Waitakere’s sustainable Civil Defence headquarters in Glendene scooped two awards at the 2008 Auckland Architecture Awards announced last night.
Judges described the building, which won awards in the public and sustainable architecture categories, as “highly functioning and extremely elegant” and “a bench mark for sustainable architecture”.
“These awards not only recognise an impressive and functional building but also our core principles of innovation and commitment to be leaders in terms sustainable development,” says chairman of Waitakere City Council’s Emergency Services Special Committee Derek Battersby.
Designed to operate under extreme emergency conditions, the building features robust and low maintenance building materials, a rain water collection facility and photovoltaic cells to power the building and provide hot water. It can function separately from the national grid for up to five days.
Judges also described it as an "intriguing hybrid building that resolves the unique challenge of creating an emergency communications centre within an architectural form but that relates sympathetically to its residential neighbours.
“The orderly interior layout is focused around a double height open-plan meeting room with flexible partitions. Robust construction methods and highly specialised servicing requirements have been combined with design flair to create a solution that is both highly functioning and extremely elegant,” the judges said.
The building in Elcoat Avenue was designed by Architectus Auckland and officially opened in September 2007.
Another local building, the Colin McCahon Cottage in French Bay, was recognised at the awards, winning a heritage award and the Resene Colour Award.
The judges described the project as an inspired combination of conservation, restoration and interpretive installation that gives a powerful insight into the life of Colin McCahon at French Bay and said that the work was an example of “subtle innovation, intelligence and respect.”
The colours of the cottage were recreated to match the original paintwork by the artist and are described as “a master class in colour”.
The Auckland Architecture Awards are run by the New Zealand Institute of Architects.
The winning projects are eligible for consideration for a New Zealand Architecture Award, which is decided by a national jury in early 2009.