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Ironbank

Ironbank, RTA Studio

Photo by Patrick Reynolds

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Ironbank, the new steel-clad com­mer­cial build­ing on Auckland’s K’ Road, received the 2010 New Zea­l­and Insti­tute of Archi­tects award for the year’s best build­ing.

The mixed-use build­ing, designed by RTA Stu­dio for Sam­son Cor­por­a­tion, beat out some strong com­pet­i­tion, in par­tic­u­lar from Jasmax’s NZI Build­ing on Fan­shawe Steet, Auck­land. Four­teen other pro­jects were also acknow­ledged at the NZIA’s annual awards din­ner, held in Auck­land on May 14.

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Ironbank represents a rare synthesis of originality, visual impact, functionality and ecological sensitivity. Its towers of stacked boxes have a restless, sculptural quality, and the raw, muscular materials harmonise perfectly with the inner city context. The various occupancies are each afforded a measure of insularity, yet the open circulation encourages a healthy level of interaction. A strong sustainability ethos has driven the project, beginning with the recycling of ninety percent of the site’s existing buildings. It is also manifest in the use of natural ventilation and natural light, and the cleverly conceived, space saving carpark. The building is a rich, groundbreaking and thrilling tour de force.

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