A Northland building connecting Māori and Pākehā, east and west, has won three awards at the 2021 Auckland/Northland Regional ADNZ Resene Architectural Design Awards.
Pip Bolton of Avail Pacific Limited won the 2021 Regional Commercial Interiors Award, Highly Commended in the Commercial/Industrial Category Award, and Highly Commended in the Resene Colour in Design Category Award for her work on Te Hononga, Hundertwasser Memorial Park in Kawakawa.
The ADNZ Resene Architectural Design Awards are held by Architectural Designers New Zealand (ADNZ).
Te Hononga floated over an old riverbed in the town centre and was designed to honour and pay homage to Friedensreich Hundertwasser.
The building provided spaces for a public library, community workshop, interpretive centre with video and audio displays of local relationships with Hundertwasser, his philosophies for art and architecture, ecology and conservation.
The design was two interlocking colourful heart-shaped buildings, one of rammed earth and the other timber, lovingly crafted by a community with passion and determination.
Bolton said Te Hononga was a joining place, a meeting place and a space to come together.
"The two interlocking hearts are symbolic of the joining together of the Kawakawa community and Hundertwasser, Māori and Pākehā, visitors and residents, our past and future, our places (east, west), of man and the environment."
The ADNZ judges said the project exemplified the whakatauki "Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi, ēngari taku toa he toa takatini," (success is not the work of one, but of many).
"This is a thoughtful and creative reinterpretation of Hundertwasser's ideas and a careful blend of cultural narratives incorporating Hundertwasser, Māori, local artists and craftspeople. The rammed earth construction and the locally sourced raw materials assist in making this significant project memorable."
Te Hononga was built on what used to be a carpark behind the town's famous toilets.
Expanded parking to take pressure off the town's clogged main street and an ātea, or town square, were also part of the project.
Almost every part of the $6.4 million project was a work of art, from the toilet floor mosaics to the coloured rammed earth walls, with 20 Northland artists involved.
Planning started in earnest in 2008 for a visitors' centre and gallery honouring Hundertwasser, who made the town his home until his death in 2000.
One of the most celebrated artists to come out of Europe in the 20th century, Hundertwasser celebrated irregular lines and contrasting textures and colours and was acclaimed for his work with colour and mosaics.