2017 Warren Trust Awards for Architectural Writing: winners announced

UK-based writer Anna Kate Blair and Auckland student Piper Whitehead have won the top prizes in New Zealand’s annual architectural writing competition – the 2017 Warren Trust Awards for Architectural Writing.

The awards were established by the New Zealand Institute of Architects, and supported by the educational trust founded by the eminent New Zealand architect, Sir Miles Warren.

Anna Kate Blair, a New Zealand architecture graduate who has been undertaking post-graduate study at Cambridge University, won the Open Category, while Piper Whitehead, a year 13 student at Auckland’s Diocesan School for Girls, is the winner in Secondary School category of the competition.

A Year 12 student at Diocesan School for Girls, Emma Uren, received one of three Highly Commended Awards. The other two Highly Commended Awards have gone to architectural graduates Matthew Grant, from Hamilton, and Joseph Lyth, from Auckland.

New Zealand Institute of Architects spokesperson John Walsh said there was a great response to this year’s competition, in which writers were invited to discuss architectural sites of personal significance to them.

“The purpose of the awards is to promote longer-form writing about architecture. We want to encourage writers, especially younger writers, to try their hand at essay writing, which requires the careful crafting and compelling expression of a personal viewpoint,” Walsh said.

“We’re very pleased that the submissions in both of the awards categories demonstrate a public interest in both the subject of architecture and in the competition’s challenging writing format.”

The awards were judged by a panel comprising Nicola Legat, publisher at Massey University Press, Chris Barton, an architecture writer and teacher at the University of Auckland School of Architecture and Planning, and John Walsh, who is the Institute of Architects’ communications manager.

The Institute will include 10 of the essays, including the winning and highly commended essays, in a book that will be published in early 2018.

See more about the awards and read last year’s winning pieces here.


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