There's more than meets the eye when judging the Gisborne Hawke's Bay Architecture Awards and four Hawke's Bay houses have proven just that.

The modern homes, along with two public buildings in Gisborne, have all received awards for their design, with convener and Napier architect Tessa Fenwick saying the six award-winners were excellent examples of architecture from the region.

A house in Durham Drive, Havelock North, is one of four winners for its design in the Hawke's Bay Architecture Awards. Photo / Supplied.
A house in Durham Drive, Havelock North, is one of four winners for its design in the Hawke's Bay Architecture Awards. Photo / Supplied.

Napier's Dwell Architecture designed two of the winning abodes, including River House, which sits on a plateau looking out to Te Mata Peak.

The judging panel said that from a distance the house looked like a barn or shed nestled into a rural landscape, but on closer inspection, something stood out.

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"The architect has clearly considered – and attended to – all the elements required for well-ordered family life, no matter what the season."

Dwell Architecture's second winner was a Waimarama bach with the verdict being the house was "clean and efficient, but not without character".

"The success of this project lies in its ability to embody the values of a traditional bach and holiday lifestyle."

A house in Bay View was also a standout in the Hawke's Bay Architecture Awards. Photo / Supplied.
A house in Bay View was also a standout in the Hawke's Bay Architecture Awards. Photo / Supplied.

Next on the cards was a Bay View House, which "certainly lives up to its name" - designed by Slessor Architects.

"The seaside house has many successful aspects but none is greater than the architect's solution for a complex brief. The house accommodates a home and a busy business in a series of intimately scaled spaces that open up in the best places and in the best ways to celebrate family life and beachside living."

Last but not least was a hillside Havelock North house designed by Clarkson Architects for a Durham Dr site was the fourth Housing Award winner.

Waimarama Bach, Dwell Architecture Limited. Photo / Andrew Caldwell
Waimarama Bach, Dwell Architecture Limited. Photo / Andrew Caldwell

"There is joy to be found in the spaces and forms, especially in the clearly defined entry with strong precast walls and canopy, and the dark-stained cedar and concrete block walls that anchor the house to sit in the olive-grove surrounds."

The Gisborne Hawke's Bay Architecture Awards are part of the nationwide New Zealand Architecture Awards. They aim to show why good architecture matters in the ongoing development of New Zealand's cities, towns and communities.