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New Zealand Institute of Architects











2023 Wellington Architecture Awards Winners

18 May 2023

A monastery, a church and a store in which stylish Wellingtonians come to pray to the Fashion Gods have been awarded top honours in the Wellington Branch’s Te Kāhui Whaihanga New Zealand Institute of Architects Awards.

Thirty-two outstanding projects have taken home prizes in 10 categories at an awards ceremony held at the St James Theatre on May 18. The winners showcase the exceptional talent of architects in a wide range of categories, including Commercial Architecture, Heritage, Hospitality, Housing, Interior Architecture, and Small Project Architecture.

Stolen Girlfriends Club’s sexy, shimmering flagship store scored an Interior Architecture award for Jasmax, as did Stravinskij, a chic hair salon created by Seear-Budd Ross.

Ata Rangi’s timber wine-tasting room in Martinborough, by Wellington studio Makers of Architecture, is a winner in the Hospitality category. Tennent Brown Architects’ Bodhinyanarama Monastery, another serene wooden building, was recognised with an Enduring Architecture award. The religious building, which was created in 1992, has served as a spiritual anchor for Wellington’s South-East Asian Buddhist community for more than 30 years.

Other iconic buildings to receive awards include the St James Theatre refurbishment by Shand Shelton in the Heritage category, and 8 Willis Street, the bustling corner site on Willis Street, which won an award for architecture+ in the Commercial Architecture category. The renovation and seismic strengthening of the 19th century Wesley Church in Te Aro meant a second award for architecture+, who collaborated on the project with heritage architect Paul Cummack.

In the Housing categories, winners run the gamut from a small in size, big on intent tiny home of around 30m2 by Bonnifait + Giesen Architects, to Seaborne, a multi-unit townhouse development on the Petone foreshore. There was even a winner from the Chatham Islands: Kelp, a sculptural house by Bull O’Sullivan Architecture was included and named a Housing category winner, because consenting for the island is executed by Wellington City Council.

Jury convenor Karl Wipatene of a.k.a Architecture praised the standard of this year’s entries, saying, “We saw a number of established practices that continue to produce top quality architecture, but also emerging younger practices, particularly in the residential space, who are making their presence felt.”

“We were impressed with the ways in which we saw architects as problem solvers. Each of these projects had challenges with the brief, planning rules, budget and other considerations, and we saw innovative and creative ways of overcoming those challenges in the finished projects. It reminded the jury that, actually, architects are problem solvers, and that design challenges provide opportunities as well,” adds Wipatene.

The panel of judges also included David Melling of Melling Architects, Linda Wong of Wong Workshop, and Rohan Collett of Rohan Collett Architects.

Commercial Architecture
● 8 Willis Street by architecture +
● Site 9 Kumutoto by Athfield Architects

● 8 Willis Street by architecture +
● Wesley Church seismic strengthening and refurbishment by architecture + and Paul Cummack, Heritage Architect in association
● St James Theatre restrengthening and conservation by Shand Shelton 

● Nga Waka Cellar Door by Aspect Architecture
● Ata Rangi Tasting Room by Makers of Architecture

● White House by Andrew Sexton Architecture
● Kelp by Bull O'Sullivan Architecture (Chatham Islands)
● Waikanae Beach House by Lovell and O'Connell Architects
● Flock House by Pico Studio Architects
● RK Residence by Seear-Budd Ross
● See-saw home by Upoko Architects

Housing—Alterations & Additions
● Glenmorven Studios by architecture +
● House of G by Bonnifait + Giesen Architects
● Mt Victoria Villa Alteration by Lovell and O'Connell Architects
● Chaffers Dock Apartment by Makers of Architecture
● Kelburn Villa Alterations by Mary Daish Architect
● The Screen House by McKenzie Higham Architects
● Sar Street Alterations by Parsonson Architects

Housing—Multi Unit
● Erskine by Common
● Seaborne Development by Herriot Melhuish O'Neill Architects
● Block Party by Spacecraft Architects

Interior Architecture
● Stolen Girlfriends Club Wellington Flagship Store by Jasmax
● Stravinskij by Seear-Budd Ross
● Chapman Tripp Wellington Fitout by Studio of Pacific Architecture
● Generator 30 Waring Taylor by Warren and Mahoney Architects
● Generator Bowen Campus by Warren and Mahoney Architects 

Public Architecture
● Wellington Children's Hospital by Studio Design + Architecture

Small Project Architecture
● Brooklyn MINI-FAB by Bonnifait + Giesen Architects
● Upper Watt Residence by Seear-Budd Ross

Enduring Architecture
● Bodhinyanarama Buddhist Monastery (1992) by Tennent Brown Architects

Resene Colour Award winners
● St James Theatre restrengthening and conservation by Shand Shelton 
● White House by Andrew Sexton Architecture
● Kelburn Villa Alterations by Mary Daish Architect
● Generator 30 Waring Taylor by Warren and Mahoney Architects
● Wellington Children's Hospital by Studio Design + Architecture

See photo galleries and read more about these projects on our Local Awards page.