Features of the 2015 Wellington Architecture Awards included heritage buildings, new eateries and residential houses. From the diverse range of contemporary building design that was judged, eighteen projects were rewarded at the Awards event, which was held at the National Library on Wednesday 10 June.
The 2015 Wellington Local Awards jury included Arindam Sen of Foundation Architects, Professor Mike Austin of the Unitec Department of Architecture, William Giesen of Atelierworkshop and Victoria Willocks, graduate architect.
The convenor of the awards jury, Wellington architect Arindam Sen, was impressed by the diversity of work in the Awards and the evident breadth of architectural talent in the city. “The projects the jury visited demonstrated that architects are innovating and producing good results for adventurous and trusting clients,” Sen said.
Full list of winners with judges citations below:
Massey University Wellington Library by Athfield Architects
The physical collection of the library and a range of reading rooms and individual and group study areas have been inserted into the existing structure of a 1950s building and a series of later additions. These fixed elements are connected by more open and flexible spaces for informal use allowing for different degrees of privacy. The staff area is not separated from the public space of the library, breaking down the usual barrier between librarians and students, and reinforcing the openness of the library.
Resene Colour Award:
The colours used in this space have created a youthful as well as an elegant space that is enjoyable to inhabit. Used in conjunction with the typographical talent available to the creative team, the consideration given to colour in this project is very successful.
Fergusson Intermediate School – Masterplanning & Rebuild by McKenzie Higham Architects
The enthusiasm of the school principal (the client) for his new environment was evident as was the innovative use of shared learning spaces that break down the barriers between classroom and recreation spaces and allow the different classes to meet and learn in a warm and social environment.
Naenae College, Special Needs Unit by Stephenson & Turner
As a special needs unit, this building has clear organisation and the internal street provides a specific amenity to its users that is evident in the vibrancy of the spaces. The unique challenges that a building such as this demands have been addressed with clarity and empathy.
Resene Colour Award:
Colour is an integral element of this design and has been given both aesthetic as well as functional purpose. It has been successfully deployed to create a social environment while also structurally coding the space, thereby increasing its legibility for its users.
ENDURING ARCHITECTURE AWARD:
Stroud House (1970) by Walker Architecture & Design
This house has worn extremely well. It remains a wonderful insight into a more gentle and optimistic time. The tiny but nurturing scale is extraordinary and the ordinary materials are reassuring. The complex spaces and labyrinthine interior remain exciting and are enjoyed by the owners. The house still manages to produce a sense of joy and play.
312 Lambton Quay by Athfield Architects
This building, formerly known as the Whitcoulls building, has been upgraded seismically while retaining the heritage façade. The strengthening involved removing timber floors and constructing concrete floor diaphragms and strengthening walls. A large void was created on the first floor to take escalators opening off the street. This is a successful retail premises which does not overly push its heritage status; the technical strengthening adds to, rather than overwhelms, the commercial operation.
15 Stout Street by Warren and Mahoney
The sense of a bustling community at the ground floor entrance level evokes a sense of excitement while the enormous atrium space is cleverly broken up by the use of overlapping balconies. This is a fine example of a subtle exterior change to a historic building, in combination with a radical interior reworking that retains a maximum of the existing building fabric.
HOSPITALITY AND RETAIL AWARD:
Loretta Cafe and Restaurant by Parsonson Architects
The integration of the existing building structure into a clear and concise plan is combined with a limited material of raw materials that emphasises the historic building elements. It is always great to hear clients say that a project fufills their dreams.
PREFAB Eatery by Studio of Pacific Architecture
With an innovative client this café is indeed pretty fabulous. Raw, robust and familiar materials were inserted into the generous space of a former liquor store which is opened up both inside and out. The lane alongside was developed as an extension of the café off which the hall out the back is a reception and performance space and venue for community functions. This building contributes to its urban context rather than feeding off it.
120 Oriental Parade House by Architecture Workshop
With a street presence that demands attention, this project has a beguiling simplicity that presents multiple complex experiences within each of its spaces. Apart from having various unique relationships to its context, several spaces have been endowed with their own specific characteristics in alignment with their purpose. This is a technically complex solution to an equally technically demanding site.
Chatsworth Pavilions by Craig & Coltart Architects
The architects have challenged standard living conventions in their response to the client’s desire for a home built around the existing native trees on the site. Two pavilions, one for living and one for sleeping, linked by an open deck are set among the trees. There is a constant awareness of the trees and the outside environment; to move between the living and sleeping pavilions you cross the deck under the canopy of trees, while inside each pavilion has double-height windows that frame views of the trees.
Harakeke by Geoff Fletcher Architects
This cost-effective house manages to maintain the bach-like qualities that we associate with the beach, which very few baches seem to do these days. Perched on a sandhill, the house is both connected to and removed from the beach below. Every room in the house has a view of the sea and most relate to an inner or outer deck so that the house has the usual bach-like softening of inside and out that is both easy and elegant.
White House by KebbellDaish and ArchitectureLab in association
This project effectively illustrates the result of a close collaboration between professionals and a client to achieve an outcome that challenges the typical economic biases attached to architecture. The architects have chosen to focus themselves on specific design and management tasks and the client’s enthusiasm for the space that is now her home was enjoyable to witness.
HOUSING - ALTERATIONS AND ADDITIONS AWARD:
York Bay Addition by Paul Rolfe Architects
A new double-height volume opens up the existing living area. Careful placement of skylights and windows brings light into the spaces and allows views of the sky and surrounding bush. Clever use of a change in level between existing and new structure creates a sense of cosiness and provides a stage for impromptu performances.
HOUSING - MULTI UNIT AWARD:
Clyde Quay Wharf Apartments by Athfield Architects
In this project challenging technical and planning restrictions have been resolved in an elegant and thoughtful manner. The retail spaces at ground floor level are only just developing but offer the chance to retain this important Wellington location as a public amenity.
Marshall Court Apartments for City Housing WCC by Designgroup Stapleton Elliott
The simple plan of this complex is well resolved around a garden community area that is overlooked by almost all of the apartments. The use of circulation balcony spaces as private outdoor spaces is a feature indicative of the thought that has gone into the building.
Cooper Stevenson Houses by Kerr Ritchie
This project is an excellent example of an architect exploring the use of common materials and construction technology while achieving high standards of design. The development of the site for two dwellings to accommodate an extended multi-generational family is successful. The external living areas are well considered for the houses’ context; the jury felt that in both homes the architects’ efforts have enhanced the occupants’ lives.
INTERIOR ARCHITECTURE AWARD:
Trade Me Wellington by Herriot + Melhuish: Architecture (HMA)
This interior fit-out responds to the generally hip and contemporary brand of the client. It responds to its accommodation inside a standard office block by having holes in the three floors occupied by the client. The connecting slide, blurring the differences between work and play, is another response to the youthful brand. The office space is free and open with no obvious hierarchies, the corners being occupied by retreat spaces for meetings, and a service hub on each floor.
Resene Colour Award:
The playful and hip nature of this fit-out is boldly illustrated with the use of colour without overwhelming the senses and is strengthened by the personality of this organisation. This is a place where the environment physically and culturally align.
SMALL PROJECT ARCHITECTURE AWARD:
Days Bay Yoga Studio by Paul Rolfe Architects
The form of the yoga studio responds to the site, making use of an existing building platform on the steep site and framing views of the surrounding beech trees and harbour beyond. A vertical entry screen provides a transition from the bush into the studio. The studio is simple but carefully detailed with palette of dark-stained timber cladding and clear-finish plywood interior lining to create a contemplative place in the bush.
All winners of the 2015 Wellington Architecture Awards will be considered for the 2015 New Zealand Architecture Awards, which will be announced this November.