Marlborough buildings among the best
Leslie House: Matz Architects designed Leslie House in a Marlborough vineyard as a low-slung building that appears to unfold from a hillside. The house overlooks vineyards and makes extensive use of structural concrete elements that "serve to frame vistas". A gallery space forms the backbone of the residence and its sheltering eaves create a link to the surrounding landscape.
Sisson House: Christchurch-based Borrmeister Architects designed a cluster of small building forms around three courtyards on an established olive grove in Renwick. The jury praised the planning as a good example of how "a relatively small footprint can be made to feel big and interesting through clarity of relationships between inside and out". A simple, natural material palette allows the building to sit gently within the landscape.
The Ukaipo: Rangitane Cultural Centre in Grovetown, designed by Wilkie and Bruce Registered Architects, signifies a new chapter in the history of the Marlborough Maori people. Made up of a series of sheds that appear to float above the ground, the centre has become a "place of nurturing". The building is a "fine example of inclusive architecture", the jury said.
Aquatic Centre, Marlborough Lines Stadium 2000: Warren and Mahoney Architects designed the new centre as a light-filled complex that incorporates five new swimming pools and a state-of-the-art fitness centre. The jury said the architects achieved a design that allows for "social interaction and promoting a sense of community".
Graham Warman Photography
Blenheim Pak'nSave: It may not be an epicentre of culture but it nevertheless plays an important role in the community. Designed by Dunedin's McCoy and Wixon Architects, the building's material palette incorporates stone gabions, timber slats and stainless-steel mesh screens to acknowledge the site on which it stands. The jury said this supermarket "sets new standards of environmental control" in its incorporation of software that monitors and fine-tunes energy use.
Five Marlborough buildings have scooped top honours at a regional architecture competition.
The winners were announced last night at the Theatre Royal in Nelson.
The award-winning buildings, scattered across the region from Blenheim to Nelson and down to the West Coast, ranged in scale from a sizeable museum and a public swimming pool to a tiny block of toilets in a busy city square.
Convenor of the jury, Nelson architect John Palmer, said the entries were of a consistently high standard and that it was a real privilege to experience them all.
Mr Palmer and fellow jury members, architects Chris Kelly and Richard Sellars and artist Rose Shepard, spent three days travelling throughout the district to view 28 projects.
"Nothing was awarded lightly," he said.
The jury was pleased to discover that several community projects were making a positive contribution in the public realm.
"It was good to see buildings such as the new Aquatic Centre in the Marlborough Lines Stadium 2000 becoming hubs of activity," Mr Palmer said.
This feel-good factor wasn't restricted to municipal projects though, he said.
Other types of building, such as Ukaipo, the Rangitane Cultural Centre, exemplified the community-building role of architecture, Mr Palmer said.
The award given to the Ukaipo was just as much an acknowledgement of clients who "embraced the project and made it part of their story".
The significant contribution that high-quality architecture made to people's everyday lives was also illustrated in the housing category.
It was humbling for the jury to meet clients in their homes and realise the enjoyment their properties brought them, Mr Palmer said.
All winners of 2013 Nelson Marlborough Architecture Awards are eligible for consideration for the top tier of the annual Architecture Awards programme, the New Zealand Architecture Awards. These awards will be announced in May 2014.
- The Marlborough Express