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The upgrade and expansion of Auckland's War Memorial Museum yesterday took the Property Council's supreme award.

The council presented 25 awards last night but the grand atrium project won the top award for the scope and vision displayed in its design and revamp and the satisfaction expressed by stakeholders at completion.

Chief judge John Dunn said the project designed by architect Noel Lane and built by Hawkins Construction was a "world-class future-proofed" job.

The building was Auckland's most extensively used community, cultural and educational property and its upgrade and expansion had achieved its objectives, Dunn said. Future generations would appreciate the work.

The new grand atrium was built in the rear courtyard of the building's 1960s addition.

"The only logical space for expansion was the enclosed 1700sq m southern courtyard," the judges said.

The result was a 60 per cent increase in the overall footprint of the museum through the conversion of the courtyard into an area of 9600sq m.

The judges said contractors were required to build in, around and under an existing structure and take account of complex heritage issues.

Waitakere City's new civic building in Henderson and Wellington's new Department of Conservation House also won awards.