Property editor of the NZ Herald

Auckland man builds his own stylish burial tomb

Death awaits us all. The Waikumete Mausoleum, awarded for Small Project Architecture.
Death awaits us all. The Waikumete Mausoleum, awarded for Small Project Architecture.

Auckland's most stylish new buildings have just been announced and a smart new apparently empty marble mausoleum is the most unusual winner in the big line-up.

Apartments, houses, office blocks, a library and other public buildings are on the list of Institute of Architects' Auckland branch winners, announced tonight at the Onehunga Heliport.

But the biggest surprise in the top 48 new buildings out of 112 entries across the city was one man's fancy new burial chamber in the Waikumete Cemetery.

Photo / Supplied
Photo / Supplied

Even more unusually, the owner appears to be still very much alive and able to celebrate his architectural win.

"For a man to engage an architect to think about how he may lie in eternity, before death has knocked for him, is a tribute to that architect," said the citation from the judging panel led by Michael O'Sullivan of Bull O'Sullivan.

See the full list of winners below.

The European-style structure, topped by a circular dome, has decorated exterior panels, slot openings in the ceiling, a grill security gate and wood ceiling flanked in dark blue.
It won in the small project architecture category.

Graham Stretz of Architect Associates who designed the structure said a condition of his commission was that the tomb's owner remain anonymous.

Nor can cemetery owner Auckland Council say who built it: "Auckland Council is unable to provide details of the owners of plots or mausoleums in advance of interment, as they are privately owned. Following a burial, cemetery records are publicly available and can be searched by family members, genealogists and other researchers," a spokesperson said.

Photo / Supplied
Photo / Supplied

The judges were impressed: "Marble speaks volumes about the graveyard while a mahogany ceiling floating on a narrow slit of light allows the spirit to come and go as it desires. This mausoleum is generous, considered and compositionally calm, just as we all expect death to be."

Mr O'Sullivan said the jury were impressed by the two most unusual projects amongst the winners: the mausoleum and an installation designed by Warren and Mahoney and using art work by Max Gimblett to raise funds for the preservation of St David's Church at Khyber Pass in Grafton.

"These surprising projects show that architecture, while attending to its many responsibilities, retains its capacity to delight," O'Sullivan said.

Altera and Ilico, two big new Stonefields apartment blocks, both by Warren and Mahoney, won the multi-unit category, although O'Sullivan criticised apartment standards: "Good multi-unit housing is is desperately needed in Auckland," he said, yet many of the developer-driven projects of this type are mediocre. "It's important, given the scepticism around intensification, that Aucklanders are presented with good examples of multi-unit or apartment buildings," he said.

Ellerslie's Central Park One by Architectus and Kingsland's Brothers Brewery & Juke Joint BBQ by Metropolitan Architecture Studio won the commercial category but again, O'Sullivan took a swipe: much recent building activity had yielded a disappointing level of distinction, he said.

Remuera's Lush family home by John Goldwater Architect won the enduring architecture category. The house was built 57 years ago and the owners called it 'original to the core'.

Newton's The Orange by Crosson Clarke Carnachan Architects and Tonkin Zulaika Greer Architects with Dave Pearson Architects won the heritage category. The Orange Coronation Hall was retained but a new development rose alongside it.

Winning housing projects included Waiheke Island's Number 5 by Architectus, Remuera's Omahu Rd and Takapuna's City Beach House both by Fearon Hay Architects, Grey Lynn's Maidstone Studio by bell + co architecture and Andrew Kissell, Waimaukau's Bramasole by Herbst Architects, Titirangi's Tawini House by Megan Edwards Architects, Grey Lynn's E-Type House by TRA Studio, Karaka's Te Hihi by STrachan Group Architects and Lang's Beach's Lang's Cove House by Bossley Architects.

All the winners are now eligible for national architecture awards, to be announced announced in November.

See all the photos here

Full list of winners:

Commercial Architecture
Central Park One, Ellerslie by Architectus
Brothers Brewery & Juke Joint BBQ, Kingsland by Metropolitan Architecture Studio

Augusta Building, Auckland Grammar School, Epsom, by Architectus
St Cuthbert's College Centennial Centre for Wellbeing, Epsom, by Architectus and Architecture HDT in association

Enduring Architecture (Conferred upon buildings more than 25 years old that have stood up well to the tests of time)
Lush Family Home, Remuera.

The Orange, Newton, by Crosson Clarke Carnachan Architects & Tonkin Zulaika Greer Architects in association, and Dave Pearson Architects

Hospitality & retail
Fortieth & Hurstmere, Takapuna, by McKinney + Windeatt Architects

Number 5, Waiheke Island, by Architectus
Omahu Road, Remuera, by Fearon Hay Architects
City Beach House, Takapuna, by Fearon Hay Architects
Maidstone Studio, Grey Lynn, by bell + co architecture and Andrew Kissell
Bramasole, Waimauku, by Herbst Architects
Tawini House, Titirangi, by Megan Edwards Architects
E-Type House, Grey Lynn, by RTA Studio
Te Hihi, Karaka, by SGA - Strachan Group Architects
Lang's Cove House, Lang's Beach, by Bossley Architects

Housing - additions and alterations
Salisbury House, Herne Bay, by Godward Guthrie Architecture
ValleyM, Herne Bay, by McKinney + Windeatt Architects
Belmont Garden Room, Belmont, by Mitchell & Stout Architects
Jones House Alterations, Mt Eden, by Stephen Jones Architects
Herne Bay House Alteration by Gerrad Hall Architects
Albany House Alteration by Gerrad Hall Architects

Housing - multi unit
Altera, Stonefields, by Warren and Mahoney Architects
Ilico, Stonefields, by Warren and Mahoney Architects

Interior architecture
Rosie, Parnell, by McKinney + Windeatt Architects

Planning and Urban Design
#LightPathAKL, Central Auckland, by Monk McKenzie and LandLAB, in association
Canada Street Bridge, Central Auckland, by Monk McKenzie and Novare Design, in association

Public architecture
Te Pātaka Kōrero o Te Hau Kapua - Devonport Library, by Athfield Architects

Small Project Architecture
Waikumete Mausoleum, Glen Eden, by Architect Associates
Seaside Cabins, Rawhiti, by Rowe Baetens Architecture and Noel Lane Architects, in association
Studio & Garden Room - Peter's House, Sunnyhills, Lynda Simmons Architect
The Art of Remembrance: St David's Church Installation, Newton, by Warren and Mahoney Architects

- NZ Herald

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