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World Class Architecture from New Zealand

Supreme Court designed by Warren and Mahoney. Photograph by Paul McCredie.

CONGRATULATIONS TO the five New Zealand architecture practices who have designed buildings that have been shortlisted for the 2010 World Architecture Festival. The shortlisted buildings' architects will now present their buildings at the World Architecture Festival, held in Barcelona in November. There, the winners in each category will be determined, along with the judgment as to what is the world's best building of 2010.

The New Zealand buildings that made the shortlist are:

  • The Supreme Court of New Zealand, Wellington, by Warren and Mahoney, in the Civic and Community category
  • AUT Lecture Theatres, Auckland, by RTA Studio, in the Learning category.

Architecture NZ is a media partner of the World Architecture Festival.

Victoria University taking part in Solar Decathlon

A rendering of the FirstLight house.

THIS IS a great solar house project by a team from Wellington’s Victoria University School of Architecture. The house has been designed (and eventually will be built) due to being selected as one of twenty finalists to compete in the US Department of Energy’s 2011 Solar Decathlon. The competition, which is held every two years at the National Mall in Washington, requires teams to design and build solar-powered houses that focus on innovative use of existing technologies and feature cost effective and energy efficient construction techniques. Over two weeks the team’s houses are judged in ten categories.

Victoria University’s selection in the competition is a first for the Southern Hemisphere. The teams FirstLight house was selected based on the concept of being a solar-powered ‘Kiwi Bach’. The team is beginning to start the documentation phase, with the bach’s construction due to begin towards the end of this year. An official opening in Wellington is planned for June 2011, and the bach will then be shipped to Washington where it will compete in the competition during October.

For more information and to keep up to date about the project, visit the team’s website here.

House clad in Onduline


DURING THE course of publishing (in Houses, issue 16) Auckland architect Carolyn Smith’s family house in Point Chevalier, I was made aware of an interesting cladding material, Onduline. Smith favoured the black cladding for its matt corrugated texture, which she believes helps the house sit discreetly within the bush-clad site.

Onduline is made from organic fibres and bitumen and can be used as a roofing and cladding material. It was developed in Europe more than 60 years ago as a flexible and economical alternative to traditional materials. It is easy to handle, rust and corrosion free, rot and fungus resistant and provides a high degree of thermal insulation.

Onduline is distributed in New Zealand by GBS Group.

Carolyn Smith is a director of the Auckland architecture practice Architecture Smith + Scully.

New look for Houses magazine

Houses, Issue 16

HOUSES MAGAZINE has been redesigned, and the latest issue, which is on sale today, is the first issue to sport the new look. The magazine’s reinvigorated design substantiates Houses’ position as New Zealand’s premier residential architecture magazine.

To celebrate the re-launch of Houses, one lucky reader will win $8000 of designer products, comprising: a Coastal Design Coco daybed; a Series 7 chair from Corporate Culture; a Kent Firenze wood fire; an Orbiq Triflow kitchen tap and spray rinse from In Residence; and Apco Ezicover paint to the value of $1700.

To triple your chances of winning, subscribe to Houses here: architecturemedia.com/secureagm.

Houses Issue 16 also features the year’s best houses (as recipients of NZ Architecture Awards), new products for the modern New Zealand house, several houses on tight sites, and a profile of Wellington architect Gerald Parsonson, whose residential architecture work is known for its exemplary craft.

Ken Leung was the creative director behind the redesign of Houses. Ken drew on the craftsmanship of traditional architectural drawings and their hand lettering when he refashioned the magazine. Ken has worked on Monocle and Vanity Fair, and currently leads the London-based design consultancy Modern Publicity.

Houses also welcomes Matthew Straker to the team as Art Director. Matthew is an award-winning art director with extensive experience on publications such as The Independent in the UK and The New Zealand Listener.