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City firm to fore in architecture awards

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Hamilton-based Edwards White Architects have won awards for two contrasting builds in the Waikato Bay of Plenty Architecture Awards.

The Te Kāhui Whaihanga New Zealand Institute of Architects Local Awards were held in April at the University of Waikato Tauranga campus.

Edwards White won a housing award for a hilltop home overlooking Whāingaroa Raglan Harbour that the judges said admirably met the client’s request for “a house of clean lines and open spaces that capitalises on the amazing views”.

Situated to provide shelter from the prevailing winds and to take advantage of the outlook over Raglan township, harbour and sea, the design response is a sheltering, low-slung, L-shape combined with generous internal spaces. The entrance cantilever and wide living area overhangs provide a sculptural sense of shelter in this “big landscape”, the judges said.

Edwards White also won a commercial award for the Urban Homes headquarters on the corner of London and Anglesea Streets in central Hamilton.

“Occupying a prominent corner of Hamilton’s CBD, Urban HQ shows us that the architects’ manifesto for intelligent renewal of Hamilton’s urban fabric continues with gusto,” the judges said.

Urban HQ by Edwards White

Urban HQ by Edwards White

“Denying the condemnation of a disused 1950s building to mere landfill, the architect has sustainably retained the existing structure and deftly cloaked it in a new performance-oriented skin.”

The judges said the existing building is acknowledged by way of an exposed concrete structure, which is contrasted by clean, modern lines to heighten the appreciation of both. “This modern, future-proofed office building is a delight in its combination of memory and function.”

A Hamilton family home designed by Auckland-based Mercer and Mercer Architects also won an award, with the judges saying it was effortlessly arranged around a highly resolved plan. “This house is proof of the architects’ deep consideration and curiosity for how it may adapt over time, and is a finely crafted home for living in.”

Hamilton-based architects Architecture Bureau won in the housing section for a concrete bungalow four-bedroom holiday home.

The judges said a handsome elevation and dignified street presence conceal an artful gradient from public to private within the suburban holiday home.

“Careful consideration of thermal mass and cross ventilation to manage comfort, combined with a sensitive incorporation of the clients’ craft into the structure of the house, creates a home that is comfortable for a couple but able to take a crowd.”

Sixteen projects received awards across six categories and two Enduring Architecture Awards were also presented, including one in the Waikato for the former Putāruru Post Office building, designed by Beehive architect Fergus Sheppard in the 1960s, and described by judges as a “beacon of modernist architecture in New Zealand”.

Many clients and architects had worked together to reduce the carbon footprint of builds. “It’s exciting to see some experimentation with new structural panel prefabrication ideas in efforts to design more efficient buildings,” jury convenor Camden Cummings said.

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