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New Zealand Institute of Architects









Finalist – Maito Akiyama

Maito Akiyama from the University of Auckland School of Architecture and Planning, was a finalist in the 2019 NZIA Resene Student Design Awards for his project, 'Happy Hour at the Grogzone: Architecture of Alcoholic Aotearoa'.

Project description

This project explores how architecture can be used as a framework to interrogate New Zealand’s binge drinking culture. It proposes five stations of inebriation which reveal different aspects of our drinking culture, while the final terminal building aims to shift this culture by providing alternative spaces for drinking.

The thesis revolves around the relationship between regulation and architecture. The terminal building is conceived asa framework to flip existing laws around alcohol consumption, and creates a public BYO space which takes over QueenStreet, Auckland’s main street. The project aims to reduce binge drinking harm by regulating consumption through complete public openness, exposing and facilitating the good, the bad and ugly side of drinking in Aotearoa.


A persistent New Zealand health and social problem is explored with considerable insight and approached with refreshing wit in this innovative and mischievous project. Our binge-drinking culture is the prompt for a series of architectural interventions on Queen Street, Auckland’s main drag and an epicentre of boozy excess. The scheme has the confrontational punch of a skilled satirist, leavened with a playful sensibility and design inventiveness. Maito has had a lot of fun with an issue we can no longer laugh off.

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