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Waikato, Bay of Plenty Architecture Awards 2024: Wai Ariki Hot Springs and Spa, Tauranga Boys’ College among the winners

Winners of the 2024 Waikato and Bay of Plenty Architecture Awards included Wai Ariki Hot Springs and Spa and House on a Hill. Photos / Jono Parker and Rose Minnee

A luxury spa in Rotorua, new classrooms in Tauranga and “a little house for hobbits” are among the 29 winners of the 2024 Waikato and Bay of Plenty Architecture Awards.

And a “standout project” for the jury was a red corrugated iron house in Tauranga, which successfully used color to create a “calm atmosphere”.

The winning projects were announced tonight at an event at the Cargo Shed in Tauranga.

The architect and president of the awards jury, Matt Grant, told the Bay of Plenty Times The jury was impressed with the quality of the work and the “rich environment” the Bay of Plenty offered, including beaches, lakes and rivers.

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Grant said successful projects used local knowledge and materials; for example, Wai Ariki Hot Springs and Spa in Rotorua used a lot of scoria and volcanic material.

“It’s the connection to the place,” he said.

The judges said that Wai Ariki was
The judges said Wai Ariki was “amazing” and the building was based on its history. Photo / Jono Parker

Grant said Wai Ariki was “amazing” and the building was based on its history.

“At all times, there was some narrative and it was also very locally informed.

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“There is a real circular form of spatial arrangement, as in the floor plan, which is traditionally Maori…”

House on a hill.  Photo / Rosa Minnee
House on a hill. Photo / Rosa Minnee

Grant said that House on a Hill by Stufkens + Chambers Architects in Tauranga was a “truly outstanding project”.

“We loved it, we didn’t want to leave it.”

Grant said the architect, who designed the house for himself, had children who were sensitive to “extreme colors,” light, noise and sounds.

“I needed to create this kind of calming environment, so color was used very deliberately, I suppose, to soften the internal environment visually and create a calm space. And it works, it’s incredible.”

House on a hill.  Photo / Rosa Minnee
House on a hill. Photo / Rosa Minnee

He said the architect had the attitude that “if there was something that didn’t fit, he just accepted it.”

Grant said his attitude “created some really interesting spaces” and saved the project time and money.

“When you make mistakes, you have to take things away, you have to correct them and you have to put them back and there are all kinds of implications. So that wasn’t his intention, but it was a positive benefit and it’s a great attitude towards life and perfections.”

Maori-influenced architecture ‘thriving’ in the region

In a press release from the New Zealand Institute of Architects, Grant said the judges were impressed by the presence of te ao Māori in projects across many categories.

Wai Ariki Hot Springs and Spa, Te Rito O Manaaki Ora (a kaupapa Māori service provider in Rotorua), Te Kura o Manunui (Brookfield School in Tauranga) and Hamilton Kirikiriroa Airport were among the winning projects, imbued with a deep sense of Māori . culture and design, says the press release.

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Grant said it was clear that iwi consultation was taken “very seriously” in the region and that Māori-influenced architecture was “thriving”.

The use of color to “transform the experience” of being in a building was another theme found in this year’s winners, according to the press release.

Six projects would receive Resene Color Awards, including House on A Hill, which featured “calming interior colors to intentionally instill a sense of calm.”

Hobbiton Bagshot Row by Tilt Architecture.  Photo / Rings Scenic Tours Ltd
Hobbiton Bagshot Row by Tilt Architecture. Photo / Rings Scenic Tours Ltd

A “small house for hobbits”, located by Tilt Architecture on a hillside in Hobbiton, was awarded in the Commercial Architecture category for “its ability to transport visitors to Middle-earth”.

And a new teaching block at Stapleton Elliott’s Tauranga Boys’ College was awarded in the Education category.

A new teaching block at Tauranga Boys' College.  Photo / Photography Amanda Aitken
A new teaching block at Tauranga Boys’ College. Photo/Photography Amanda Aitken

Grant was joined on the jury by Malcolm Taylor of Malcolm Taylor and Associates, Carl de Leeuw of WSP Architecture, Colette McCartney of GHD Design and lay judge Anna Wilkinson of Area Design, Hamilton.

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Full list of Waikato and Bay of Plenty winners by category

Commercial Architecture

  • Te Rito O Manaaki Pray by DCA Transformation Architects
  • Bricks and Mortar by Edwards White Architects
  • MADE by Edwards White Architects
  • Wai Ariki by RCG and Pukeroa Oruawhata Lakefront Holdings in partnership
  • Hobbiton Bagshot Row by Tilt Architecture
  • Ibex Lighting by Wingate Architects

Education

  • The Pā by Architectus, Jasmax and Design Tribe
  • Te Kura o Manunui by ASC Architects
  • Tauranga Boys’ College: new teaching block from Stapleton Elliott design group

Accommodation

  • Whareroa by Bossley Architects
  • Matua Masterclass by Brendon Gordon Architects
  • French Passage House by Christopher Beer Architect
  • The Chodge by DCA Transformation Architects
  • Coromandel House by Evelyn McNamara Architecture
  • Lake Taupō House by RTA Studio
  • Grace by Stevens Lawson Architects
  • House on a Hill by Stufkens + Chambers Architects
  • Stud Farm Residence by Sumich Chaplin Architects

Housing – Renovations and extensions

  • He Iti Ake by the Office of Architecture

Housing – Multiple Unit

  • Hills Residences by Edwards White Architects

Interior architecture

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  • Hamilton Kirikiriroa Airport by AWA Architects
  • Baker Tilly Staples Rodway refurbishment by Chow: Hill Architects

Public Architecture

  • Puna Kaukau o Te Oko Horoi – Perry Aquatic Center by Architecture HDT
  • Te Kete Aronui Rototuna Library by Chow: Hill Architects
  • Hamilton Gardens, ancient Egyptian garden by Peddle Thorp Architects

Architecture of small projects

  • Summerhill Pavilions ’21 and ’22 by Andrew Barrie Lab
  • Whare Mīmīrū by Dr Anthony Hoete and Dr Jeremy Treadwell in association
  • The Garden Room by Edwards White Architects

Durable architecture

  • Cranwell Place (1970) by Noel D’Arcy Blackburn

Megan Wilson He is a health and general news reporter for the Bay of Plenty Times and Rotorua Daily Post. He has been a journalist since 2021.