Twenty-three buildings have received awards in the 2019 Waikato Bay of Plenty Architecture Awards, among them several projects that show the community benefits resulting from architects' sustained involvement in urban centre revitalisation.

The awards jury convenor, Hamilton architect Evan Mayo, said it was encouraging to see high-quality public, commercial and educational buildings in Whakatāne, Tauranga, Rotorua and Te Awamutu.

"These buildings are real community assets, and some of them offer valuable precedents for the provision of important services."

Mayo said he was particularly pleased by the recognition of the jury, which included fellow Hamilton architect Matt Grant, Wellington architect James Fenton and United Kingdom-registered architect Leonie Neuweger, of projects that are playing an important role in the improvement of Hamilton's central city area.

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Interior Architecture: Spectrum Building, Te Awamutu; Christopher Beer Architect. Photo / Simon Wilson
Interior Architecture: Spectrum Building, Te Awamutu; Christopher Beer Architect. Photo / Simon Wilson

GHD Woodhead Creative Spaces won a Public Architecture Award for Rotorua's Te Aka Mauri Children's Health and Library Hub, a combined healthcare and library facility that is a "daring move away from hospital-based health practices to holistic health and wellbeing approaches," Mayo said.

An Education Award went to Design Tribe Architects for The New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute Precinct Development Ngā Kete Tuku Iho.

The Awards jury said this new base for Aotearoa's pre-eminent carving school "had been delivered with passion and clarity".

Cambridge architect Christopher Beer's "skilful modernisation" of the near-derelict Spectrum Building in Te Awamutu received an Interior Architecture Award. The jury praised the restoration and refurbishment of the collection of buildings for the retention of the traditional shop front "that has preserved the local streetscape".

In the Commercial Architecture category, a close working relationship between Chow:Hill Architects and Trust Waikato Te Puna o Waikato has resulted in an award for the trust's new offices.

Trust Waikato Te Puna o Waikato Office Development, Hamilton; Chow:Hill Architects. Photo / Amanda Aitken
Trust Waikato Te Puna o Waikato Office Development, Hamilton; Chow:Hill Architects. Photo / Amanda Aitken

"This is a prominent new building with rich contextual character and great public visibility that draws upon the cultural histories of the site," the jury said.

"The Kollective, designed by Wingate Architects on a challenging former swamp site, is a highly considered building that sits lightly on the land," the jury said.

"It is one of the first co-working platforms in Tauranga, and will surely spawn many more."

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Housing awards

Twelve awards were awarded in the Housing and Housing–Alterations and Additions categories, including four on the Coromandel Peninsula.

Taupō's Fraser Cameron Architects received two Housing Awards for local projects, including one for Whanarua Bay House which has a "rich aesthetic reflective of its powerful and uncompromising setting", the jury said.

Fraser Cameron Architects' second winner, Kuiwai House "successfully delivers relaxed and well-considered living spaces for the whole family to enjoy".

Xsite Architects' specification of composite panels to clad a Kinloch house "formed the basis for a cost-effective, energy-efficient and low-maintenance house".

"The external envelope has been carefully manipulated to encapsulate the outstanding views of the site without jeopardising the integrity or finish of the product," the jury said.
Aotea Harbour Holiday Home by PAUA Architects also benefits from an exceptional outlook.

Callesen House, Kinloch Xsite Architects. Photo / Simon Devitt
Callesen House, Kinloch Xsite Architects. Photo / Simon Devitt

Sited on an "exquisite promontory", the Kāwhia house overlooks a historic pā and Aotea harbour.

Shelter from prevailing winds was a challenge that has been "successfully negotiated by arranging three building forms in a way that creates pleasant courtyards", the jury said.
Treetop Home (1977) at Taupō, by John Wilson Architect, received an Enduring Architecture Award, given to buildings of more than 25 years of age that have lasted well and continue to have relevance.

"This house takes us back to a time in history when Taupō consisted entirely of small batches scattered in relaxed informality near its lake," Mayo said.

"This has informed the architect, and from the street, the house, rising above the surrounding trees, appears like a cluster of cabins in the distance.

"The house is as delightful today as it was 42 years ago when it was first constructed."
The Waikato Bay of Plenty Architecture Awards are part of the New Zealand Architecture Awards programme run by the New Zealand Institute of Architects with the support of Resene.