AAA Visionary Architecture Awards 2014 – winners!


Crazy, inventive and clever ideas are nothing new in the architectural world but most of them are relegated to the architect’s plan drawer – never to be seen again. But if we really want to create exciting and livable cities in New Zealand then we need to come up with some interesting visions for the future.

What about buildings that prevent data espionage, topical given the recent election debacle or a cloud tree structure covered in epiphytes (air plants), providing visitors a view across Auckland’s Domain? How about a mobile transit lounge that changes the face of transport in Auckland or archaeological ruins transformed into a swimming lake? What about a highly technological structure that flips up in response to flooding caused by climate change?

The AAA Visionary Architecture Awards (previously the Unbuilt Architecture Awards) recognises and encourages unrestrained conceptual ideas in the field of architecture, some are pure theory, while some are already in the process of being built. 

Over 23 years (since 1991), and attracting 140 entries this year, the AAA’s awards programme has recognised students and architects who have gone on to build some of New Zealand’s most acclaimed architecture.

Patrick Clifford, kicked off the awards night with a lecture about the lineage of visions which contributed to the development of Wynyard Quarter. The discarded and partially built ideas that are built upon, learnt from, compared too, and refined to produce the final vision which was implemented into the district plan.

The awards ceremony followed shortly after Patricks lecture, where the winners and highly commended entries were awarded for each category:

Open Conceptual


Occupying Maori Architectural Time, by Rehua Wilson

This project offers an intriguing vision of the representation of Maori values within architecture. The sense of the Maori perception of time traverses both a particular frame of reference, as well as exploring this in a universal sense.

Open Work In Progress


Mobile Transit Lounge, by Matthew Glubb, Laura Cooke, Mark Craven, Hayden Grindell, Raphaela Rose, Patrick Loo, Jun Tsujimoto from Jasmax

The Mobile Transit Lounge is a welcome addition to the urban fabric of the city, with its distinctive folded form that has the potential to play out at different scales. It also offers a fresh identity to the changing face of transport in Auckland.

Highly Commended:

The Cloud Tree, by Sajeev Ruthra, Andrew Mitchell from Patterson Associates



Architecture of Co-existence: Regenerating Royal Oak through Urban Acupuncture, by Raimana Jones

This scheme is an exemplar for the regeneration of Auckland’s traditional urban villages, a project that builds on the language and scale of its context. The leads to a rich and intricate arrangement of spaces and uses that invites exploration.


Congratulations to all winners of the AAA Visionary Architecture Awards 2014

Thanks to Cavalier Bremworth for the 23rd year of sponsorship, Patrick Clifford, Julie Stout, Justine Harvey,Bill Mckay and the University of Auckland, and all entrants to the awards.

Alistair Munro