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New Zealand Institute of Architects










2019 Southern Architecture Awards winners announced

12 June 2019

Buildings designed to celebrate landscape recognised with Southern Architecture Awards

A luxury lodge buried in the landscape, university buildings and student accommodation, and several houses designed to make the most of breath-taking surroundings have won awards at the Southern Architecture Awards held in Queenstown.

A jury comprised of Invercargill architect Roger Beattie, Queenstown architects Bronwen Kerr and Mark Gray, and Auckland architect Megan Rule, awarded twenty-three projects.

Jury convenor Roger Beattie was impressed by the finesse, care and skill lavished on the award winning projects.

“Throughout Southland, Otago and Central Otago, we saw homes that have been carefully tied to landscape and environment and heritage buildings restored with great passion and care.”

One example of a project falling into the latter category was the hospitality award-winning Lindis Lodge, located in Ahuriri Valley, Waitaki. Designed by Architecture Workshop, the “exclusive high country retreat illustrates how a stunning location can be occupied almost by stealth”, Beattie said. The imposing grandeur of the vastly scaled landscape led the architect to “bind the building with the land” so that it appears to be an undulating part of the topography.

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One of the seven Wanaka recipients was Wanaka Sports and Aquatic Facility designed by Warren and Mahoney Architects, a Public Architecture Award winner. The building “almost dissolves into the dramatic landscape thanks to the exterior palette of blended metal and timber”, the jury said.

“It is a positive and accomplished piece of social infrastructure in an expanding and thriving town.”

There were two commercial architecture award winners. The Queenstown GWD Lexus Showroom by Anna-Marie Chin Architects is a “gem”, the jury said, with “glistening sharp edges to mimic the jagged backdrop of The Remarkables, and scaly silver, textured skin derived from the marque’s high-tech brand”.

In Dunedin, McAuliffe Stevens Architects’ successful repurposing of a warehouse at 123 Vogel Street kick-started a wider rejuvenation of a once unloved part of town. “It is an accomplished example of how to breathe new life into old bricks,” the jury said.

The architectural skill and knowledge required to rework older buildings was also recognised in Heritage and Education award categories.

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Jetty Street Development won McCoy & Wixon Architects a Heritage Award. “It is a sensitive and cleverly crafted rejuvenation of a once dilapidated Dunedin corner building”, the jury said.

McCoy & Wixon Architects’ also received an Education Award for theredevelopment of St David II, a once “seismically compromised” University of Otago building. “It is an excellent example of an architect’s ability to create value through creative regenerative design”, the jury said.

Parker Warburton Team Architects, a Dunedin practice, worked with Lab-Works Architecture on the Education Award winning redevelopment of Mellor Laboratories.

Undeterred by a daunting brief that sought a complex functional programme to meet 21st century expectations, the architects have created a vibrant and technically sophisticated solution within the envelope of a 1970’s chemistry building,” the jury said.

Sixteen housing projects, across four categories, received awards. Ten were for standalone houses.

Queenstown winners include Bob’s Cove House, a row of ‘boat house’ forms designed by RTA Studio that “provide an intriguing threshold between mountain and water”. RTA Studio won a second housing award for Arrowtown House, which the jury described as “a house for the ages –and a home for art –an exquisite configuration of living pavilions seemingly carved out of the Central Otago landscape”.

Hyndman Taylor Architects’ Hill House, at Jack’s Point, was “an inspired piece of placemaking” the jury said, “designed to flow with the site’s topography”.

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Fearon Hay Architects Alpine Terrace House, accessed via Queenstown’s Crown Range Road, is “dark, brooding and muscular”.

“This house sits like a silhouette in the foothills of the mountain,” the jury said.

A sole Housing – Alterations and Additions winner was Beggar’s Roost, in Queenstown, by Anna-Marie Chin Architects.

“Subtle and thoughtful alterations to this 1960’s John Blair house set a fine example of how to add 21st century comfort and light, while staying true to the exposed structure and elegant form,” the jury said.

In Wanaka, houses with thoughtfully integrated connections to landscape found favour.

77 West Meadows, a house built around two “serene” courtyards, is a “stunning success”, the jury said. “Three Sixty Architecture has worked with great skill to do justice to the poetry of the lakeside and mountainous landscape.”

“Hunkered down from the street,” Halliday House by Eliska Lewis Architects is a “carefully planned and materially rich house” that is “cracked open by an internal courtyard that extends living spaces, brings light and air into bedrooms and dissolves hallways”.

The siting of Hidden Hills House within a clearing in the scrub, shows a “successful negotiation between the desire for views and the need for retreat”, the jury said. The house, which draws inspiration from the forms and colours of tramping huts, is “warm, compact and inviting”.

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Stackbrae, a Wanaka development, received a Housing – Multi-unit Award, with Assembly Architects’ careful planning giving the new neighbourhood a “cohesive quality that is greater than the sum of its parts”.

Dunedin practice Mason & Wales Architects received two awards, including a Housing – Multi-unit Award for Otago Polytechnic Student Village – Te Pā Tauira, currently the largest CLT building (by volume) in Aotearoa.

“There is much to like about this building,” the jury said. “The façade is like a colourful ‘cloak of leaves’ that is always shifting. Inside the inviting and sunny common rooms have been created using a limited palette of materials that has been extended through a collaboration with artist Simon Kaan.”

Mason & Wales won second award was for a house at Blueskin Bay, north of Waitati, an “encampment of three delightfully articulated pavilions” arranged to “draw in the best vistas of nearby coastal inlets and a century-old kānuka grove while also providing excellent natural light and shade”.

South of Dunedin, Little Brighton Beach House designed by Johnston Architects is “finely perched near dunes, orientated to addresses the best aspects of the surrounding environment and to generate interesting architectural volumes”.

A Māori Hill house designed by Rafe McLean Architects shows a “difficult hillside site transformed by a simple yet compact layout and economical architecture”.  The rigour and performance of the Passive House design, which “discretely incorporates a super-insulated building envelope and cleverly concealed ventilating system”, also impressed the jury.

Rafe Maclean Architects also won a Small Project Architecture Award for Te Kea Hut, a compact holiday retreat in which “every square centimetre of space is cleverly and delightfully used”.

Another Small Project Architecture Award winner was Kirimoko Tiny House by Condon Scott Architects. The 30-square-metre house, “inspired by a cycle trip and life lived out of panniers”, utilises “cleverly crafted spatial devices to pack a lot of punch into a small place”.

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Bivvy House by Auckland architect Vaughn McQuarrie was the final small project winner. The compact dwelling “follows the line of the hillside, bravely and unconventionally sloping down towards the view”.

“The interior is crafted with a charm that is addictive – slots between volumes and ‘fissures’ in the concrete walls allow you to move effortlessly between spaces; the shower is a literal waterfall cascading from a great height down moss coloured walls into a deep pool,” the jury said.

An Intercultural Church Invercargill designed by Lewis Simpson Architect in 1967 received an Enduring Architecture Award – a type of award given to buildings that are more than 25 years old that have stood up well to the tests of time.

“Simpson eschewed traditional church forms and imagery in favour of a rigorous, modernist design articulated with precast concrete and glass. Verging on stern and spare, the exterior belies the warm and calm repose of the interior, where a simple and cellular main worship area with minimal decoration is ready to be bought alive by minister and congregation.”

The Southern Architecture Awards are part of the nationwide New Zealand Architecture Awards programme run by the New Zealand Institute of Architects and supported by Resene. Through the awards, the NZIA aims to show why good architecture matters in the ongoing development of New Zealand’s cities, towns and communities.

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