Congratulations to the winners of the 2015 NZIA Local Awards for Canterbury, announced on Thursday night, 21 May, in Christchurch.
I was joined on the jury for the awards by Wellington architect Stuart Gardyne, Christchurch architects Justin Leadbetter and Maria Chen, and Christchurch engineer Helen Trappitt.
One thing that struck us was the number of projects that had been initiated prior to the earthquakes. Architects in Christchurch have been challenged. For them, as for many people trying to make things happen in Canterbury, opportunity has been partnered with frustration. They have had to re-imagine their work while negotiating significantly changed conditions and navigating a quite different course to completion. To develop a design and see it through such altered circumstances and still produce a meaningful building takes skill, patience and perseverance. The Architecture Awards celebrate the architects, their clients and collaborators in Canterbury who have excelled under these conditions.
Some of our comments on the winners:
The architect’s laudable approach to heritage architecture [of the Isaac Theatre Royal] is both respectful and skilful in its intervention. Many key heritage features of the existing building have been painstaking restored. Structural strengthening was concealed with precision. The seating circle was given a new pitch, providing a better viewing angle, while contemporary additions have been designed with clarity and functionality. The heritage value of this project is priceless and its undeniable charming presence in the city will be enjoyed by generations to come.
The Christchurch Botanic Garden Visitors Centre is a thoroughly contemporary building that strongly connects with the typology of traditional garden glasshouse buildings. The structure’s long form is an almost ethereal presence within the greenery of the gardens. Appropriately, botanic themes inform elements. The result is a thoroughly integrated work of architecture.
Hagley Oval is a striking new international cricket venue for Christchurch. The building unashamedly draws on precedent. The tensile roof membrane sports structure is a form instantly recognisable as a cricket venue. What gives the type credence here is the straightforward yet graceful handling of materials and details, giving the structure an expressive profile and a luminous interior.
The list of winners:
Three35, Addington (Jasmax)
177 Victoria Street (MAP)
Stranges and Glendenning Hill buildings, (Sheppard & Rout)
Young Hunter House (Sheppard & Rout)
Lyttelton Studio Retreat (Bull Osullivan Architecture)
Christchurch Eye Surgery Clinic (Wilson & Hill Architects)
Whareora, CPIT (Athfield Architects)
Kidsfirst, Diamond Harbour (Opus Architecture)
Te Kete Ika, Lincoln University, (Sheppard & Rout)
Munro House (1968) (Warren and Mahoney)
Knox Presbyterian Church Rebuild (Wilkie + Bruce Architects)
Merivale Retail (Thom Craig Architects)
Isaac Theatre Royal (Warren and Mahoney)
Hagley Oval Pavilion (Athfield Architects)
Christchurch Botanic Garden Visitors Centre (Patterson Associates)
Matariki, Canterbury University (Warren and Mahoney)
Secondary Data Centre, Canterbury University (Warren and Mahoney)
Ruataniwha Civic Centre, Kaiapoi (Warren and Mahoney)
Lincoln Library and Service Centre (Warren and Mahoney)
Twizel Public Toilets (DLA Architects)
Brooklands Lagoon Public Toilet (Opus Architecture)
Villa Close (Thom Craig Architects)
Loudon Homestead (Sheppard & Rout)
Cashel Street Townhouses (Athfield Architects)
Warrander Studio, (First Light Studio, Makers of Architecture)
Pictured above: Cashel Street Townhouses by Athfield Architects