Council rebuild, library add-on win awards

GDC's new building. Picture by Amanda Aitken
Gisborne's award-winning library building. Picture by Amanda Aitken

Two Gisborne buildings were among award recipients announced last night at the 2019 New Zealand Institute of Architects Gisborne-Hawkes Bay Architecture Awards.

The HB Memorial Williams library extension won Chow Hill Architects a public architecture award as well as the commercial architecture award for the rebuilt Gisborne District Council (GDC) administration centre, Te Kaunihera o te Tairawhiti, or Awarua for short.

The two Chow Hill Architects designs showed local stories and culture could be interwoven into important buildings in meaningful ways, said Napier registered architect Tess Fenwick, who convened this year’s awards jury.

The GDC building design was a storybook of this region and a building people should treasure.

“From the well-defined entrance, flanked by a double-hulled waka, through to the welcoming, airy foyer and modern working environments, Awarua is reflective of community, culture and history and responsive to the needs of a contemporary workforce,” said Miss Fenwick.

The library extension was well-crafted and added a distinctly local feel to an elegant modernist treasure, she said.

“While much is made of the library’s value in the digital age, this building, with its strong civic presence and light-filled, open spaces, makes an excellent case for the ongoing provision of high-quality public spaces.”

The local awards are part of a national awards programme run by the New Zealand Institute of Architects. Through the awards, the NZIA aims to show why good architecture matters in the ongoing development of New Zealand’s cities, towns and communities.

Two Gisborne buildings were among award recipients announced last night at the 2019 New Zealand Institute of Architects Gisborne-Hawkes Bay Architecture Awards.

The HB Memorial Williams library extension won Chow Hill Architects a public architecture award as well as the commercial architecture award for the rebuilt Gisborne District Council (GDC) administration centre, Te Kaunihera o te Tairawhiti, or Awarua for short.

The two Chow Hill Architects designs showed local stories and culture could be interwoven into important buildings in meaningful ways, said Napier registered architect Tess Fenwick, who convened this year’s awards jury.

The GDC building design was a storybook of this region and a building people should treasure.

“From the well-defined entrance, flanked by a double-hulled waka, through to the welcoming, airy foyer and modern working environments, Awarua is reflective of community, culture and history and responsive to the needs of a contemporary workforce,” said Miss Fenwick.

The library extension was well-crafted and added a distinctly local feel to an elegant modernist treasure, she said.

“While much is made of the library’s value in the digital age, this building, with its strong civic presence and light-filled, open spaces, makes an excellent case for the ongoing provision of high-quality public spaces.”

The local awards are part of a national awards programme run by the New Zealand Institute of Architects. Through the awards, the NZIA aims to show why good architecture matters in the ongoing development of New Zealand’s cities, towns and communities.

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