NZIA Awards - judging experience

Kia ora koutou

I am Beatriz Egan, an architectural graduate at PAUA Architects.  Recently, I had the fantastic opportunity to be part of the jury for Local Architecture Awards Waikato and Bay of Plenty 2022.

Firstly, I would like to thank NZIA for including me on the the jury, creating a clever schedule for our four day trip, and for all the work behind the scenes to make the Awards happen.  Thank you to the rest of the jury members, Paul Raven, Adam Mercer, Rachel Parker, and Kathy Johnston; I had such a fun time and created unforgettable memories with the jury team.  Finally, a special thank you to PAUA Architects and principal Antanas Procuta for trusting my work and giving me the space to be part of this experience.

The opportunity to be part of the jury has enriched my architectural life and professional development tremendously as I have been in New Zealand for less than two years and I am at the start of my career.  The chance to see the farthest corners of the Waikato and Bay of Plenty, from Opito Bay to Opotiki - and the unique architecture designed by incredible architects spread throughout - was inspiring.

I was impressed by the design detailing. I tried to absorb everything the architects were saying. The passion for their projects was energising.  For some visits the clients were also present.  Hearing their comments about how their lives changed after being able to use the space designed for them and their needs reassured me as to why I chose this profession.  It is all about the people and for the people.

We saw a lot of excellent architecture and I would like to highlight a few of my favourite projects.

The Waimaturu by Pac Studio in association with Kristina Pickford Design caught the jury’s attention when we arrived.  The sloping roof form follows the shape of the land and blends perfectly together with the chosen cladding into the surrounding nature.  The collaboration between the architects and the interior designer resulted in continuous flow of the floor plan, inside and outside connections, crafted materials, and art selection.

Bull O'Sullivan Architecture projects were also a high point, especially the Waterhouse Family Home.  This colourful family home expresses lots of love including joinery and some of the furniture which the client developed and built themselves.  Michael O'Sullivan designed tall cedar shutters to create cross ventilation and placed doors at the lower levels which - in conjunction with the sloping roof - allow for passive ventilation.  The clever choice of materials including the natural cork floor, the chocolate-toned plywood walls and ceiling, and the upbeat colour palette make this house a joyful place.

I recommend checking out the awards winners as I am sure you will be amazed and inspired as I was.


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