A new Karangahape Rd building criticised as looking like a pile of rusting containers scooped three architecture prizes last night.

Ironbank at 150-154 K Rd won commercial, sustainable architecture and urban design awards.

The eclectic seven-level structure designed by RTA Studio for the Friedlander's Samson Corporation won the most prizes at the Institute of Architects Auckland awards sponsored by Resene.

The building, with retail/restaurant space on the ground floor and offices above, includes a high-tech mechanical car stacker for 95 cars to be stored below street level.

Mario Madayag, judging panel convener, said: "Ironbank is great on every level. This is what New Zealand is capable of and this is what we should be doing."

The awards drew more than 100 entries.

Patterson Associates' house at Parihoa near Muriwai was praised for its strong sculptural form standing out in a rural landscape.

Salmond Reed Architects' design for the refurbishment of Devonport's former Post Office by Omega Trust won for balancing heritage values with the needs of creating a successful commercial business.

The result was "a masterful success, the old post office has been given a second chance," judges found.

Pacific Environments Architects NZ won for its design of the Yellow Treehouse Restaurant at Pohuehue, north of Auckland.

The refurbishment of Hotel DeBrett by Mitchinson Simiona and Gascoigne Associates had created a sophisticated boutique hotel with exceptional attention to detail.

Wairoa Station Wine Cellar by Modern Architecture partners was "a seductive folly" which provided the perfect setting for bacchanalian delights, the judges said.