A thought-provoking example of what can be achieved on a "cheeky little site" has won Tauranga architectural designer Brendon Gordon a place in the national design award finals.

The MacKenzie family's house in Mount Maunganui was one of three Bay of Plenty entries selected for the ADNZ/Resene Architectural Design Awards in October.

Mr Gordon's entry in the 150sq m to 300sq m new home category was praised by judges for the play of light and dark, sun and shade, with a distinctive quality of space.

Another view of the Mackenzie residence.
Another view of the Mackenzie residence.

He told the Bay of Plenty Times that the MacKenzie residence was an example of what a suburban infill house could look like, particularly given Tauranga's need to intensify in order to save productive rural land.

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His design on a "cheeky little site" allowed privacy for both the owners and neighbours, and did not have a garage opening to the street. "It makes the whole streetscape friendlier."

The MacKenzie residence is a finalist in the ADNZ/Resene Architectural Design Awards.
The MacKenzie residence is a finalist in the ADNZ/Resene Architectural Design Awards.

The sloping nature of the site required a two-storey building. The double garage, workbench area and office was built into the contour of the land, creating a level platform for the main living, sleeping and utility areas upstairs, plus outdoor living spaces.

"One deck feeds off the master bedroom, while two partially covered outdoor spaces open up the main living area," he said.

Another national finalist was Darryl Church's cabin at Lake Tarawera. The Rotorua designer won the category for new homes up to 150sq m.

It was described as capturing the original spirit of camping and baching before holiday mansions arrived. "A time when you could escape the city for a weekend, to reconnect with nature in a way that was relaxing, casual and simple."

It also won the Residential Interiors Design Award and Resene Colour in Design Award.

Mr Church's entry in the commercial/industrial design section was also selected for the national finals. It was the Waiariki Institute of Technology, Health & Science Building in Rotorua. It was the culmination of 12 months of research, workshops and design to create a teaching and learning environment that was "flexible, adoptable and relevant for years to come". It also won the Commercial Interior Design Award.

Matt Hodson of Insight Architecture, Tauranga, received highly commended awards for a new home over 300sq m and for residential interiors. Judges described the Mount home as a "well resolved new build in a traditional manner that draws on a strong timber tradition".

Richard Hale of Insight Architecture was commended in the residential alternations and additions category. His Mount entry was described as a house that had been increased in size to include quality outdoor spaces, simultaneously improving its relationship to the street.

Te Puke's Maurice Regeer of MnM Design won a special contest run by the Bay of Plenty branch. It was for a 3-D presentation to show what members currently had on their drawing boards. Mr Regeer won with his "Mr Hunt's Dream Patch".