Six architecturally- designed houses - including one that has been touted as "a new model for provincial New Zealand and the affordability crisis" - are up for a prestigious house of the year award.
The homes - which are all in the North Island - have been shortlisted for HOME magazine's top prize.
Three houses in the Auckland area, two in Wellington and one in the Waikato are among the finalists.
The competition, which is in its 22nd year, celebrates the very best in residential architecture, with the overall winner receiving a $15,000 prize.
The winner will be announced on Wednesday.
This home sits above an inlet and was designed by Belinda George, with her furniture-maker husband David White. The judges said it was a contemporary house that had interpreted the broken forms of Northland farm buildings. The outside was clad with corrugated steel and the interior with reclaimed river wood. "It's richly detailed and somehow grand, without being pretentious," the judges said.
Glamuzina Paterson Architects has created a sharp, almost urban house, around a sheltered courtyard, with angled skylights breaking a long, low roof which the judges said referenced the nearby hills. "It's a cerebral, highly resolved house outside, also with highly functional living spaces for a family with young children who love to entertain," the judges said.
This 115sq m house by Patchwork Architecture in Wellington's Mt Cook sits on a 188sq m site. It was tightly planned and almost every room flowed out through tall sliding doors to sheltered courtyards and decks, the judges said. "This house shows the extraordinary power a small home can have; each moment is carefully considered with sharp detailing and beautiful materials."
Another Wellington house, also by Patchwork Architecture but in Island Bay, sits on a steep site covered with trees and has neighbours close by. The house itself is draped over a ridge in an angled L-shape, and has soaring ceilings yet cosy spaces. "The architects - and friends - finished the house themselves over two years and yet it never feels anything less than carefully considered," the judges said.
Instead of putting this house in the middle of the awkward triangular-shaped section, Guy Tarrant Architects got consent to build a wall around the outside, then have the house built along the rear boundary, opening up to a private courtyard, the judges said. "It's a community-minded house too - a sunken garden surrounds the house, including rosemary and fruit trees."
This Waikato house was designed by Christopher Beer Architects and is made of second-grade cedar, rejected bricks, corrugate and concrete and draws inspiration from Japanese culture. "Both architect and owners moved to Cambridge because Auckland had become unaffordable. This house could be a new model for provincial New Zealand and the affordability crisis."