Two new Viaduct Harbour apartment blocks took honours in national architecture awards for their distinctive design, which the judges said added richness to Auckland's downtown waterfront area.

Auckland buildings took the lion's share of awards. Of 38 winning projects, 22 were Auckland buildings. The Institute of Architects said this reflected a high volume of new buildings in Auckland during the past year.

Stirring designs for the new Viaduct apartment blocks made the city's new waterfront zone a focus for the awards.


The new North at Lighter Quay by Studio of Pacific Architecture won for what the judges called "an assured response to a challenging brief".

"The five-level apartment building was an exciting addition to the seaside and each elevation was articulated in a way that responded to surroundings," the judges said.

Nearby, Viaduct Point Apartments by Craig Craig Moller won for being "significantly different but comfortably familiar" and co-existing naturally with a sister block, The Point.

"Bold materials and carefully planned interiors optimise appeal and space and a courtyard between provides a controlled visual outlook and a quiet oasis away from the active streets around it," the judges said.

Supreme award winners will be announced from the national group at the institute's annual conference in the winter.

A Herne Bay infill house on a rear section by ingenious Bachkit designer Andre Hodgskin was found to add a contemporary visual element to the neighbourhood. Andre Hodgskin won a second award for an isolated Paihia house set in bush.

Other awards went to a Remuera house by Crosson Clarke; a glass-and-concrete house by Stevens Lawson in Hobson Bay; a multi-level Stanley Pt house by Architectus; a retreat on Great Barrier Island by Fearon Hay; a West Coast beach house by Peddle Thorp; Freemans Bay house by Malcolm Walker; and a Coromandel holiday home by Crosson Clarke.

Andrew Lister's design for the interior of Orbit restaurant in the Sky Tower and new KPMG offices by Jasmax won awards.

The refurbishment of Remuera's public library by City Design won a conservation award.

Pakuranga's children's health camp by Architectus; Auckland Girls' Grammar gymnasium by Architecture Brewer-Davidson; AUT's technology auditorium by RTA Studio/Nash Melville; the St Peter's College middle school by Architectus; Botany Downs Secondary College by ASC Architects; Auckland University's engineering and science research centre on its Tamaki campus by Architectus; Mangere East Library and the Bo Concept store in Mt Eden - both by Jasmax - all won awards.