2011 Southern Architecture Awards – NZ Institute of Architects

### nzia.co.nz 18 Nov 2011
Media Release
Awards signal strong year for Southern architecture
Seventeen projects, ranging in scale from Forsyth Barr Stadium to a weekend retreat at Taieri Mouth, have been recognised in the Southern Architecture Awards, the programme that celebrates the year’s best buildings in Otago and Southland.

“The high number of entries and the high standard of winners are signs that the region’s architects are doing good work in difficult times,” said the convenor of the 2011 Southern Architecture Awards jury, Invercargill architect Brent Knight. “We were impressed by some significant community and public buildings, and found that this was also a very strong year for residential architecture”.

One of the public buildings receiving an Award is Forsyth Barr Stadium, designed by Jasmax, Richard Breslin and Populous. Describing the stadium as “a wonderful place to watch a game”, the Awards jury praised the architects’ skill in dealing with “a complex project involving a large team and a demanding process”.

Another Dunedin public building receiving an award is the Robertson Library at the University of Otago. McCoy and Wixon Architects’ transformation of “an aging institutional structure” has produced “a revitalised library” which is “a very pleasant place to be in”.

Jury convenor Brent Knight said that, as in previous years, a feature of the 2011 Southern Architecture Awards is the quality of residential architecture.

On Dunedin’s sandstone coastal ramparts, South Coast house by Vaughn McQuarrie is “sheltered within cedar-clad pavilions offering spectacular views past dramatic cliff faces to the horizon”, and at Taieri Mouth, McCoy and Wixon Architects’ “bold, geometric” weekend retreat is “a warm and playful house in which the occupants are connected with the landscape and environment”.

Joining Brent Knight on the 2011 Southern Architecture Awards jury were Dunedin architect Tim Heath, Queenstown architect Preston Stevens, and Nelson architect Ian Jack.

The Southern Architecture Awards is a component of the New Zealand Architecture Awards, the official, peer-reviewed awards programme of the New Zealand Institute of Architects (NZIA), the professional body to which 90 per cent of New Zealand’s registered architects belong.

Award winners from the eight branches of the NZIA are eligible for the national level of the awards programme, the New Zealand Architecture Awards. Those awards will be announced on 25 May, 2012.
Read more

██ NZIA 2011 Southern Architecture Awards – winners information, citations and more photos at NZIA website

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Architecture, Construction, Design, Economics, Events, Geography, Heritage, Innovation, Inspiration, Media, People, Site, Stadiums, Urban design

17 responses to “2011 Southern Architecture Awards – NZ Institute of Architects

  1. Robert Hamlin


    These awards sum it up in a nutshell. Is it only me, or do others think that all of these structures/statements are a) Hideous, b) Functionally compromised c) An act of arrogance on the part of both architects and owners with regard ot the other inhabitants of their environment.

    While others can choose to read my statements or not, and even if they do, the statement only stays with the reader as long as it takes to read them, the same cannot be said of these architectural ‘statements’. It seems to be that the more lovely the landscape/cityscape, the more outsize, prominent and vulgar the ‘statement’ has to be (‘respectfully set back’ indeed!). The ‘playful’ excrescence at Taieri Mouth is a particularly brutal example of the genre.

    It appears to be a form of nouveau-riche exhibitionism. An analysis that I feel is supported by the presence of floor to ceiling and wall to wall windows in almost every room of most of these structures – including the bathrooms – and usually regardless of the ‘view in reverse’ so to speak. As I row up the Harbour these days, I am amazed by how many of these archtectural ‘statements’ now deface the areas of the Peninsula facing the City. I do not want to see these statements, I don’t really want to see their owners either – especially not their private parts (while they are in the shower or towelling themselves down), but it seems that I now have no choice in the matter.

    I have been interested in the idea of producing a coffee table book annually. It would be entitled ‘Southern Vulgarity 201?’. Each year contestants could be entered by any member of the public, with supporting photographs, for awards in the following eight categories:

    1) ‘Fuhrerbunker’
    2) ‘Unfinished’
    3) ‘Sixties Terrapin’
    4) ‘Nightmare Hacienda’
    5) ‘Hansel & Gretel’
    6) ‘Tikytak Southfork’
    7) ‘Bomb Site’
    8) Unclassifiable

    After submissions close, the nominees would be posted on the ‘Southern Vulgarity’ website each year for voting to establish the year’s winners in each category and ‘honourable mentions’. The coffee table book would be compiled from these. I think that it would lbe a big seller.

    Bluntly, I do not think that the majority of opposition to the demolition of old buildings comes from love of the buildings themselves, many of which have neither beauty. merit nor history, but rather from the general public’s fear of whatever ‘statements’ the architectual community and their paymasters will make in their stead.

  2. Hype O'Thermia

    What about those super-burbs where the biggest possible house is fitted onto each section in a nightmare of conspicuous consumption; individual Tudor-colonial-californiconcatinations with garaging for 4 cars at least, out of scale with the space, cheek and jowl with the neighbours’ en-suited to the hilt monstrosity.

  3. Hype O'Thermia

    Mosgiel’s already got its Mortgage Heights burbs, the one on your left at the turn off the main road and the one on the hill. Would the SP foster even greater vulgarities?

  4. Calvin Oaten

    The Spatial Plan is for ‘only thirty years’. Question: does it commence now, or does it commence at the end of the existing plan, the “Choices for the Future Towards 2021” which is currently in play? You see we have so many plans one tends to get confused. Nonetheless, the “meddlers” will continue to find work – oops, activity – for themselves interfering into the natural progress of a city on a daily basis as it morphs to meet the needs of the day. Try to lock it into a fixed bureaucratic “vision” for 30 years and the unintended consequences will cause all manner of reasons for the “meddlers” to keep exerting themselves to control. Meanwhile the city, already being ‘bankrupt’, will quietly revert to its mean. Probably a fraction of its former glory with a continuous exodus of its best citizens. What then for all the ‘zombies’ inside city hall?

  5. Anonymous

    The Taieri Mouth one looks like it was just plonked down without thought for the surroundings. Surely that can’t be finished?

    • Elizabeth

      Anonymous, the citation is a killer: “a warm and playful house in which the occupants are connected with the landscape and environment”. It strikes me that the jury didn’t see the irony of their statement. Despite being well detailed, yes it’s “plonk architecture” – the building takes the full force of the coastal environment, no mitigations in sight via a landscape architect.
      [my highlighting]

  6. Hype O'Thermia

    Yeah well that’s intelligent. Floating gin-palace architectural style recommended, yes?

  7. Hype O'Thermia

    One of the things that seems ditzier than usual is that – and I admit I haven’t waded through the acres of burble – is the costs of development that developers are objecting to. Unless I am mistaken there is no distinction drawn between the legitimate costs associated with taking ex-rural land and turning it into yet another suburb requiring services, and the desirable limitation of spread by dividing existing sections where they are no longer practical for today’s lifestyles. It costs a small fortune to halve one’s unmanageably large section though it is already mere metres from electricity and drains. But doing so makes public transport more viable, whereas spread-out suburbs make it less and less practicable so private vehicles will remain a must – until they become impossible to run because of fuel price and then what happens?

  8. Russell Garbutt

    Occasionally there are interviews with architects on TV or radio and they seem to talk the same sort of language littered round this explanation of these awards. Combine this language with that of the real estate agent and a whole new world of gobbleydegook opens up.

    The sort of cretin that shells out money for one of these coots to design your house largely deserves what they get. The edifices masquerading as homes alongside SH1 near East Taieri are wonderful examples of the sort of rubbish easily able to be sold to people who want to “make a statement”. A sort of “my colonades are bigger than yours” sort of thing.

    I have had recent experience at having a house designed, and I have to say that we ended up with a practical pleasing home that will last for years, with not one mention of any of this pretentious drivel that seems to come out of the mouths of the clique that are causing our landscape to become cluttered with “statements”.

  9. Dunedin is not legally required to have a Spatial Plan. But the City Council has decided to have this extra layer of bureaucracy.
    Much of the Plan is just “visions” or feel-good platitudes. It is a menu without a price-list. Specific policies will have to detailed later in the District Plans or budgets.
    How much money would have been saved by not having a Spatial Plan at all?

    • Elizabeth

      Alistair – major components of the Spatial Plan will be made regulatory through District Plan changes and staff are working fast to bring these changes in. Imagine the cost of appeals to the Environment Court, to ratepayers, and Council, and because of that, ratepayers again.

      The staff of DCC fail to see any debt problem, or would rather be oblivious apart from getting their CVs ready to flit the coop if the bottom falls out. Did they read about Ireland?

  10. Hype O'Thermia

    Alistair, isn’t the real question “How many DCC jobs are saved by HAVING a Spatial Plan”?

  11. Hype O'Thermia

    A playful house! How did that escape from the maximum security wing of Pseuds’ Corner?

  12. Peter

    With such long term plans, reaching into decades hence, how can you guarantee they will be seen through, as envisaged? This is not a criticism of the DCC’s plans. You need them. Just an observation. Or do you just accept that they are a moveable feast? In which case doesn’t it make sense to have shorter, more definitive, ‘will do’ practical action plans of, say, five years? Short term goals, for specific initiatives, that help to develop the longer term goals for a livable city, a sustainable city- and all the other ‘kind of city’ we want as mentioned in the DCC’s spatial plan.
    Sorry, if this sounds naive or illogical!

    • Elizabeth

      Not naive at all, Peter. The question submitters need ask of DCC is how often will the Spatial Plan be reviewed in order to mitigate wrong directions, global impacts, natural disasters, adverse effects, oversights, and the likes, read: THE WORKS. Or, respond to glimpsed or previously unforeseen ‘positives’.

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