A touch of Japanese culture in a Kiwi setting is the winning recipe in this year's top architectural awards.

A humble but unique family home in Gisborne has been named the supreme winner in the 2019 Resene Architectural Designers NZ Design Awards.

Dubbed Huru House, the 140sqm home overlooks Poverty Bay - with views to Mahia Peninsula - and is inspired by Japanese timber traditions and historical practices from New Zealand's own architectural past.

It features weathered, softened and sanded timber that is minimally finished. Its windows reference Japanese design practices and includes a traditional Japanese bath.

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Designed by Andrew Simpson, of Wiredog Architecture, the house beat 145 entries from around the country.

A family home in Gisborne picked up the Supreme award in this year's Resene Architectural Design Award. Photo / Supplied
A family home in Gisborne picked up the Supreme award in this year's Resene Architectural Design Award. Photo / Supplied

"Planning of the home looks to traditional Japanese residential architecture - unfurling and stretching it into an eroded, linear form - suggesting a sense of progression and exploration as you move through the home,'' he said.

"The use of exposed timber allowed the celebration of timber as a construction material while also referencing Japanese carpentry".

The judges praised the "exceptional'' design, saying Simpson had taken a small house and made it large.

one roof

"Special attention has been given to detail and materials in this exceptional home. From the exposed rafters to the exposed beams, this level of refined detailing is not easy to achieve".

The 'Huru House' has views to Mahia Peninsula. Photo / Supplied
The 'Huru House' has views to Mahia Peninsula. Photo / Supplied

The judges said there was real individuality to the way the living spaces had been arranged - bringing everything together under one roof.

"Built on an impressive site that excudes calm, the house would be a special place to live - an outstanding project.''

Joining the supreme award winner is nine other projects from around the country.

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The winners were announced at a gala ceremony last night.

A family home in Gisborne picked up the Supreme award in this year's Resene Architectural Design Award. Photo / Supplied
A family home in Gisborne picked up the Supreme award in this year's Resene Architectural Design Award. Photo / Supplied