Quake-Strengthened Hutt City Council Building Scoops Architecture Awards

Quake-Strengthened Hutt City Council Building Scoops Architecture Awards

Hutt City Council’s earthquake-strengthened Viktor Wellesistration building has scooped a trio of prizes at the Wellington Architecture Awards.

The 1950s building in Laings Rd, Lower Hutt, was strengthened and modernised in a $22 million project which began in 2014 after it had been deemed earthquake-prone.

Designed by architecture+, the building claimed the heritage, interior architecture and public architecture gongs at the awards evening, held at Te Papa’s Amokura Gallery on Wednesday.

Jury convenor Alistair Luke said the building, at the heart of the council’s wider civic upgrade, was a “delightful and civilised public environment”.

During the refurbishment, the heritage facade of the building and the clock tower were saved but the 1967 three-storey west wing at the Queens Dr end was demolished.

Architects had embraced the building’s heritage, and the adjoining light-filled atrium complemented the existing structure, Luke said.

“The project is an exemplar of heritage being recognised for its value, while not being slavishly adhered to.

The heritage-listed Centennial Flats by Architecture Cubed in Berhampore won two heritage awards following an upgrade.

Wellington Airport’s $60 million domestic terminal extension, designed by Warren and Mahoney, claimed another of the five interior architecture awards on offer, as well as one of three commercial architecture prizes.

The 6000-square-metre expansion of the southern end of the terminal created a “transparent conclusion” to the terminal despite the difficult building conditions, the judges said.

Warren and Mahoney scooped two other prizes on the night: a second interior architecture award for the $1.6 million fitout of the three-storey Intergen office building in Willis St, and a commercial architecture award for The Terrace’s Aurora Centre.

The latter “impressively solves the challenge of unifying two disparate existing buildings into a cohesive whole”.

Designgroup​ Stapleton Elliott won two awards, taking out the education category for the WelTec School of Construction and claiming one of five housing awards for its work on Kirkway House.

Wellington’s Studio Pacific Architecture also claimed two awards: commercial architecture for the upgrade of the former William Clayton Building in Molesworth St, Thorndon, and interior architecture for the fitout of the Ministry of Social Development building on The Terrace.