Student Design Awards 2014

Over the last two days 12 of New Zealand’s top architecture graduates battled it out for the coveted NZIA Graphisoft Student Design Award.

As always the quality of the work was exceptional.

This years winner was Tom Dobinson from Victoria University with his project ‘Wharf Dwellers – An Expose Of Lyttelton

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Highly commended were Ji Min An from Unitec with ‘Korea Korea’ and Norman Wei from Auckland University with ‘SUPER-PACIFIC-CITY: The Saga Of Lomipeau’

You can read the Judges citations below the gallery.

Auckland University, School of Architecture and Planning

Raimana Jones

Architecture of Coexistence: Regenerating Royal Oak through Urban Acupuncture
Focusing on his own neighbourhood in Royal Oak, Raimana addresses an Auckland-wide issue: the domination of suburban communities and architecture by vehicle traffic. Light touch interventions reveal a respect for the existing building fabric and a sympathetic understanding of local social conditions.

Natalee Tan

Rotovegas: Playground of Flux
By marrying speed and play with urban infrastructure, Natalee has produced a hyperbolic, hyper-real version of Rotorua, New Zealand’s tourist playground. The scheme – engagingly presented in sulpher-yellow renderings and with a rhyming couplet commentary – mandates drive-through fun for locals and visitors.

Zee Shake Lee

Moving Grounds: Irrupting Three Kings’ Inverted Volcanoes
Zee Shake’s polemical and provocative scheme is a dramatically unorthodox option for the development of one of Auckland’s much-abused volcanic cones. The moody presentation of a series of propositions provides a strong indication of the form of the architectural response to a man-damaged landscape.

Norman Wei – Highly Commended

SUPER-PACIFIC-CITY: The Saga of Lomipeau
Drawing inspiration from the Tongan myth of sea-faring Lomipeau, Norman Wei has proposed a big-boat, hydraulically powered solution to the Pacific problem of impending inundation. The horizons of this inventive, exuberant and well-illustrated scheme stretch well beyond the Islands to the shores of Asia. It’s an ingenious and very optimistic scenario.

UNITEC – Department of Architecture

Flora Kwan

Piranesi: [Th]reading the Repository
Flora’s proposal explores the mysteries of Piranesian space, as illustrated in the Carceri series of drawings, and expresses a contemporary spatial approach that resonates with Piranesi’s ideas. The scheme is a brave attempt to make design sense, through physical and digital models, of Piranesi’s claustrophobic, labyrinthine vision.

Ji Min An – Highly Commended

Korea/Korea
Jo Min’s entry is a well-judged means of using architecture to explore an intractable political problem. The proposal for a factory sited in the middle of the Korean DMZ in which workers from both North and South would produce Kimchi – the non-partisan national dish – is clearly presented, tightly edited and very focused. It also manages to be both realistic and optimistic in its appreciation of an issue architecture could only ever alleviate, not solve.

Mayank Thammalla

Swim Or Sink
Mayank’s innovative and research-driven proposal responds to the situation of the Maldive Islands which, thanks to global warming, face a submarine future. Semi-submersible oil rigs are re-purposed as platforms for displaced communities; the scheme is logical, knowledgeable, and clearly explained and presented.

Shane Tregidga

The Steaks Are High
Shane foregrounds the issues attending modern bovine grazing in his proposal for a vertical urban tower for the production of beef. A cow ‘cradle to grave’ system – it could also work for goats and pigs, where culturally appropriate – confronts city dwellers with the realities of the provision of their meat. The scheme is supported by in-depth research and was rendered possible by an enterprising, problem-solving attitude.

VICTORIA – Department of Architecture – Faculty of Architecture and Design

Benjamin Allnatt

Plan B Hive: An Outpost In The Hinterland
After an earthquake in Wellington the Beehive’s occupants are relocated to a groundscraper fortress in the Kapiti Coast foothills. Clever siting, a bold and singular formal treatment, and a strong polemic distinguish Benjamin’s scheme. This is a real proposition, presented with wit and verve.

Hamish Beattie

Topology Of A Phantom City
This is a brilliantly illustrated presentation of an ambitious proposal to address the needs of inhabitants of slums or ‘informal settlements’. Hamish’s scheme envisages the combination of basic digital technology – the ubiquitous Minecraft game – with a sophisticated, vertically integrated system that recycles waste into energy and the construction materials needed to build sustainable communities.

Tom Dobinson – Winnder

Wharf Dwellers – An Expose of Lyttelton
Tom’s proposal to open up public access to Lyttelton’s privatized wharf, and at the same time explore the town’s ‘underbelly’ and the persona of one of its distinguished inhabitants, the artist Bill Hammond, is inventive, curious and assured. The scheme is the very impressive product of a highly iterative process. Clearly and legibly presented, and well put together, it reveals its author’s talent for analysis, skill in assembly, and deep interest in the social and architectural condition of his hometown.

Carinya Feaunati

E Toe Sasa’a le Fafao ; Return to Paradise
Carinya’s scheme for the regeneration of a tsunami-damaged Samoan fishing village expresses her impressive immersion in the project and her commitment to mastering craft skills. Scientific data and fieldwork interviews have informed good architectural judgement, exhibited in the sensitive amalgam of traditional principles and construction methods and modern architecture.

Cadimage turns 25!

25years-gridlines

18 years ago I started with Cadimage Solutions as a summer job during university holidays and never left! During my initial six weeks I convinced Murray to take me on permanently and I decided having completed my Bachelor of Architectural studies to take a break before completing the full B.Arch.

Over the last 18 years I have grown with the business, first becoming a shareholder in 2002, then Managing Director in 2005 and buying Murray and Sue out in 2006.

18 years is a long time in business with many ups and downs. It will come as no surprise that I have learnt the most during the downs.

This month we celebrate 25 years in business which is a milestone the team is truly proud of.

What do the next 25 years hold for Cadimage? I don’t know exactly but I do have some ideas about the next 5-10!

Read a little more about our 25 years at cadimage.com or for more history check out cadimagegroup.com

Graphisoft IPC 2014 – Budapest

I’m just back from the Graphisoft International Partner Conference – the first I’ve attended for a couple of years and the first I’ve attended in Budapest since the Icelandic Volcano Episode.

This year was the biggest yet with about 400 people representing 175 Partners.

As always the event was a great chance to catch up with old friends and make many new friends. It was also good to hear the results of 2013 and both, hear and see, the plans for the future – and there are some exciting things to come!

This year provided two very special highlights for Cadimage Group and myself personally.

First up, we were awarded the Distributor of the Year award. This is an award I have worked towards for a long time and have come close to before. To finally win it was a proud achievement.

GS_DotY

Secondly, I had been invited to present the New Zealand Story to the conference so on Tuesday morning I presented the history of ArchiCAD in New Zealand over the last 22 years – 17 years of which I have been involved in.

The story had been billed as “New License Sales Success” and everyone was expecting our sales secrets. Instead they heard about the steps we have taken over 22 years to build up a successful business. There were no silver bullets, but a huge array of stories of what had worked and hadn’t worked for us.

Presenting to partners who have been invovled in ArchiCAD longer than I had was a nerve racking experience, but even some of these partners were able to take some ideas away for their own business.

To those who attended the IPC I trust you enjoyed my story.

To the New Zealand ArchiCAD Customers, thank you for being the essential part of our business and staying loyal over the 22 years of ArchiCAD in NZ. While Distributor of the Year was a proud personal achievement it was a direct result of the fantastic team and customers we have here in New Zealand.

2013 Student Design Awards

Well the year is quickly disappearing and we once again had the pleasure of sponsoring the NZIA Graphisoft Student Design Awards.

The grand final was held last night in Auckland in front of an enormous crowd – the best turn out in the 6 years we have been sponsoring the event.

David Sheppard, John Melhuish and Camilla Block had the unenviable task of judging this years awards and while they felt there was a clear winner they were blown away with the calibre of all the work.

Taking out the top prize this year was Raphaela Rose of Auckland University.

Raphaela Rose - Auckland University

Raphaela Rose – Auckland University

Highly commended were Sacha Milojevic (the son of my first year History of Architecture lecturer – Michael Milojevic) and Nathan Swaney, both also of Auckland University making it a clean sweep – the first time since our invovlement began.

Sacha Milojevic - Auckland University

Sacha Milojevic – Auckland University

Nathan Swaney - Auckland University

Nathan Swaney – Auckland University

All the students should be congratulated for the efforts they put in to make this a fantastic event.

Judges Citations

Victoria University of Wellington, School of Architecture

Ashley Beck – Bio-Body Reactor
This exploration of the complex relationship between humans and machines (cyborgs) is presented with impressive, evocative imagery. Integral to the concept is the presence of algae and its potential to sustain humanity on several levels. The building itself has a cinematic, menacing and thought-provoking quality.

Toby Coxon – Desiring Affect
This ambitious investigation into the beginnings of the design process questions the fundamentals of static habitation. The result is a proposed bakery/café composed of a sequence of sculptural, elastic spaces.

Tara-Lee Carden – City of Flux: liberating the concrete terrain
This imaginative proposition grapples with the almost insurmountable problem of impending sea level rise. Moats, canals, locks and aqueducts are all employed to create a new urban playground and work precinct on the Wellington waterfront. The need to think beyond artificial property lines and take into account the city’s underlying geomorphology is addressed directly and confidently.

Hayden Grindell – Date with Data
An unglamorous and ordinarily unseen part of our infrastructure – data storage – takes centrestage in this project. Several solutions are investigated, one a self-contained tower of austere beauty. In another, complex, sectional relationships are explored to house disparate uses with deft integration of the groundplan.

Auckland University, School of Architecture and Planning.

Marianne Calvelo – MAD WOMEN: a contemporary architectural translation of domesticity
One of Auckland’s much-loved buildings, St. Kevin’s Arcade, is reinterpreted as the headquarters for Architecture + Women NZ. The result is a genuine alternative to conventional workspace, with cleverly integrated children’s play areas and flexible gathering rooms. The whole is intimate and intricate.

Nathan Swaney – Extraction Lands and the Permanence of Production
Offshore oil and gas rig hardware, salvaged and recycled as a ship-breaking yard, is this project’s guiding idea. The scope is expansive and heroic. The themes of industrial decay and rebirth – as well as waterfront habitation – are convincingly juxtaposed.

Sacha Milojevic – Newmarket Campus as a Porous Megaform
Created with intelligence and intuition, this project offers a vision of an educational community, conceived in an organic manner from a series of single rooms outwards. It recognises the ‘world apart’ quality great universities share, yet does not ignore its urban context. Every part of this deftly presented scheme exudes a sense of passion for architecture.

Raphaela Rose – Sex(uality) and the City: Counteracting the Cock-ups of Auckland’s Main Strip
Architecture is cleverly and gainfully employed as a mocking tool in this mischievious, satirical project. The scenario calls for the city blocks containing the Sky Tower, casino and proposed new super-brothel to be surrounded by a fun park themed by recent local sex scandals. The result is a joyful, rollicking series of attractions, each of them like an exquisitely and wittily conceived fable. Beneath that sugar-coating, a subversive message filters through, undermining the current environment that has been foisted upon the city.

UNITEC – Department of Architecture

Michael Holehouse – Architecture for the Whangamarino Wetland
Conceived as a distilled series of poetic moments, this project sensitively opens the door to a previously inaccessible wetland. Considered, restrained archetyptal forms (demonstrated by highly crafted models) have been designed to eloquently acknowledge the ground conditions on which they stand.

Tessa Crosby – Social Sutures; the integration of the medical facility into the urban tissue
This well-researched and articulated project relocates an oncology building from the isolated hospital campus to a central CBD site. It re-imagines the ground floor as a public convention centre and the beginning of an architectural promenade through the site and building. A humane and sensitively conceived piece of work.

David Cook – Reclaiming the lost city
This design for a civic arts space is a thoughtful response to some of the questions now facing Christchurch. Using materials lovingly rescued from earthquake rubble, a centrally placed oculus acts as a symbol of light and hope. The spirit of preservation embodied by the project provides an alternative to wholesale demolition.

Daniel Smith – Humanitarian Architecture, People, Place & Power
The challenges facing a western architect assisting in a Third World country are at the heart of this project. After exhaustive consultation with the inhabitants of a Cambodian village, the architect has arrived at a sensitive, honest solution for a series of new public buildings. A limited palette of materials and construction techniques, together with difficult climatic conditions, have been harnessed to deliver a convincing, positive outcome.

 

Disrupt by Design – Day 2 BBD Summit

Day two of the Better By Design CEO Summit was just as good as day one but in different ways.

David Kester from Thames & Hudson started the day talking about Design being at the intersection of Lover, Power and Respect and how these attributes need to be realised both internally and externally by a business. David used a very simple framework and outlined some amazing examples. One striking example was FreshPaper.

Dave Gliboa Co-founder and Co-CEO of Warby Parker took us through his amazing journey to date and how they are disrupting the eyewear industry and keeping a social conscience as a core part of their business. In a word, Jeremy Moon summed this up simply with ‘wow‘ – which couldn’t have been a better reflection!

Next up Sam Morgan talked about his Foundation and about making an impact. Too many charities measure the wrong things, for example measuring schools built, rather than the number of kids who are educated. Sam was as direct as ever during Q&A and will have no doubt unsettled a few participants.

Two other notable presenters were Trey Ratcliff who shared some deeply personal stories – his slide presentation was simply an array of the amazing photographs he has taken – a passion he has only developed over the last few years. Mark Pennington of markpenningtondesign talked about the development and the success of the Life Chair by Formway as an example of the innovation and success that New Zealand businesses need to aim for.

Overall the two days were best summed up for me by the following quote from the final Q&A Panel:

“In times of change, the learners will inherit the world and the learned will find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.” – Eric Hoffer

Disrupt by Design

I’m just back from Day 1 of this years Better by Design CEO Summit – Disrupt by Design. Unlike last year I didn’t have my note taker so had to take notes myself!

As always the event is extremely well put together and the venue at Villa Maria is just perfect and the team there do the most amazing job along with the whole Better by Design Team.

The day has been extremely stimulating and the Tyre Changing Challenge was the perfect way to finish the conference part of the day before the dinner and networking that followed.

The stand out speaker for me today was a tie between Professor Jeanne Liedtka from the Darden School of Business and Rob Fyfe, former CEO of Air New Zealand.

Jeanne started the day with Louis Pasteur’s quote:

“Fortune favors the prepared mind”

Many of the opportunities for any business are already out there, but you need to be prepared in order to see them. Jeanne, then went on to outline the three keys to having a prepared mind:

  • A learning mindset
  • A broad repertoire
  • Customer empathy

Two examples involving George and Geoff were then outlined to contrast how these items help open up opportunities when applied to design thinking or how it impacts this process when you don’t have these attributes. The rest of the day involved many conversations about how many George or Geoff’s we all had.

Incidentally, Jeanne is also co-author of Solving Problems with Design Thinking, a book all conference attendees received in the post a few weeks ago.

Rob Fyfe, had left shortly after Jeanne’s presentation and we found out later this was to collect his thoughts. Jeanne had pretty much covered all of Rob’s content so Rob threw out his presentation and accompanying slides and took us through a number stories regarding mistakes that Air New Zealand made during his tenure. A very well put together presentation considering he had less than two hours to get prepared.

Rob outlined that it is important to embrace your mistakes, learn from them and adapt. There were many examples of great solutions that would never have been discovered except for having first made a mistake.

The other presenters were all of an extremely high calibre and Day 2 looks to be just as inspiring.

And the 2012 winner is…

It’s been a busy year which is why posts have been few and far between. But as the year slips away we get to that time where I hit the road for the NZIA Graphisoft Student Design Awards. Two weeks ago I was in Wellington for the Victoria School of Architecture Awards and last night was Unitec’s turn.

Wednesday night however was the major event where we celebrated the work of the top 12 fifth year students across the three schools of architecture. The quality of work on display continually improves and astounds all involved.

This year I had the great privilege of awarding the top prize to Arnika Blount from Unitec – the first time Unitec have picked up the top award during our five year involvement with these awards.

The jury citations for Arnika along with the two highly commended students are below the photos of Arnika’s project.

Winner

Arnika Blount
Unitec Department of Architecture
Project: Wunderkammer

Recognising that a chance discovery presented a wonderful opportunity, the entrant has produced a highly resolved scheme that draws on impressive research and expresses a strong vision. The imaginative, credible and compelling re-use of an underground reservoir buried alongside Auckland Museum as a contemporary cabinet of curiosities is an inspired and innovative premise. With its echoes of Sir John Soane’s Museum and the cavernous realms of Piranesi’s drawings, the sophisticated project is a celebration of structure; it posits an outcome that is both poetic and tantalizingly possible.

Highly Commended

Grace Mills
Victoria University of Wellington, Faculty of Architecture and Design
Project: A New Agora

In this timely, well-researched and cleverly conceived project, an existing site in coastal Sumner, and familiar recreational activities, are used as the basis for a new type of suburban settlement. A sports field and its attendant grandstands are turned into a model of more intensive and more interesting habitation. The ‘new agora’ incorporates dynamic and well-planned living and working spaces, and is a vehicle for gently moving reluctant suburbanites towards a more intensive built environment. It’s a disarmingly casual and impressively creative solution.

 

Erica Austin, Jacky Lee, Praveen Karunasinghe, David Wong, Biran He, Alexander Haryowiseno
University of Auckland School of Architecture And Planning
Project: Future Christchurch

This is an exceptionally professional treatment of a challenging situation – the reconstruction of post-earthquake Christchurch – presented in an exemplary manner. Indeed, the presentation would be the envy of many professional bodies or agencies. The rigour of the research is evident, as is the concerted effort to make sense of the findings. The whole exercise demonstrates the virtue of collaboration; the project could not have been realized to this level if it had not been a collective effort. Therefore, besides being admirable in itself, it shows the way forward for the architectural profession by highlighting the skills architects bring to complex urban problems.

NZ Architecture Medal 2012 – Auckland Art Gallery

Since I started this Blog I have at various times posted photos of architecture from my overseas visits. For a long time I’ve been meaning to post about New Zealand Architecture, so here goes.

Late last year I visited the upgraded Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki. I took a few photos with my phone but never got round to posting them.

Last month, at the NZIA Annual Architecture awards the Art gallery was awarded New Zealand’s top prize in Architecture the New Zealand Architecture Medal. This recognition prompted me to finally write a post.

“The Auckland Art Gallery is a most deserving winner of the Architecture Medal,” says the convenor of the awards jury, Wellington architect Hugh Tennent. “There were high hopes for this building, and big challenges to overcome. The architects had to work with an existing heritage building and a sensitive site on the edge of Albert Park, as well provide all the spaces and amenities required by a twenty-first century art gallery.”

Originally built in 1888 (an old building by New Zealand standards) the Gallery has been restored, strengthened and extended. The detailing of the extension is amazing with the quality of craftsmanship clear to see.

As an aside, for those of you who aren’t from Auckland, while you can’t experience the building in person you can view the Gallery’s collection via Google’s recently released Art Project.

BIM around the World

There is no doubt that Building Information Modelling (BIM) is  and there are a number of initiatives happening in both New Zealand and internationally that reinforce this. However, exactly what BIM is still causing wide-spread confusion.

A recent survey by Masterspec here in New Zealand while on one hand showed a high percentage of respondents saying they use or are aware of BIM, when asked what BIM was results varied greatly! The survey is definitely worth a look for those in the NZ Building Industry.

The survey obviously presents a New Zealand view, while this article from AEC Bytes gives an update of BIM initiatives from around the world.

Lastly anyone who thinks BIM is just about software needs to read this article – Getting a BIM Rap: Why Implementations Fail, and What You Can Do About It – again from AEC Bytes. It outlines that significant organisation change is required for BIM adoption and those that don’t make fundamental changes are likely to fail with their BIM adoption. I particularly liked the story of the CEO who attended all the training sessions to help set an example. CEOs in my mind should almost be called CCM’s – constant change managers but that is a topic for another post I have been meaning to write for sometime.

Icebreaker – Design Discipline

As mentioned previously I as recently at the Better by Design CEO Conference. The Chairman of BBD is Jeremy Moon who is the founder of Icebreaker.

For those of you unfamiliar with Icebreaker there was recently an article in the New Zealand Herald. While not a comprehensive overview of the business it does outline much of the underlying philosophy of Icebreaker.

One quote mentioned at the BBD conference that I particularly liked was:

“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”

– Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Jeremy shares this attitude  in his words:

“It’s much easier to add stuff than take stuff away. Taking stuff away is discipline”