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Auckland has dominated the country's premier architecture and design competition, with eight of the city's projects honoured with awards.

The projects are among a total of 18 winners at the New Zealand Institute of Architects 2009 Architecture Awards.

The winning projects include the Wilson School in Takapuna, Colin McCahon Cottage in West Auckland and the Auckland City CBD streetscape of Queen St.

Other projects to receive awards include Wellington's groundbreaking sustainable Meridian Building, a Queenstown mountain retreat and a Christchurch pumpstation.

The New Zealand Memorial in London's Hyde Park Corner - once described as "bristling" and "unlovely" - is also listed among the outstanding projects.

The New Zealand Memorial, a winner in the International Architecture category, was designed by a team from Athfield Architects Ltd in Wellington with Dibble Art Company of Palmerston North.

The winning projects will now be considered for the New Zealand Architecture Medal, to be announced in May. Only one medal may be awarded each year.

CATEGORIES AND WINNERS INCLUDE:
Commercial
* RTA Studio - RCP Building, Parnell, Auckland
* Simon Twose Architect Limited - House and Office, Leek St, Auckland

Heritage
* Pearson & Associates Architects Ltd with Graeme Burgess - Colin McCahon Cottage, West Auckland

Interior
* Athfield Architects Ltd - University of Otago School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Wellington

International
* Athfield Architects Ltd with Dibble Art Company (sculptor) - the New Zealand Memorial at Hyde Park Corner, London

Residential - Houses
* Fearon Hay Architects Ltd - Mountain Retreat, Queenstown

Small Project
* City Solutions - Pumpstation 11, Christchurch
* Athfield Architects Ltd - Len Lye Water Whirler Pier, Wellington

Urban Design
* Architectus Auckland - Auckland City CBD Streetscapes - Queen Street, Auckland.

- NZPA