its context.

Residential Architecture - Multiple Housing
NZIA Practice Award For
John Wright: Architect Ltd Cambridge Park, Levin
Careful consultation with residents and stakeholders was the platform for the design of this highly successful new neighbourhood. The project sets new benchmarks for amenities and overall quality, and has improved the lifestyle of its residents. A fine example of excellent sustainable design on a tight budget.

Urban Design
NZIA Practice Award For
Boon Goldsmith Bhaskar Brebner Team Architecture Ltd Liardet Street Overpass
The colonial rail corridor has been seamlessly bridged by this project, which completes a critical historic link from Pukekura Park through the city grid to the award winning foreshore walkway. A complex programme has been delivered with elegance and clarity, and is a fine example of the effortless quality inherent in good design.

CCM Architects Limited Palmerston North City Square
This project has revitalised the city centre. It provides a safe, exciting area which is a magnet for both the local community and visiting public. Simple circulation belies complex layers of history and culture. Palmerston North is to be congratulated.

Resene Colour Award
NZIA Practice Award For
Campbell and Shadbolt Architects Ltd Manfeild Park Agri-Events Centre
One accent colour was used to break down the scale of this building and place it in the context of its environment.

Boon Goldsmith Bhaskar Brebner Team Architecture Ltd TSB Cancer Support Centre
This building demonstrates a fun use of colour that will appeal to all ages.

Dickson Lonergan Architects Limited in association with Design Group Elliott Architects Henry D.Bennett Building
The selected colour palette of creams, greys and whites reinforces the period of the original Bennett Building architecture, both externally and internally. All the colour choices have been entirely appropriate.

Opus Architecture Palmerston North Courthouse Redevelopment
Restrained colours used in conjunction with well chosen materials played an important role in successfully humanising this building.

John Wright: Architect Ltd Cambridge Park, Levin
The colour palette was subtle but pleasing. It incorporates colours from the landscape and uses colour to provide a degree of individuality in a modular scheme.


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