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Nelson / Marlborough Architecture Awards - winners announced

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Eleven projects have received awards in the 2020 Nelson / Marlborough Architecture Awards.

Demonstrating the breadth of work undertaken by architects in Nelson and Marlborugh, the winners in the peer-reviewed awards programme run by Te Kāhui Whaihanga New Zealand Institute of Architects include an airport terminal and a classroom block, a bridge and a riverside development, an apartment building and several houses, a peanut butter factory, a bach and even a public toilet.

Awards jury covenor, Nelson architect Andrew Irving, said the jury, which also included fellow architects Ian Bowman and Brian White, and Olivia Hall, Head of the Māori Department at Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology and Chair of the Board of Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Rārua, said the number and quality of entries in the categories of education, public and commercial architecture was encouraging.

"The scale of projects entered in the housing category seemed more compact than in past years," Irving said. "Perhaps this signals a trend toward smaller and more considered houses."

Irving said the jury was also encouraged by the use of sustainable systems and materials, and alternative structural technologies in public and commercial work.

"Hopefully, this indicates a move towards mainstream acceptance of environmentally responsible material choices, and in favour of locally produced resources," Irving said.

Six of the award-winning projects are located in or around Nelson.

Nelson Airport Terminal, designed by Studio of Pacific Architecture, won an award in the Commercial category.

The jury said the new terminal "successfully integrates innovative timber structural and seismic design, prefabrication technology, climate resilience and environmental systems."

"This gateway to the Nelson region serves as an important showcase for the potential of these design elements in the public and commercial realms," the jury said.

The second award in the Commercial category went to another building in the Nelson area - Pic’s Peanut Butter Factory in Stoke, designed by Jerram Tocker Barron Architects.

"The architects have boldly adapted a familiar building form to radically re-cast a factory and warehouse and provide an engaging visitor experience," the jury said. "A series of deft insertions of colour and detail at entry, together with skylights and an elevator, add a sense of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory to the whole composition."

The new classroom block at St Joseph’s School, Nelson, designed by Create Architects, won an award in the Education category.

"This building gives a contemporary edge to the pivotal open space at the heart of the campus of St Joseph’s School," the jury said. "Well-detailed internal spaces, with beneficial natural lighting and acoustics, provide flexible and highly appropriate learning environments."

Nelson’s new timber Saltwater Creek Bridge, designed by Jerram Tocker Barron Architects, won an award in the Public Architecture category.

"Subtle shaping of the curving timber exo-skeleton, with integrated detailing and lighting, creates an evocative form appropriate to this high-profile location," the awards jury said. "Careful consideration has been given to durability and seismic resilience in this project which serves as a test case for timber use in small public works."

Betts Apartments by Arthouse Architects is "the first large-scale residential development in central Nelson," the jury noted. In this project, which won an award in the Housing Multi-unit category, the jury said "a protective southern face, pushed to the street edge, coupled with concealed basement carparking, frees the centre of the site to provide a private open space for residents."

"Protected balconies are integrated with the north and western façades to increase living areas and maximise sun and aspect. In particular, the architects have taken good advantage of opportunities to gain views to the city and the green spaces of Pikimai (Church Hill)."

The sixth Nelson project to win an award, in the Small Project category, is Queens Garden Toilet Block by Jerram Tocker Barron Architects.

"A small structure with a lot to do, this building successfully navigates the space between public building and public convenience, forming a new gateway to Queens Gardens," the jury said. "The architects’ integrated approach to form-making and material selection has resulted in a crisply expressed pavilion, connected visually and materially to the nearby Suter Gallery."

Three award-winning projects are sited in and around Blenheim.

The Quays, which won an award in the Public Architecture category, is a new public space between the town centre and the Taylor River.

The jury said the project, which was designed by Studio of Pacific Architecture, "integrates robust public furniture and carefully selected and thoughtfully combined surfaces" to allude to the site’s history as a riverside pier and re-establish the river edge’s role as a cultural, social, and economic hub.

In the Housing category an award went to Vineyard House, Blenheim, designed by Arthouse Architects.

"The two wings of this farmhouse pivot around a concealed central entry. Inside the house, robust concrete elements are softened by crafted oak joinery, creating a warm and welcoming family space.

Care in design and a high level of craftsmanship are evident in the sculpted cedar cladding, cleverly shaped to admit and exclude the sun," the jury said.

The third Blenheim-area award-winner is Axe House in the Omaka Valley, designed by architecture+. "An extrusion of a familiar cabin form, this house occupies a narrow site carved from the surrounding vineyard," the jury said. "Restrained interior spaces are relieved by telling detail at points of view and transition to provide notable moments within a calmly expressed home."

The final two projects recognised in the 2020 Nelson / Marlborough Architecture Awards are located near Abel Tasman National Park.

Kaiteriteri Family Bach, designed by redbox architects 2017, won an award in the Housing category.

"Careful planning allows for a summertime crowd, accommodated in a delightfully detailed bunkroom or plug-in camper vans," the jury said. "Accessed by a glazed ‘drawbridge’, the master- suite offers a resort-style retreat from the more communal living and sleeping wings."

Near Marahau, Picot Bach by Mitchell Stout Dodd Architects, is "more beachside campground than bach," the jury said.

The project, which won an award in the Small project category, is "a collection of small objects: cabin; sleepout; caravan; deck; boatshed; shower; and tower."

"Craftmanship abounds in the assembly of the locally sourced materials that form this building, allowing it to touch its site lightly - a simple act of generosity in this coastal village," the wards jury said.

The 2020 Nelson / Marlborough Architecture Awards is a programme of Te Kāhui Whaihanga New Zealand Institute of Architects, supported by Resene.

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