Awards highlight Waikato's stunning architecture

 Room with a view: The Flexman family beach house at Hahei, Coromandel.
Room with a view: The Flexman family beach house at Hahei, Coromandel.
Integration sensation: The University of Waikato Student Centre went from an ‘introverted’ library model to an ‘extroverted’ facility.
Integration sensation: The University of Waikato Student Centre went from an ‘introverted’ library model to an ‘extroverted’ facility.
 Stairway to heaven: The Pipi beach house at Whangamata.
Stairway to heaven: The Pipi beach house at Whangamata.
 Vibrant interior: The colour and strong roof-line of Mystery Creek Event Centre HQ impressed the jury.
Vibrant interior: The colour and strong roof-line of Mystery Creek Event Centre HQ impressed the jury.

Beach houses with swirling staircases and even the humble farm barn were among the cream of the region's architecture celebrated last night.

Architects from Hamilton to Tauranga attended the 2013 Waikato/Bay of Plenty Architecture Awards at Claudelands Events Centre, where 15 award-winning buildings were recognised last night.

Judges visited 30 projects from Hamilton to the Coromandel Peninsula and Bay of Plenty to find the regions' best buildings, and jury convener and Hamilton architect Glen McHardie said it was an intense journey. "Over three days, we visited 30 projects and had great discussions about them all."

Among the winners was the University of Waikato Student Centre - recognised in the education and sustainability categories with the integration of a new library into an existing building.

Judges said the design of Warren and Mahoney Architects in collaboration with AECOM moved beyond the traditional notion of library to a place where students could learn and socialise.

The Chow:Hill Architects-designed Mystery Creek office block also won praise for its single-pitch roof, bold colour and vibrant interior that fitted well with the rural environment.

The jury, which included architects Ken Crosson and Grant Edwards and Hamilton accountant Graham Haines, noticed a move towards more sustainable architecture.

A compact Te Awamutu House, designed by Stevens Lawson Architects, impressed with environmentally friendly design that did not require advanced or expensive technologies. The "modern box" with "a series of arcs" won a sustainability award, and another in the housing category.

Two Hamilton houses built more than 25 years ago won high praise as examples of architectural heritage.

The Smith house, an English cottage designed by Rod Smith Architects in the 1970s, was "a testimony to the timelessness of the design intent" and won an award for enduring architecture. The original owners still live there.

And the Harris House, designed in 1980 by Roger Walker Architect and overlooking Lake Rotoroa, was described as a diamond that was "unusually quiet and matter of fact".

The Parbhu Barn, which houses farm machinery and worker accommodation at Horotui, received an award in the small-project category.

Waikato winners were:

Commercial Architecture

Mystery Creek Event Centre HQ (Hamilton) - Chow:Hill Architects Ltd, plus Resene Colour Award

Education

University of Waikato Student Centre (Hamilton) - Warren and Mahoney Architects Ltd and AECOM

Interior Architecture

Norris Ward McKinnon (Hamilton) - Wingate+Farquhar

Enduring Architecture

Harris House (1980, Hamilton) - Roger Walker Architect

Smith House (Hamilton) - Rod Smith Architects Ltd

Housing

Beach House Flexman Family (Hahei, Coromandel Peninsula) - McCoy + Heine Architects Ltd

Maungakawa House (Te Miro, Cambridge) - Patterson Associates Ltd plus Resene Colour Award

Otoparae House (Te Kuiti) - Mitchell & Stout Architects Ltd

Pipi Beach House (Whangamata) - Antanas Procuta Architects Ltd

Te Awamutu House (Te Awamutu) - Stevens Lawson Architects Ltd

Small Project Architecture

Parbhu Barn (Horotui, between Ngaruawahia and Hamilton) - Chow:Hill Architects Ltd

Sustainability

Te Awamutu House - Stevens Lawson Architects Ltd

University of Waikato Student Centre (Hamilton) - Warren and Mahoney Architects Ltd and AECOM elton.smallman@waiktotimes.co.nz

Waikato