Landmark new offices, a minimalist cave and the famous Yellow Treehouse Restaurant are among designs recognised in the 2010 New Zealand Architecture Awards.
Wellington-based architect Gerald Parsonson, convenor of the awards jury, said the quality of winning entries was very high. "We thought the residential projects pushed the boundaries more this year, showing a real inventiveness and uniqueness, from the Mediterranean feel of a clifftop villa overlooking the Sumner inlet in Christchurch to a beautifully orchestrated stone-clad courtyard house in Wanaka."
Jasmax captured four awards with its NZI Centre at Auckland Viaduct a winner in the Commercial, Sustainable and Interior Architecture categories. RTA Studio was a winner in the Commercial and Sustainable categories for its Ironbank Centre and Athfield Architects took two residential awards for the Clements House in Christchurch and the Fox-Hansen House in Nelson.
Jurors said the NZI Centre had set new standards for office space and expectations of corporate citizens, praising its elegance, quality and stimulating interior and sustainability principles that are intrinsic to the building’s design. Ironbank was judged to have "broken the mould". Other winners include:
- the Clements House by Ian Athfield won accolades for its "clever plays between vernacular and sophistication"
- Wanaka Lodge by Patterson Associates was seen as a confident and striking fresh interpretation of the "European-influenced South Island stone house"
Small Project Architecture
- the Yellow Treehouse Restaurant by Pacific Environments Architects NZ. Built 10m up a towering redwood tree, it was originally built for a Yellow Pages TV commercial
- Wiroa Station Wine Cellar by Modern Architecture Partners. The communal wine cellar and meeting place was described by judges as a minimalist cave exuding elegance and restraint
- the O’Sullivan Home by Bull/O’Sullivan Architecture was summed up as a "compact gem", inventive, playful and with a sense of theatre
- Mana Tamariki Maori school in Palmerston North by Tennent+Brown Architects. Jurors noted how the architects had carefully listened to the client and Maori sensibilities had driven the project concept
- the Landscape Architecture Building at Lincoln University by Sheppard & Rout Architects in association with Royal Associates. Jurors said it had an organic quality and was hailed as proof that "a miraculous outcome can be delivered on a tight budget"
- the University of Canterbury’s NZi3 Innovation Institute by Warren and Mahoney. The project was seen as a celebration of light and transparency providing "a striking new face for the university"
- a private office in Auckland’s Victoria Precinct by Fearon Hay Architects. Described as elegant, serene and astute, the predominantly single space can be subdivided using a series of attractive pivoting panels
- the Beaumont Quarter project by Studio Pacific Architecture was praised as "a great result from a developer-driven project"
- the 'sculptural' Liardet Street Overpass by Boon Goldsmith Bhaskar Brebner Team Architecture was considered a "fine example of what is possible when a local council decides to go down a design-driven route"
The winning projects will now be considered for the 2010 New Zealand Architecture Medal, to be announced in May.