Thursday, April 18, 2024

Architecture wins for Auckland Council

Two Auckland Council-owned buildings have won big at the 2023 Auckland Architecture Awards.

The recently re-opened Domain Wintergardens has been awarded an Enduring Architecture award, while Symonds Street Public Convenience & Shelter won in the Heritage category.

Awarded by Te Kāhui Whaihanga New Zealand Institute of Architects, the Enduring Architecture Award and the Heritage category of the awards celebrate projects that have stood the test of time.

Deputy Mayor, Desley Simpson accepted the Enduring Architecture award for the Domain Wintergardens at the Auckland event in her role as Chair of the Auckland Domain Committee.

“Auckland’s cityscape is rapidly changing, however the award for ‘enduring architecture’ could not go to a more deserving building,” she said.

“William Henry Gummer and Charles Reginald Ford were among the leading architects of their day.  The Domain Wintergardens is a beloved landmark and I am so happy that Aucklanders are still able to visit and experience. What we have done is futureproof a great example of twentieth century design.”

The Domain Wintergardens were designed in the early 1900s by Auckland architect William Gummer and completed by his expanded practice Gummer & Ford. The buildings first opened to the public over 100 years ago.

The marble statues in the courtyard between the glasshouses were added in the 1920s and 1930s by local businessman William Elliot.

Since then, the grand glasshouses have hosted weddings, musical recitals, APEC leaders, and is a much-loved Auckland icon.  

The dual steel and glass, barrel-vaulted Victorian glasshouses reopened earlier this year after being closed for restoration for two years.

The much-loved structures underwent seismic strengthening with additional steel ties and cleats attached to the existing structure, specially designed glazing bars added, and clear glass re-introduced in keeping with the original design intent.

Another winner on the night was the Symonds Street Public Convenience and Shelter, awarded in the Heritage category.

A Category B heritage place, the public building recently underwent seismic upgrades and much of its original interior finishing and materiality has been restored to continue serving Aucklanders for many years to come.

Area Operations manager, Martin Wong is grateful to have been involved in this significant renovation project.

“The outcome is superb as we were able to preserve the original design, improve safety and ensure the use of this historic structure for generations to come,” he said.

Both buildings are open to the public year-round and are free to enter.

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