The New Zealand Institute of Architects' celebrated another year of top-notch architecture student work with the recent announcement of the 2014 NZIA Graphisoft Student Design Awards winners. Every year, the top four final-year students from each of New Zealand’s three Schools of Architecture (the University of Auckland, Unitec, and Victoria University of Wellington) compete for the top prestigious award.
Focusing on different topics, the 12 finalists presented their proposals to the judges during a two-day exhibition at Auckland's Heritage Hotel.
Tom Dobinson of Victoria University won the premier award with a $5,000 prize, while Ji Min An of Unitec and University of Auckland’s Norman Wei each won a Highly Commended Award and $1,500 travel prize. All three students were invited to travel to Australia to meet with Australian architects and view their work.
Check out all the winning and finalists projects right below.
WINNER: Tom Dobinson (Victoria University of Wellington)
Project: "Wharf Dwellers – An Expose of Lyttelton"
Citation: "Tom’s proposal to open up public access to Lyttelton’s privatized wharf, and at the same time explore the town’s ‘underbelly’ and the persona of one of its distinguished inhabitants, the artist Bill Hammond, is inventive, curious and assured. The scheme is the very impressive product of a highly iterative process. Clearly and legibly presented, and well put together, it reveals its author’s talent for analysis, skill in assembly, and deep interest in the social and architectural condition of his hometown."
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Ji Min An (Unitec)
Citation: "Ji Min’s entry is a well-judged means of using architecture to explore an intractable political problem. The proposal for a factory sited in the middle of the Korean DMZ in which workers from both North and South would produce Kimchi – the non-partisan national dish – is clearly presented, tightly edited and very focused. It also manages to be both realistic and optimistic in its appreciation of an issue architecture could only ever alleviate, not solve."
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Norman Wei (University of Auckland)
Project: "SUPER-PACIFIC-CITY: The Saga of Lomipeau"
Citation: "Drawing inspiration from the Tongan myth of sea-faring Lomipeau, Norman Wei has proposed a big-boat, hydraulically powered solution to the Pacific problem of impending inundation. The horizons of this inventive, exuberant and well-illustrated scheme stretch well beyond the Islands to the shores of Asia. It’s an ingenious and very optimistic scenario."
FINALIST: Benjamin Allnatt (Victoria University of Wellington)
Project: "Plan B Hive: An Outpost In the Hinterland"
Citation: "After an earthquake in Wellington the Beehive’s occupants are relocated to a ‘groundscraper’ fortress in the Kapiti Coast foothills. Clever siting, a bold and singular formal treatment, and a strong polemic distinguish Benjamin’s scheme. This is a real proposition, presented with wit and verve."
FINALIST: Carinya Feaunati (Victoria University of Wellington)
Project: "E Toe Sasa’a le Fafao; Return to Paradise"
Citation: "Carinya’s scheme for the regeneration of a tsunami-damaged Samoan fishing village expresses her impressive immersion in the project and her commitment to mastering craft skills. Scientific data and fieldwork interviews have informed good architectural judgement, exhibited in the sensitive amalgam of traditional principles and construction methods and modern architecture."
FINALIST: Hamish Beattie (Victoria University of Wellington)
Project: "Topology Of A Phantom City"
Citation: "This is a brilliantly illustrated presentation of an ambitious proposal to address the needs of inhabitants of slums or ‘informal settlements’. Hamish’s scheme envisages the combination of basic digital technology – the ubiquitous Minecraft game – with a sophisticated, vertically integrated system that recycles waste into energy and the construction materials needed to build sustainable communities."
FINALIST: Flora Kwan (Unitec)
Project: "Piranesi: [Th]reading the Repository"
Citation: "Flora’s proposal explores the mysteries of Piranesian space, as illustrated in the Carceri series of drawings, and expresses a contemporary spatial approach that resonates with Piranesi’s ideas. The scheme is a brave attempt to make design sense, through physical and digital models, of Piranesi’s claustrophobic, labyrinthine vision."
FINALIST: Mayank Thammalla (Unitec)
Project: "Swim Or Sink"
Citation: "Mayank’s innovative and research-driven proposal responds to the situation of the Maldive Islands which, thanks to global warming, face a submarine future. Semi-submersible oil rigs are re-purposed as platforms for displaced communities; the scheme is logical, knowledgeable, and clearly explained and presented."
FINALIST: Shane Tregidga (Unitec)
Project: "The Steaks Are High"
Citation: "Shane foregrounds the issues attending modern bovine grazing in his proposal for a vertical urban tower for the production of beef. A cow ‘cradle to grave’ system – it could also work for goats and pigs, where culturally appropriate – confronts city dwellers with the realities of the provision of their meat. The scheme is supported by in-depth research and was rendered possible by an enterprising, problem-solving attitude."
FINALIST: Raimana Jones (University of Auckland)
Project: "Architecture of Coexistence: Regenerating Royal Oak through Urban Acupuncture"
Citation: "Focusing on his own neighbourhood in Royal Oak, Raimana addresses an Auckland-wide issue: the domination of suburban communities and architecture by vehicle traffic. Light touch interventions reveal a respect for the existing building fabric and a sympathetic understanding of local social conditions."
FINALIST: Natalee Tan (University of Auckland)
Project: "Rotovegas: Playground of Flux"
Citation: "By marrying speed and play with urban infrastructure, Natalee has produced a hyperbolic, hyper-real version of Rotorua, New Zealand’s tourist playground. The scheme – engagingly presented in sulpher-yellow renderings and with a rhyming couplet commentary – mandates drive-through fun for locals and visitors."
FINALIST: Zee Shake Lee (University of Auckland)
Project: "Moving Grounds: Irrupting Three Kings’ Inverted Volcanoes"
Citation: "Zee Shake’s polemical and provocative scheme is a dramatically unorthodox option for the development of one of Auckland’s much-abused volcanic cones. The moody presentation of a series of propositions provides a strong indication of the form of the architectural response to a man-damaged landscape."
2014 Judging Panel:
- Pip Cheshire, Jury chairperson and President of the New Zealand Institute of Architects
- Louise Wright, a director of Assembly Architects in Arrowtown
- Professor John Macarthur, the director of the Research Centre for Architecture, Theory, Criticism and History at the University of Queensland.
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