Canterbury designers win big at architecture awards

Thornton Earl Manor. Photo / Simon Larkin

Canterbury designer Michael John, of AO Architecture, has won a major architecture award for his work on ‘Thornton Earl Manor’ in Cashmere.

He received the award on Friday night at the 2020 ADNZ Resene Architectural Design Awards.

‘Thornton Earl Manor’ was constructed at the turn of the century by the England Brothers. Sited on the Port Hills, the home originally was on a large parcel of land which included an orchard, glass houses, gardener’s cottage, servants’ quarters, tennis court and substantial gardens.

The land around the manor was slowly reduced in size as the Cashmere area developed. Current owners, Dean and Andrea have been the custodians of the manor for more than 30 years.

Thornton Earl Manor. Photo / Simon Larkin
Thornton Earl Manor. Photo / Simon Larkin

Before the Canterbury earthquakes they had just completed renovating the house. But the quakes caused extensive damage with masonry chimneys collapsing, the Marseilles roof tiles dislodging, and extreme damage structurally and cosmetically to all the interiors.

Dean and Andrea’s hard work renovating the manor was undone but they embarked on an extremely ambitious project to restore and renovate the Manor on a large scale.

Due to the vast scale of the manor, and being designed in a bygone era, it was decided that having the ability to lock a couple of doors to separate it into four apartments would be advantageous.

Judges called the work by John ‘a very special project’.

Thornton Earl Manor. Photo / Simon Larkin
Thornton Earl Manor. Photo / Simon Larkin

The 2020 SUPREME ADNZ Resene Architectural Design Award went to a 1940s Mount Roskill state house that received a grand transformation to become two homes under one roof. Designed by Madushin Amarasekera, of Construkt Associates Ltd, the home titled ‘2 @ 4 in 1’, was created by Amarasekera for his family and his wife’s parents to live in. Amarasekera’s home also won two other national awards – the 2020 Residential Alterations and Additions Architectural Design Award and the 2020 Residential Interiors Architectural Design Award.

Seven other ADNZ designers were awarded prestigious national award titles. Among them was Pippin Wright-Stow, of F3 Design in Christchurch, who won the 2020 ADNZ Resene Commercial/ Industrial Interiors Architectural Design Award for ‘The Green Lab’.

‘The Green Lab’ is a moveable, multi-use space developed by F3 Design for a Christchurch not-for-profit organisation. The brief was to create a space that would become the flagship of the organisation. A communal hub, workshop space, classroom, site office and meeting space all in one.

It was essential for The Green Lab to be easily moved between sites for different community projects. Furthermore, the structure needed to be future proofed for potential sale or repurpose.

Small but perfectly formed, this design stood out to the judges for the love and thought that had clearly been invested.

Aaron Jones, of Urban Function Architecture, took the 2020 ADNZ Resene Colour in Design Award for his design ‘Taylors’ in Sumner, Christchurch.

The site of ‘Taylors’ had unmistakable topographical challenges, and Jones needed to find the perfect positioning for the home to maximise views to the bay headland and draw sunlight from the North West to ensure warmth was captured naturally.

This was achieved with a simple cut into the hillside. All excavated spoil was kept onsite and pushed forward to create usable terraced platforms for children to play and edible gardens to be established.

Said the judges: “Excessive in style and concision, this house designed for a growing family, is efficiently and effectively distributed over the 75m2 footprint.”

The 2020 ADNZ Resene Architectural Design Award judges were:

• Dr Kathy Waghorn, of AUT – Auckland University of Technology.
&bull: Dr Anthony Brand, of University of Auckland.
&bull: Irene Boles, of Ara Institute of Canterbury.


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