31 Oct 2015

Buildings 'amaze and entice' judges

6:33 am on 31 October 2015

Almost 30 buildings throughout New Zealand have won top honours at the country's Architect Awards.

The top prize, the 2015 New Zealand Architecture Medal, went to the new Blyth Performing Arts Centre at Iona College, Havelock North, designed by Stevens Lawson Architects.

Stevens Lawson Architects also won another award for another building at the same school - the Iona College Information Resource Centre.

This year's Architecture Awards saw the introduction of three best-of-category awards named after eminent New Zealand architects: the John Scott Award for public architecture, the Sir Ian Athfield Award and the Sir Miles Warren Award for commercial architecture.

The Awards jury convenor, Auckland architect Pete Bossley, said there was an abundance of buildings available for consideration by the judging panel.

"The tough calls began on day one of shortlisting and continued to the very end," he said.

"It has been a strong year in New Zealand architecture, and the buildings we saw amazed and enticed us. It was a privilege to visit them, and a challenge to judge them."

A social housing building in Miramar won an award in the multi-unit category.

Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown said the award for Wellington Council's new Marshall Court social housing apartments in Miramar was "thoroughly well-deserved".

"We're thrilled - and we're proud our tenants are living not only in modern, warm, dry, safe, secure housing acknowledged as an example of New Zealand's best multi-unit architecture.

"The design provides a homely environment where tenants feel comfortable and there are opportunities for social interaction."

The $8.7 million Marshall Court development was a complete new-build project as part of the ongoing $400 million upgrade of the City Council's social housing stock.

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