2015 New Zealand Architecture Medal winner

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The Blyth Performing Arts Centre auditorium seats 300 people with a further 100 seats around the curved gallery.

The Blyth Performing Arts Centre auditorium seats 300 people with a further 100 seats around the curved gallery. Image: Mark Smith

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The Blyth Performing Arts Centre: 2015 New Zealand Architecture Medal winner.

The Blyth Performing Arts Centre: 2015 New Zealand Architecture Medal winner. Image: Mark Smith

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The concert chamber.

The concert chamber. Image: Mark Smith

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Foyer of the Blyth Performing Arts Centre.

Foyer of the Blyth Performing Arts Centre. Image: Mark Smith

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View of the performing arts centre from the north east.

View of the performing arts centre from the north east. Image: Mark Smith

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The foyer boasts hanging Noguchi lamps.

The foyer boasts hanging Noguchi lamps. Image: Mark Smith

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The sculptural exterior form of the Blyth Performing Arts Centre.

The sculptural exterior form of the Blyth Performing Arts Centre. Image: Mark Smith

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The twenty-eight winners of the New Zealand Architecture Awards programme, which is run by the New Zealand Institute of Architects, were announced at an evening at Auckland Museum on Friday 30 October.

The top award for 2015, the New Zealand Architecture Medal, went to the Blyth Performing Arts Centre at Iona College, Havelock North, designed by Stevens Lawson Architects. The Performing Arts Centre also won a New Zealand Architecture Award in the education category as well as the New Zealand Architecture Medal.

The jurors described the building thus: 

“Architecture provides an exquisite home for some of the other arts in this beautifully planned and executed building at Iona College. Sited prominently near the school’s entry, the Blyth Performing Arts Centre offers an impressive welcome to the campus. Its graceful sculpted shape alludes to adjacent Te Mata peak and suggests the sinuous shape of musical instruments; in the evening, it glows warmly against the dark. The building’s striking form and sensuous qualities declare its purpose and complement its function.

Considerable amenity, including a 400-seat concert chamber and all necessary supporting spaces and services, is artfully integrated into the building. Technical as well as architectural issues have been resolved masterfully; importantly, acoustic performance has been incorporated seamlessly into the building, and natural light admitted to great effect. On this project, client and architect reached for the sublime – and they got there.”

For Bill McKay’s take on the Blyth Performing Arts Centre, see here.


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