Taranaki architects win four out of twelve national awards

Taranaki architects win four out of twelve national awards

New Plymouth architects cleaned up at a national architecture award ceremony on Friday night.

The Western Architecture Awards, run by the New Zealand Institute of Architects, gave awards to 12 projects that exemplified the standard of New Zealand architecture.

Winners from New Plymouth were the Taranaki District Health Board's Mobility Garden, the White Hart Hotel, the Hinton House and New Plymouth architect Jim Elliot's own home.

Held at the New Plymouth Golf Course on Friday May 20, the winners were judged by a jury headed by New Plymouth architect Eldon Peters.

Peters said winning works distinguished themselves by sticking to the client brief and other cultural, heritage and environment conditions in the building's surroundings.

Winner of the small project award was the TDHB's Mobility Garden designed by Boon Goldsmith Bhaskar Brebner Team Architects.

The garden, supports and pathway all revolve around a central sculptural tree and the jury said it "seamlessly integrates form and function" as well as providing protection from the elements.

The White Hart Hotel, once on the brink of demolition, was brought back from certain death to win one of three commercial architecture awards.

"Vibrancy has been restored to this building once threatened with demolition," the jury said. 

"It now adds a delightful addition to New Plymouth's cultural precinct."

Taking out the award for residential architecture was New Plymouth architect Jim Elliot for his work on his own home.

Encompassing three-levels of concrete and cedar, the structure is crafted on a sloping site while also being built to maximise sun time. 

"If builders' homes are 'never finished' then perhaps it's fair to say architects' homes are almost always a 'work in progress'," Peters said. 

"The house, anchored to its landscape, and expertly finessed, shows an architect at the top of his game."

Also in the residential architecture section was the Hinton House also built by the Boon Goldsmith Bhaskar Brebner team, which the jury described as a simple exterior which belied a "plan with subtle complexities. 

"This beautiful house, which relates easily to its site, would be a pleasure to live in," the jury said.