Architectural designer wins top national award for Hastings school building

The designers of a Hastings school building and landscape, designed to represent the Heretaunga Plains when viewed from above, have received one of the most prestigious national awards in their field.

Heretaunga Intermediate’s technology block was one of two projects to be awarded the 2023 Supreme Architectural Designers New Zealand Resene Architectural Design Award on Friday.

Designer Darryl Church of DCA Architects of Transformation was recognised for his work on the project.

He shared the honour with Madushin Amarasekera of Construkt Architects for a multi-unit housing complex, Te Uru walk-up Terraces in Hobsonville, Auckland.

The 839sq m, $7 million technology block first opened its doors in 2022.

The ADNZ judging panel said the project was an exercise in balance, of exterior and interior colour symbolism, busyness and tranquillity and elegance and robustness in both form and materiality.

“Heretaunga Intermediate School receives the Supreme Award for being a successful architecture project to both balance critical community needs and functions, while also producing a beacon project that stands for the fun of coming together to learn,” the judges said.

“The melding of these elements into a timeless taonga for the community is what makes this project stand out as an exemplar at this time in Aotearoa’s history.”

Heretaunga Intermediate principal Phil Jones said the new technology block was a state-of-the-art design housing six specialist classrooms for food technology, hard materials, art, soft materials, science and music.

“[It is] an amazing area that has made such a difference to our kids’ engagement in our specialist classrooms. Such a beautiful space.”

He said the landscaping design as seen from above was a reflection of an old whakataukī (proverb), part of which conjured imagery of a hawk looking over the Heretaunga Plains.

‘Ko Heretaunga Haukunui, Ararau, Haaro te Kaahu, Takoto Noa’ translates to ‘Heretaunga – of the life-giving dew, of the hundred pathways, the vision of the far-sighted hawk, left to us, the humble servants.’ according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

“There has been some quite deep thinking about embedding it into the school and where we are from,” Jones said.


First published by HB Today. Click here to read the full article.