A bach in the Coromandel has reaped the top award at this year's regional housing awards.

The NZIA Waikato/Bay of Plenty Architecture Awards were held on Friday, where DNA House at Otama Beach, designed by Crosson Architects, was recognised.

The competition jury said: "Amazing, outstanding, superb – this is a meticulously crafted house with exceptional personality".

The slender steel struts of the compact house sit lightly on the ground, while movable screens perforated with representations of the clients' DNA shield upper decks, judges said.


"Amazing, outstanding, superb – this is a meticulously crafted house with exceptional personality. It is uniquely attuned not just to the physical needs of its owners but to their metaphysical orientation.

"Sited excellently for views and demonstrating a very gentle connection with the site, the house and its boardwalks, which extend the usable space of the compact structure, are wrapped with metal screens perforated with a map of the clients' DNA. Sophisticated and refined – although not above quirky features, such as a trap door with rope ladder – this house is a joy to visit."

The firm told Stuff the bach was designed for a New York-based family. The DNA reference in the name is reflected in the design.

The family had their DNA sampled and the coded patterns were combined to create the "delicately structured perforation pattern" on a series of bifolding screens that surround the house".

A total of 21 winners from Tauranga, Rotorua and Taupo featured in the awards, including revitalised urban parks and commercial buildings, education and sports facilities, cultural and community centres, as well as houses that add to the region's history of inventive residential architecture.

The 2018 Waikato / Bay of Plenty Architecture Awards are part of the peer-reviewed New Zealand Architecture Awards programme run by the New Zealand Institute of Architects (NZIA) and sponsored by Resene. The programme sets the benchmark for the country's building projects and recognises the contribution of architects to their towns and communities.

Full list of award winners by category

Commercial Architecture

Mezz Box – Edwards White Architects and Designwell in association


Genesis Building – Edwards White Architects

Mangatawa Tari – First Principles Architects

ACG Tauranga Gymnasium – Babbage Consultants
Tauranga Intermediate School – First Principles Architects

Wendell B Mendenhall Building – Walker Group Architects
Te Rau Aroha, Kai Hall – Walker Group Architects
George R Biesinger Building – Walker Group Architects

Mary's House – Bellbird Architect
DNA House – Crosson Architects
River Retreat – Edwards White Architects
Walton House – John Henderson Architecture
Turama – RTA Studio
Pukemoremore House – Sumich Chaplin Architects

Interior Architecture
Seeka – Architecture Page Henderson
Kenehi on Bryce – Edwards White Architects
53 Spring Street Interior Fitout – Stufkens + Chambers Architects

Planning and Urban Design
Te Waimirimiri o Te Kuirau – Architecture Aotearoa
Victoria on the River

Public Architecture
David O McKay Stake Centre and Cultural Events Centre – Walker Group Architects

Small Project Architecture
Promenade – Stufkens + Chambers Architects