Architecture wins out in Auckland

Architecture Awards winners announced

Last updated 13:43 11/10/2012

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A tough economic climate hasn't slowed down creative construction in Auckland which was last night celebrated at the 2012 Auckland Architecture Awards.

Twenty-eight projects were announced as winners at the Viaduct Events Centre and will now compete for national honours.

Auckland architect and awards jury convener Blair Farquhar said it had been a good year for city architecture, if not the most prolific.

"You'd expect tougher times to affect the number of entries into these awards, and that's certainly the case with some types of architecture, such as commercial buildings," he said.

"However, just as fine wine comes from scrappy soil, so good architecture emerges from challenging circumstances."

World Cup venue The Cloud was recognised for civic architecture with judges describing it as "a fluid form that suits its watery environs and sits well against the solid shapes of neighbouring maritime buildings".

Another waterfront favourite, Wynyard Quarter, was honoured with Karanga Plaza and Kiosk being lauded as "an exemplar of democratic urban design, conceived with public use and enjoyment in mind".

Q Theatre, "an adroit and harmonious insertion into a constrained and historic site", also won an award in the category.

The Grill Restaurant and the Depot Eatery won interior architecture awards, as did Britomart's Mexico: Restaurant and Tequila Bar.

Two heritage buildings reworked for hospitality purposes - the Imperial Buildings in Fort Lane and Wynyard Quarter restaurant and bar, Jack Tar, also won.
Education buildings that were recognised included the Performing Arts Centre at St Cuthbert's, St Peter's College Sports Complex, The Performing Arts Centre at Massey High School and the University of Auckland's Medical School in Grafton.

Another "stimulating and superbly functional building" acknowledged by the judges was the university's Leigh Marine Centre which was "ideally suited to its place and purpose - surely it will provide happy memories of days spent studying in this campus by the sea".

Judges were ''spoilt for choice'' in the residential architecture category.

"As always, the quality of domestic design was very high," Farquhar said.

"Contemporary architects are adding, brilliantly, to an inherited tradition of artful response to what are, by any standards, extraordinary sites."

Headland House on Waiheke Island "challenges the principles of the vernacular bach", and the cave-like Waiake Beach House is an "atmospheric home" that "reveals the architects' mastery of current timber and concrete technologies", judges said.

A "storm cottage" on Great Barrier Island along with homes in Cox's Bay, Mt Eden, Remuera, Westmere and the Kaipara Harbour also won awards. 

Farquhar said several commercial buildings had "transcended current economic circumstances", including Parnell office building Geyser, Britomart Showcases and Avondale office building Blum.

The Broadcast Tower at North Harbour Stadium was also recognised as was the School of Music building at the University of Auckland

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- © Fairfax NZ News


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