Share article


We notice you're trying to make a purchase from outside of New Zealand.
If you would like to place an order, please email full details to

Thank you,

New Zealand Institute of Architects











2023 Southern Architecture Awards winners

23 June 2023

The most charming base camp ever built, public and commercial buildings breathing life into South Island communities, and new homes as stunning as the landscapes that surround them are amongst the buildings to be recognised in the Southern Architecture Awards.

Twenty four architecture projects, covering the region from Queenstown to Invercargill, were announced as winners at the Athenaeum Hall in Arrowtown.

“We witnessed responses to small budgets, heritage stories, work spaces for students or professionals and a transformation within architecture due to Covid,” says Shana Payne, jury convenor. “We were overwhelmed by the attention to detail, the natural beauty and projects that excelled beyond our imaginations.”

The Great Glenorchy Alpine Basecamp, a collection of timber huts sited around a restaurant, in the South West New Zealand World Heritage Area, created in a collaboration between RTA Studio and Bureaux, won in the Hospitality category. Carefully and simply designed, the hotel is beautifully understated and a transformative addition to the area.

The first passive community building in the southern hemisphere, Whare Mahana / Luggate Memorial Centre, by Salmond Architecture, Hiberna Construction and WSP, won a Public Architecture award. The humble but handsome community space south-east of Wānaka is a contemporary take on historic rural public halls and buildings. In Dunedin, OUSA — The University Bookshop was commended for its sensitive transformation of a heritage brick building that was once a confectionary factory into first-floor apartments and a lovely store, and recognised with a Heritage award for McCoy and Wixon Architects.

The residential architecture categories celebrated 14 designs that are restrained in aesthetic, and intelligent in their response to the landscape. Low-lying forms were de rigueur in the Housing category, and secluded and private spaces were seen in both Housing and Housing—Multi-Unit categories.

“There was an abundance of natural Central Otago colour palettes in the materials and finishes, highlighting to us the desire to connect to nature. Raw steel, natural leather, blue stone and darker tones provided a sense of grounding, and timber really excelled as a material choice this year, due to the plasterboard shortage,” says Payne.

Four projects won Resene Colour Awards: The Great Glenorchy Alpine Basecamp; Remarkbuckle Crib, a warm and rich home by Assembly Architects; Matagouri, a stunning rural home by Fearon Hay Architects; and Wanaka Urban Bach, a home with tasteful pops of colour and texture by Hyndman Taylor Architects.

Full list of 2023 Southern Architecture Awards winners:



• Otago Polytechnic O Block - Stage 1 & 2 by McCoy and Wixon Architects


Enduring Architecture

• Southern Aurora Substation (1972) by Allingham, Harrison & Partners

● Don Street Medical Center (1956) by Monica Barham, architect



• OUSA - University Bookshop Redevelopment by McCoy and Wixon Architects

• Bell Hill Apartments by New Heritage



• The Great Glenorchy Alpine Basecamp by RTA Studio and Bureaux



• Dalefield House by Anna-Marie Chin Architects

• Remarbuckle Crib by Assembly Architects

• Rock Solid by Assembly Architects

• Ophir House by C Nott Architects

• Matagouri by Fearon Hay Architects

• Wanaka Urban Bach by Hyndman Taylor Architects

• Closeburn Lodge by Mason & Wales Architects

• Maunga Ora by Mason & Wales Architects

• Winding Roof House by Rafe Maclean Architects

• Owens House by Rafe Maclean Architects


Housing—Alterations & Additions

• Lake House by Anna-Marie Chin Architects

• The Pool by yoke.


Housing—Multi Unit

• Toiora Cohousing Development by Architype

• Upton Street Townhouses by Condon Scott Architects


Interior Architecture

• University of Otago - Science Divisional Offices  by McCoy and Wixon Architects


Public Architecture

• Te Atamira by Ignite Architects

• Whare Mahana (Luggate Memorial Centre) by Salmond Architecture, Hiberna Construction and WSP


Small Project Architecture

• Manuka Caseway by McAuliffe Stevens


Resene Colour Award winners

• The Great Glenorchy Alpine Basecamp by RTA Studio and Bureaux

• Remarbuckle Crib by Assembly Architects

• Matagouri by Fearon Hay Architects

• Wanaka Urban Bach by Hyndman Taylor Architects


The 2023 Southern Architecture Awards jurors were:

● Shana Payne, jury convenor and architect, Respond Architects

● Meiling Honson, Jasmax

● Andrew Kissell, bell + co architecture

● Jewell Cassells, interior designer

See photo galleries and read more about these projects on our Local Awards page.