Two of Queenstown’s most striking new buildings won categories at the Southern Architecture Awards announced in Arrowtown last Friday.
They’re Holiday Inn Express & Suites, designed by McAuliffe Stevens, and Southern Cross Central Lakes Hospital, designed by Warren and Mahoney Architects.
The hotel — also a finalist in last year’s World Architecture Festival hotel and leisure division — won the planning and urban design category.
This recognises ‘‘its contribution to the urban context where it sits’’, McAuliffe Stevens principal/director Preston Stevens says.
Importantly, it presents as a four-storey building along Stanley Street, ‘‘which is closer to the town centre and where larger buildings are placed and are likely to evolve, whereas on Melbourne St there’s a smaller scale of building, and so the building is a small scale at three levels’’.
Stevens points out the urban context also applies to how the hotel faces its two street intersections.
‘‘Fragmented shapes’’ reach down the hill at the corner of Stanley and Sydney Sts, and reach up to the mountains on the corner of Melbourne and Sydney Sts.
‘‘The whole building was based on the concept of the glacier that once occupied the Whakatipu valley, and those forms that you see around the building represent the erratics that were relocated by those glaciers.
“The corners are the glacial terminal where the ice starts breaking down off the face of the glacier.’’
The awards’ jurors hail the Southern Cross hospital — which won the public architecture category — as ‘‘a technically-complex building that is highly functional and efficient’’.
‘‘But what stands out is the care that has been paid to the user experience throughout, elevating the project above the utilitarian norm.’’
The hospital also won a Resene colour award, jurors noting: ‘‘A gentle colour palette of soft natural tones has been employed to provide a sense of calm, countering the clinical norm of healthcare interiors.’’
Local Warren and Mahoney associate principal Jonathan Goss says ‘‘the design takes inspiration from the local environment, including the nearby Kawarau River — its rejuvenating waters invoking the healing power of nature’’.
‘‘Offering a homely feel for post-surgery recovery, the building connects the patients with the community and environment, helping them regain vitality and strength.’’
Goss adds the design challenges included adding a generator to meet firefighting requirements, ‘‘due to insufficient existing infrastructure’’, and accommodating various types of vehicles including those transporting medical gases and other hazardous substances.
A second local hotel, Holiday Inn Queenstown Remarkables Park, designed by Plus Architecture, won the commercial category.\
The jurors commend its ‘‘residential-style, cohesive interior design, with pops of bold colour derived from the surrounding landscape, and an exterior facade that is crisp and respectful of the mountains beyond’’.
Five local homes also feature amongst the housing category winners.
They’re ‘Terrace Edge’, by Anna-Marie Chin Architects, ‘Crown Range Retreat’, by Assembly Architects, ‘Lower Shotover House’, by Bureaux, ‘Jack’s Point Retreat’, by Mason & Wales Architects, and ‘Speargrass House’, by Sumich Chaplin Architects.
And Queenstown Stacey Farrell was a small project architecture co-winner, and Resene colour award winner, for ‘The Coast House’ on the South coast.